Carve the Mark
Summary: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 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.
Veronica Roth’s Divergent has always brought up contradictory feelings within me: Roth’s world-building was severely lacking, yet the book itself was action-packed and impossible to put down. Interestingly enough, I feel completely the opposite about Carve the Mark: the world is intriguing (albeit a bit unoriginal), but the pacing is excruciatingly slow.
On the planet of Thuvhe, where everyone has a special power, two sides are fighting for control: the brutal Thuvhesit, who currently rule the planet, and the peaceful Shotet, who are tired of the Thuvhesit’s harsh rule.
Cya is the sister of the merciless Thuvhesit tyrant. Akos is the son of one of the Shotet’s leaders. When Akos is captured and taken taken hostage by the Thuvhesits, he is forced to ally with Cya to escape.
Cya is a decent protagonist, even if she isn’t secondarily original. She is fierce and tough, and has a tremendous amount of inner strength. However, she holds some undeniable similarities to many other YA heroines (especially Juliette from Shatter Me) and I wish her characterization was a bit more original.
Akos is a wonderfully written character. He is loyal and faithful to his family and his vulnerability and peaceful nature is written in perfect contrast to Cya’s character.
Ultimately, though, the story itself felt rather long-winded and the pacing was extremely slow. Despite being nearly 500 pages, not much happens throughout the entire book and it becomes tedious rather quickly. Roth spends so much time introducing us to her new world and doesn’t spend nearly enough time on the characterization, action scenes, or plot development of the story. (Strange, because one of the best things about Divergent was the never-ending action scenes).
Ultimately, Carve the Mark was definitely flawed, but I am curious to see what fans of Divergent have to say about it. If you’re looking for a well-written series set in space, I’d highly recommend Ender’s Game, Illuminae, or These Broken Stars instead.