10 February 2017

Review #588: Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.”

----Bob Marley

Veronica Roth, the international bestselling author, pens an engrossing and exciting new young adult fantasy series called, Carve the Mark, and the first book in the series with the same name revolves around an intergalactic drama between two galaxy nations trying to overpower one another and caught in between the crossfire is two teenagers with special powers that can be used in this constantly growing war to win it, but these two teenagers, even though they belong from one another's enemy nations, long for the freedom.


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?

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 from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. 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.

Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

Shotet's cruel ruler, Ryzek uses his younger sister, Cyra’s currentgift, that is to inflict pain upon others, to torture his enemies and the rebels. But Cyra never breaks down upon her brother's exploitation of her power and each time she becomes even more powerful, and never stops hoping from the sweet bliss of freedom away from her distasteful nation, Shotet. Akos, a teenager of Cyra’s age, has been abducted alongside his brother from his nation, Thuvhe, by the Shotet soldiers, as Akos' fate is destined to serve for the ruling family. But little did Ryzek knew about Akos' currentgift and how both Cyra and Akos together can either become a human weapon or join hands with one another to bring an equilibrium in both the nations, despite of their difference in their races and in their bloods.

Roth is back with yet another Divergent-ish themed fantasy series laced with a charm of X-men and Star Wars . Although this time, the story burns very slowly and everything along with it develops at a snail's pace. Nevertheless, there is extreme rush of thrill and excitement that will keep the readers on their edges pretty much the entire length of the novel. Also there is so much gripping tension at every turn of the page, that it does not dare the readers to turn their heads away from the story line even for a single moment. And having read the previous series, my expectation level was running really high for this book, although unfortunately, this is not that brilliant like Roth's previous series.

The world building done by the author is good, but the world that the author has managed to project through her new series, is pretty much under developed and the readers might form a vague and incomplete picture of the galaxy and the planets in the galaxy and the way those planets behave. Although the basic behavior of the galaxy is well outlined by the author and the readers will easily grasp the fact that every living organism from plants to human beings, has a current and that flows within them and those currents display across the sky in the form of bright hues of colors across the sky. And when a child steps into teenage hood, he/she develops the currentgift, which can be wither a good thing for him or her or a painful thing like an evil curse. This fantasy world is beautiful and vividly portrayed by the author, but lacks depth thoroughly.

There are lots of twists and turns that are placed at such unpredictable locations, that will leave the readers anticipating till the very end and that makes the story extremely riveting and captivating till the very end. The readers are in for a lot of surprises coming out of nowhere and leaving them breathless for almost the entire length of the novel. And not to mention, the author swiftly and smartly ends the story with a brain-twisting cliffhanger which will leave the readers on a curious note.

The characters are extremely well crafted out from scratch, although the central character, Cyra project a Tris-kinda aura in herself, who is smart beyond her tender age, clever and knows how to control her brother without letting him know. But the one thing that makes her a role model is her unmatched bravery and her sense of humanity. The readers will find it easy to contemplate and sympathize with Cyra’s cause, despite of her evil ways. Akos is more like Caleb, charming, peace-lover yet he would go at any lengths to protect his bloodline. Akos is also quick witted but Akos attracted trouble pretty easily. Both Cyra and Akos' cause to fight for their nation and for their freedom is penned with utmost love and emotions that holds the power to drown the readers into its depth. The rest of the supporting characters are well developed and they display interesting traits in their demeanor.

In a nutshell, this story is fantastic, entertaining and highly absorbing that is a must read not only for the Roth fans but also for all the sci-fi fans too.

Verdict: Veronica Roth is back with a bang with her new page-turning YA sci-fi series!

Courtesy: Thanks to the publishers from Harper Collins India for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

Author Info:
Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes.
Visit her here

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