Summer Reading

Carve the Mark: Book Review


Synopsis via Goodreads: 

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

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 the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.

Then Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.


My Thoughts

To say I’m obsessed with Veronica Roth’s latest novel is an understatement. I. Love. It. I came across it in the library as I was leaving last week, and, upon seeing who wrote it, I yanked it off the shelf without knowing anything about it. It was not a bad decision.

Usually, I do not like sci-fi novels. This, however, was an exception. Roth’s description of Thuvhe paints a picture of a magical, enchanting world that automatically pulls you in, as does the interaction between Akos and his family. Their conversations reminded me of ones I’ve had with my own family, something that pleasantly surprised me, as I was expecting there to be a bunch of jargon and lingo from their planet.

As in Divergent, Roth tells Akos and Cyra’s story with elequonce and beauty. She utilizes both first and third person points of view in the novel, and the transition between the two is so smooth that after a while, I didn’t even notice it. One of my favorite things about the book is how real both Akos and Cyra seemed- Roth has created two characters who come to life on the page. They seemed less like characters and more like actual people, a feat which shows just how talented of a writer Roth is.

Another thing I loved about the novel was its pacing, probably because it’s something I’m still figuring out as a writer. There aren’t lengthy paragraphs of description- she describes the setting in a few sentences at most, painting a picture without boring the reader. And the plot unfurled at breakneck speed, pulling me in and keeping me hooked until the last page. As a result, I read the book entirely too fast and will probably have to go back and reread to pick up on the things I missed the first time. But that’s the thing: this is a book you can read again and again.

Carve the Mark is definitely one of the best books I’ve read all year. To me, it’s better than Divergent, and that’s saying something, because I thought Divergent was phenomenal. Roth has again delivered a masterpiece, and if you loved The Divergent Series, Carve the Mark will soon become one of your favorite books.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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