This is one of Veronica Roth’s new books after her success with the Divergent trilogy and the Divergent Collection: Four. I was one of the obsessed readers when it came to Divergent, reading her books as soon as they were available to me, and practically inhaling them, which meant I had to get this the same year, if not just months after it came out at the latest. I make no apologies, I am book obsessed, and might always be.
Rating: 4 out of 5
I’ve seen some of the reviews on Goodreads, which I’ve been noticing have been terrifying on some of the books that I love (I’m looking at you ACOWAR). I’m not used to seeing that as much as I have, and I feel for some of the authors that get such scathing reviews, maybe it’s because I’m an easy grader (I have yet to give a 1 star review, it’d have to be a mess), or maybe it’s because I already have to sort through piles of books to choose what I read, so I usually only read something I really want to. That generally makes it tough to grade something so harshly, not to mention impossible to finish the book in the first place (I don’t review that which I haven’t finished).
One of the comments I saw was on pacing, which was what impacted my score a little too, the story starts out slow, and takes a while to build to the big climatic points, but here’s the thing; it’s a Sci-fi. Science Fiction novels are known to be slow, and so are Fantasies. This is in large part due to the extensive world building they have to do, and to be fair, Roth does an excellent job of inserting little bits of information into her story world. Now this means there are long intervals where people aren’t punching one another, but it also means we get to have a deeper understanding of the world, and best of all, her characters. That is a pro for me, and I’ll take a slow start up for that any day.
In Carve the Mark, we have two “countries” (I’m not sure if they are really countries) on the planet, Thuve, country A: Thuve, country B: Shotet. Akos is a Thuvesit captured by Shotet men, along with his brother, Eijeh, and during his capture serves Cyra. That’s as simple as my summary gets since it seems like from there it all escalates, people get to know one another, and alliances change, and people get powers. I loved the lore of this story world, and the complexity of the characters, who along the way become stronger, (Akos is my favorite, and will be forever) not because of the before mentioned powers, but through their own hard work, and morals, which for me was a nice touch, considering many books want characters to go through an anime power up.
In comparison to Roth’s Divergent Trilogy, I found this novel to be a lot more mature in both its writing style, and characters. Our main characters Akos and Cyra both have their own issues in the story, and have to work through them not only together, but on their own to grow. I’m not going to point out what their flaws or weaknesses are (that would be a blatant spoiler), but I will tell you that these were well thought out, and showed a deepness to her characters that I loved, and made me want the next book (I still want it, can I have an arc?) badddd. I know that when book 2 comes out I will be running to the book store, picking it up, and possibly not talking to anyone for a bit.
SPOILER BELOW – you have been warned
-So one of the things I was thinking about when finishing this book was the fact that Ryzek said that Cyra wasn’t a Noavek, which as much as I’d love to believe he was just messing with her, I figure there’s truth to it. Theory: We know that Akos has Shotet blood, which is why he can speak their language without having learned it, but what if he is actually a Noavek, and Cyra is a Kereseth, or something like that? I feel like that’s a reach as I write it, but I’m curious at this point. If anyone had the same thought, let me know, I feel like I’m going mad here.
-ALSO, does anyone else want to hurt Sifa? That whole not telling the whole story, and having her son kill for her vengeance thing was pretty bad. Akos is too nice sometimes to let that slide.