Carve the Mark Review

Bria Lamonica

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Set in a futuristic world, Veronica Roth’s brand new novel Carve the Mark has taken the young adult fiction world by storm. Coming off of her New York Times Bestselling trilogy Divergent, Roth attempts to take a whole new approach to science fiction, and write a novel that is something completely different than what her fans are used to.

After spending $23 at Barnes and Noble for the hardback cover of this book, I expected Roth’s writing to bring me to tears and melt my heart once again. After reading the Divergent trilogy numerous times, I had very high expectations for Veronica’s new dystopian galaxy and the planet Thuvhe.

Centered around a galaxy of nine “nation-planets” this story begins with a rich family of five living on the frozen and wintry planet of Thuvhe. This family, the Kereseths, are particularly well-known in their town because their mother is an oracle, one of the few women in the galaxy who have the power to see the future, and even sometimes envision the fate of a few special people.

Things take a turn right at the beginning of the story when the opposing family in power, the Shotet’s, decide to plan an attack on the town and find all the children who have fate’s (accessible future memories that reveal how they will die). This includes main protagonist Akos, and his brother Eijeh and sister Cisi, all children of the oracle. Akos and Eijeh are kidnapped by the Shotet soldiers who break into their house, while their mother hides and runs away, and from there comes a rollercoaster of plot twists and turns.

The remainder of the novel delves into the relationship of Akos, the youngest son of the oracle, and his enemy/friend/love interest Cyra Noavek, who is a family member under the Shotet’s ruling. Both Akos and Cyra develop “currentgifts” (special powers that each person develops as a teen) and even though they despise each other at first, they become more open to the idea of working together to fix what is wrong.

Overall, the novel is a very confusing one. Unlike the Divergent trilogy with characters who are detailed and described in depth, each character in this book is unrelatable, and unknown. This book isn’t an easy, light-hearted read. It takes constant focus and a curiosity strong enough to be willing to power through the book to find answers to read this novel. Being 426 pages, you would think the novel is full of crazy adventures and a powerful love story, but that is not the case. The characters weren’t focused on enough for readers to be able to fully emphasize with them, or to be able to feel or connect with their travails. That is what made this book so hard to get through, if I don’t care about the characters, then why should I read it to find out what happens to them?

Don’t get me wrong, Veronica Roth is an amazing writer who has her readers in the palms of her hands because of her previous writing. As soon as this new novel was released, it sold out of Borders and Barnes and Nobles stores within just a few hours, fans were so eager to fall in love with another dystopian future novel like in Divergent. After reading all the horrible reviews about the book online, I figured I should read it to form an opinion about the book myself, and to hopefully prove these judgmental critics wrong when I fell in love with this new world. I was sadly mistaken, and have now become one of those critics who is hating on her favorite writer of all time. I think it was a good try, but after creating a trilogy like Divergent, which has millions of fans all over the world, it’s hard to come back bigger and better, and even harder to produce an equally thrilling and captivating novel.

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Carve the Mark Review