Review: Carve the Mark

2.5 out of 5 stars

It took me a good 100 pages to get into this story. Ultimately worthwhile, it still fell short of Divergent-level expectations.

Goodreads: Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth (Carve the Mark #1)

I didn’t read the synopsis on this before I got the book – and that was a good thing, for once. Right away, the premise did not excite me – deep space seemed like too rough a carve2setting, and the character and place names were awful-sounding, like rocks in a can. In just three synopsis paragraphs, the whole thing already felt like it was trying really hard.

Cyra is the heroine, daughter of the tyrannical leader of a race of people called the Shotet. They share a planet with – and long to conquer – the Thuvhe people. Akos is the son of the Thuvhe leader, the Oracle. Their universe is powered by The Current, which gives the Shotet power and the Oracles their abilities. Cyra’s currentgift is pain: it flows through her constantly, and she can unleash it on others with lethal force.

Cyra and Akos end up tangled together in a clunky plot of fate, escape, family and guilt. It did eventually draw me in – Akos and Cyra became interesting and, after a


5 stars for this dog, obviously.

while, I almost bothered to ship them. When I wasn’t cringing at the lump of consonants that make up every name of every thing in this book. (Except in cases where Roth seemed to give up, like calling nation-planets, well, “nation-planets.”) Yet the story continued to lack a defining feature, a creative gleam to truly capture my attention.

I loved the Divergent series – even the end, which, which no one liked! – and Carve the Mark was extremely meh in comparison. I think Roth’s strengths lay in some dystopian version of Earth, instead of space.

I’ll rely on you to read Book 2, when it’s published, and tell me if you think I’ll like it better than this one.

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