Series: Carve the Mark #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 17th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
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In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.
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 the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.The Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?
Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth's stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.
Overall, this book gets five nuts!
I picked up Carve the Mark when I saw it in the store half because I loved Veronica Roth’s other writing and half because people were saying not to. I don’t like to be told what to do, so naturally I decided I had to read it.
I have no regrets whatsoever about buying this book without having read it first. My biggest challenge with this book will be making myself wait to reread it so I can read some other books.
I loved the characters in this book! There was such a variety, too. The two main characters were beautifully flawed and genuinely felt like real people. I actually related best to Cyra. There wasn’t a single character who I couldn’t see as an actual person.
Oh my gosh. Every part of the setting was AMAZING. The galaxy felt like a place I could actually go visit. The detail of even the places they don’t visit in the book was just incredible. Of course, their home planet of Thuvhe/Urek was by far my favorite, but I found myself wishing they would go to some of the other places in the cities or in the galaxy, just so I could find out even more.
It’s difficult to describe most of the plot without being ridiculously spoiler-y. I will say that it honestly kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I did get a little confused once or twice when events progressed faster than I expected, but that isn’t necessarily a failing of the plot so much as it is me assuming things and being wrong. The story felt fresh, and the plot kept me captivated enough to finish it in about two days. (I work a LOT, so that’s a feat.)
The familial relationships were what really got me in this book. There were so many varieties of family types and sizes and levels of happiness. Relationships were also so fluid– changing between friends, enemies, loves, and every which way.
The romantic and platonic relationships were also beautiful. I really appreciated the representation of different kinds of relationships and orientations. It even had one of my favorite romantic tropes: enemies forced into cohabitation.
I mostly adored the writing style of this book, which didn’t surprise me since I had read the author’s previous work. There were one or two spots in the book where something shifted and it was a little jarring, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. It’s also written from two different characters’ POVs, so you truly get both sides of the story. I happen to love multiple POVs, but even if you don’t, give this a shot. I’ve read some where the characters don’t feel enough like different people, but that is not true of Carve the Mark‘s narrators.
I wasn’t initially sure if I would like this book, but once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I hated to come back to the real world. At the core, Carve the Mark challenges you and asks you to abandon your notions of Earth politics and cultures to explore a brand-new galaxy that is definitely not as it seems. I will be over here, impatiently awaiting a sequel. In the meantime, please everyone go read this book so I have someone to discuss all my theories with!
From my bookshelf to yours,