Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Published: January 17, 2017
Katherine Tegen Books
468 (Hardcover)
Carve the Mark  #1
My Rating:
2 of 5 stars

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.

This book was way different from Divergent, but not in the good way. I was a fan of Roth's other series and I even remember enjoying Allegiant during some parts (definitely not as much as the other two books), but I just couldn't get into this one.

When I picked this book up I had no idea that it was controversial. I hadn't read any reviews or really looked up the book at all, I just saw that Veronica Roth had written it and thought that I would give it a try. I am not claiming to be an expert of racism, but I don't really see why this book is so controversial. Yes, there are two groups of people of different races that are at odds, but it makes sense for the people from Thuvhe to be lighter skinned because of the climate they live in. People in colder climes tend to have much lighter skin because their skin needs to be able to absorb more vitamin D due to the fact that the sun isn't as strong (please don't quote me on this, I'm just trying to remember what I learned from classes I've taken). The Shotet live in a much milder climate, so it makes sense from them to have darker skin. Am I an expert? God no, but I'm struggling to understand why this book is so controversial. 

Anyway, moving on from that. This book was not at all what I expected. Divergent was a faced paced thrilling story, while Carve the Mark seemed to drag on forever. The first chapter was extremely difficult to get into. So many names are thrown around. There's a lot of confusion and it felt kind of like a mess and I was so close to just stopping there because it was that unappealing. It was too much all at once, but at the same time it seemed to move at a snail's pace. While the rest of the book definitely improved from the first chapter, the pacing did not and honestly my overall confusion wasn't really cleared up.Time seemed to fly by in a matter of pages, but it didn't feel like it and it was sometimes hard to remember that however many years had passed. I think at one point during the book it was mentioned that Akos was fifteen when he started training with Cyra, but like I'm pretty sure he was older than that when it was mentioned and I didn't realize that Akos and Cyra had known each other for years now. It was really odd and confusing. 

The characters weren't bad, but they also didn't stand out. Cyra was alright, but I dreaded reading Akos's chapters. They were so boring and honestly I didn't really care much about Akos in the first place so I didn't really want to read about his POV. I did think that Cyra's currentgift was the most interesting part of the entire book. I definitely liked the idea behind currentgifts and the current, but I kind of wanted a little more explanation. Also I saw the romance between Akos and Cyra coming from a mile away. I wasn't really insta love, but it also didn't feel believable. When they first kissed it kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. 

And now for the plot. For maybe a little less than half of the book, I kept asking myself "where is the plot?" It was basically nonexistent for a large chunk of the book and this left me feeling like there was no direction to the story for awhile. Once the plot did get going though I did enjoy it, but it wasn't really original.

Overall, I'm really disappointed by this book. I was a fan of Roth's other series so I was expecting a lot more from this book, but it didn't deliver. I probably won't be picking up the next book, unless it gets really good reviews.


  1. Yikes! I'll definitely just try this one out at the library first. I loved Divergent, but the series went south with the latter two installations - especially with Allegiant. So. Much. Disappointment. Thanks so much for the review! I admit I didn't know much about this one, but now that I do I'm fine with leaving it for a while.

    Cass @ Words on Paper

    1. I wish I had read more reviews before starting this one because I might not have read it if I had known it wouldn't be as enjoyable as Divergent.

  2. I'd heard waaaay too many mixed reviews about this one so I won't be picking it up! It's not just about the representation issues but like you say, I've heard it drags and annoys at many parts..I just have way too many awesome books on my TBR so as of now, I'm definitely not planning to read this one! Great review though :)

    1. Yeah I would definitely skip this one! Thank you :)


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