Review: Carve the Mark
Series: Carve the Mark #1
Released by HarperCollins on 17 January 2017
Genres: Science Fiction
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?
When it was first announced Veronica Roth, the author of one of my favourite book series ever, was writing another book, I was 100% going to buy it on publication date. I had no idea what the book would be about, or if it would even be ‘up my alley’, but I was going to buy it. As more got announced about the book, I got even more excited, because this was definitely up my alley.
Carve the Mark tells the story of two people from different cultures. We have Cyra, a Shotet, whose currentgift not only brings other people pain but herself as well. Then, there’s Akos, a Thuvesit, who is most loyal to his family and has an unusual currentgift which may be exactly what Cyra needs.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this book, and I am not going to address that, other than saying that I didn’t experience the book the way these people did. I did however not love this book, not as much as I did with Divergent, at least.
CTM was a great science fiction book with lots of world-building, but to be honest, the first half if not the first two/thirds of the book were rather boring. There was mostly world-building going on, getting to know the characters and the planets the story took place on, but not a lot of action. I was used to the action-packed Divergent trilogy Veronica wrote, and I think I was expecting this book to be exactly that, but in space. Yet, I found myself putting the book down more often than actually read it, and that made me sad.
It kind of felt a bit like Star Wars, which I had been expecting because the book had been pitched as ‘for fans of Star Wars’ I believe. But the whole currentgift and currentblade thing made me think of a combination of Mutants and Jedi. (Jedi Mutants? How about that). I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, though, because I did really enjoy this aspect of the story, but the moment currentblades were described I was like ‘lol lightsabers’.
Character-wise, this book was really good. I loved Cyra, and I loved Akos almost right from the start. There were some characters I’d rather throw off a large wall, and there were characters I didn’t like at first but who grew on me in the end. The names were very difficult to remember and pronounce though, so I think maybe it would have been good to add a pronunciation guide in the book itself. I also didn’t find it as difficult to imagine what the characters looked like because Veronica had (re)posted some fanart on Instagram a while back (of Cyra, Akos and Ryzek check it out, it’s amazing!)
The writing also felt a bit different from Divergent, as I kind of said before, but it was still enjoyable and I did really love the fact I was reading another Veronica Roth book. Still, I do think some parts of this book could have been scrapped, and I think the fighting parts should have been more extended. View Spoiler »There were some arena fights, that were over in less than a page, and those were the parts that could have really made it worthwhile for me « Hide Spoiler
In the end, I enjoyed Carve the Mark but I can’t say it’s a new favourite. I will probably pick up the second (and final?) book in this series, but I’m not sure I’ll be first in line to pick it up so to say.
My opinion in one gif: