Title: Carve the Mark
Author: Veronica Roth
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Carve the Mark, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
I'll start this review by being honest: Veronica Roth and I are kind of on uneven footing. I loved Divergent, but I didn't like the way the series ended. Because of that, I decided that I would no longer spend my own money on her books. When I heard about Carve the Mark, I held it at my library, and waited for it. It's been sitting at the top of my stack ever since. I was really excited to pick it up; I mean, space opera. Again: Space opera! One of my very favorite science fiction subtropes! I wasn't sure what exactly to expect when I began reading, but I'm very happy to report that despite some little quibbles, Carve the Mark is an engaging and promising series debut--I can't wait for the sequel!
Cyra and Akos are from two different worlds, and I mean that quite literally. Their fates collide when Cyra's people invade Akos's planet. Taken from everything he knows, Akos is forced to work for Cyra's family. Gifted with something called currentgifts, (a kind of magic that kind of reminded me of The Force), Cyra is known as a warrior, a scourge, a vicious, violent weapon for her tyrannical older brother. Akos has secrets of his own. Tapping into their own different reservoirs of strength, the two individuals have to do the unthinkable in order to save themselves and their loved ones. Forced against their will to become allies, the two friends must decide if saving both of their worlds is worth the ultimate sacrifice...
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the space-opera, Star Wars kind of feel of the novel. I also really loved the characters; honestly, that's what sold this book for me. I loved all of them, especially Cyra and Akos, and the tentative friendship that blooms out of their adversity. The pacing of the novel was breakneck, and I couldn't get it out of my head, even when I wasn't reading it. But I also really adored the political intrigue of the novel; that's one of my favorite things in books, especially when it's done right! And the ending; oh my goodness, I need the sequel right now! I mean, right now! I can't wait for more from this promising new series.
Unfortunately, I couldn't give it a complete five stars, because the worldbuilding was vague and confusing; it really needed some work and I didn't understand it completely. Nonetheless, this book is exciting, promising, and engaging, and I can't wait for more from Veronica Roth! The bottom line: A fantastic, promising series opener, Carve the Mark is a must-read for science fiction fans and fans of Veronica Roth--despite some little quibbles, I really enjoyed it, and I can't wait for the sequel! Next on deck: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill!