Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Series: Carve the Mark #1
Published by Harper Collins, Katherine Tegen Books on January 17, 2017
Also by this author: Allegiant, Divergent, Insurgent
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.
There’s been a lot of speculation whether Veronica Roth’s new series would match or surpass her Divergent series. Personally, I really enjoyed this new book and although it’s still early in the series, it’s definitely on the right path. Roth created a rich new world that is out of this world, completely new and very bold. Her characters may be flawed, however, they have strong redeeming qualities that will captivate you.
In a galaxy where the current flows through everything and every living thing, people develop unique abilities once they reach a certain maturity. When this current-gift will develop, no one can predict, however some may say the oracles could certainly take a guess. Three oracles per planet exist, and their ability allows them to see possible futures. They also see fates, the eventual futures of a lucky few. Every citizen has a future, but only a select few are graced with a fate. These select few are considered special, for a reason I can’t quite understand. Personally, I would find it restrictive, to live a life based on a certain and unwavering fact.
Cyra and Akos are two of these fate-marked young adults, however, their upbringing could not be more different. Cyra is the sister of a mad tyrant who controls the Shotet people through fear and divisiveness. Akos grew up in a peaceful and loving family. Part of his Thuvhe culture honours the oracles, and his mother just happens to be one. Their two societies couldn’t be anymore different and it’s from the lack of knowledge and understanding that their two societies have been at war for ages.
The Thuvhe are considered the rightful and controlling nation of the planet, so when the Shotet kidnap Akos and his brother, killing their father in the process, I’m kind of surprised nothing was done about it. For years, Akos was raised by the Shotet, separated from his brother, and the rest of his family, never to be rescued by his people. My only guess is that the Thuvhe are such peaceful race they have no clue how to infiltrate the Shotet to rescue a couple of their fate-marked. Now, as a young adult, Akos is given to Cyra to be her servant, in order to help her control her current-gift. The more time they spend together, the more they learn about each other’s culture. Together, the form an unlikely alliance in hopes to overthrow Cyra’s brother.
My first impression of Akos is that he’s weak. To help and serve Cyra without question, isn’t heroic, but I quickly realized that it was all part of a scheme. He’s intelligent yet his downfall is that he cares too much. On the contrary, Cyra care about no one, especially her brother, Ryzek, who’s taken advantage of her current-gift, ever since their father died. Her father wasn’t a better leader, he was just less mad than Ryzek. Cyra’s current gift makes her feel pain 24/7 while Akos neutralizes that pain with simply his touch. His gift for brewing tonics also helps control Cyra’s constant pain. It seems that their gifts were made for one another, however, it just seems to good to be true.
Divergent fans will love this book because it does have some recurring themes. Carve the Mark isn’t necessarily dystopian, but it does revolve around a broken leadership. The characters are in a dire situation yet they work together, and their hope for a better future brings them even closer together. Another similarity is Akos being taken away from his family and trained by another society to become a soldier (however, in this case it’s involuntarily). Death, combat and rage are also other themes that mirror Divergent. It’s hard not to compare, yet despite their similarities, trust me when I say they are two very distinct stories.
What makes this book so complete is definitely Akos and Cyra. Character building seems to be Veronica Roth’s forte and she doesn’t disappoint with these two main characters. The world building was also brilliant since she added so much detail to the world, the cultures and the different planets. It’s really hard to mention everything, so instead, I urge you to discover it for yourself. Carve the Mark really deserves to be read slowly, since it does have a slow build-up, but it’s so worth it in the end. The author was able to blend my two favourite genres, fantasy and science fiction, magnificently and even though it’s still early in the year, there’s a strong possibility it will end up at the top of my favourites of the year.