Title: Carve the Mark
Series: Untitled #1
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 17 Jan 2017
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?
Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.
Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.
REVIEW BY MENA – YEAR 9
Carve the Mark was an interesting read. Set in an alternate universe, it follows two teenagers that come from totally different backgrounds and are raised as enemies. But later, after a twisted set of events, they come together to save their planet from destruction.
In this universe there is a ‘current’ which runs through every living thing and gives people different abilities based on your personality. The current also gives their planet three oracles who can see the fates of every fate favoured family line and it is their job to document all of them. But one day someone broadcasts every known person’s fates on the news screens. This leads to Akos, one of the main characters, and his siblings being sent home from school immediately, but when they arrive they find soldiers waiting for them.
The point of view alternates between Akos and Cyra, the other main character. When she was young, her current gift appeared as shadows which caused her immense pain and pain to anyone who touched her. When her parents died, her older brother Ryzek became ruler of their nation and used her as his personal assassin.
The plot progresses to show what happens after Akos meets Cyra and follows them as they discover rebel movements and how corrupt Cyra’s brother really is.
Cyra was definitely my favourite character; she is fierce and emotional. The story shows how Cyra slowly realises that she is not an inhuman monster as she has been told she is, but was instead being manipulated to further the machinations of her brother. Cyra comes to realise that she deserves to be loved and how divided her society is.
After reading Divergent, I was expecting great things from this book. But to be honest, I’m slightly disappointed. At the beginning I just felt lost, and that I’d been dropped into the story because not much is explained until later on. The story begins when the characters are very young, only about eight or nine, and takes quite a while showing their backstories before actually getting into the plot.
While I enjoyed reading Carve the Mark but at some points it just felt repetitive. I would definitely recommend it to others who enjoyed Veronica’s other books, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.