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Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark (original 2017; edition 2017)

by Veronica Roth (Author)

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3591230,295 (3.47)9
Title:Carve the Mark
Authors:Veronica Roth (Author)
Info:Katherine Tegen Books (2017), 480 pages
Collections:Your library

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Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (2017)



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Cyra is the feared and hated sister of Ryzek Noavek, leader of the Shotet people. Possessing a deadly currentgift she can't control and which causes her insufferable pain, Cyra has been manipulated into serving as her tyrant brother's executioner and torture device. However, few people understand how she has been exploited. That is, until Akos and his brother are captured by Shotet soldiers and forced into servitude in the Noavek manor. Thrust together, Cyra and Akos struggle to overcome their animosity in order to save themselves and one another.

It's easy for me to see why so many people chose to quit Carve the Mark early. I stuck with it because I was intrigued by the world, despite its vagueness, and interested enough in the characters, despite their tendency to not do much of anything, but I spent about 75% of the book wishing Roth would pick up the pace. All of the elements had possibility, it was just... dull. If the second installment was already released I'd probably read it, but it's likely I'll lose interest long before it's published. ( )
  GennaC | Jun 21, 2017 |
The story of Cyra and Akos from enemy countries ... ( )
  EvaW | Jun 18, 2017 |
This beginning of a new series has many elements in common with the "Divergent" series, but in a very different universe. And in fact, Roth spends much of the book on world-building rather than on character-building. In this world, there is a “current” circling the planetary system, and everyone comes into a “gift” from the current when they reach puberty.

Two warring nations on one particular planet are the focus of the story: Shotet and Thuvhe. You will be shocked, shocked to learn there are two attractive 16-year-olds, one from each nation - a boy, Akos, and a girl, Cyra, that are destined to get together.

Cyra Noavek has an unusual “currentgift" - more like a curse, at least at first - she has chronic pain, which she can transfer to other people by touching them. It is so intense that prolonged contact with Cyra can kill the other person. Her evil brother Ryzek, now the leader of the Shotet nation, uses Cyra as his “scourge” to punish his enemies.

Cyra’s people, the Shotet, manage to kidnap two Thuvhens, Akos and Eijeh Kereseth, from across the border and bring them to Shotet. Ryzek wanted Eijeh because Eijeh’s gift is to prophesize. Akos is useful since his gift is to disrupt the current of the gifts of others. By touching Cyra, he can control her pain enough for Ryzek to have her to appear in public with him and do his bidding (which usually involves torture).

Akos is desperate to get Eijeh out of Shotet, because the gift Ryzek has is destroying Eijeh. But Ryzek has eyes everywhere, and a gang of thugs to support him. As Cyra and Akos grow closer, they both try to give each other strength and courage to stand up to injustice.

Evaluation: This book has a predictable attraction between two teens from two enemy groups; very evil people trying to take over the government; a resistance group; lots of training in fighting and weaponry; family loyalty questions; heartbreaking loss; a great deal of angst; and some personal growth, even though it’s only book one.

But I was not impressed with the derivative plot, the superficial characterizations - most of which lacked nuance, or the flimsy motivation for Cyra doing Ryzek’s evil bidding.

While I have seen a number of reviews for this book that condemn a perceived dichotomy between evil dark people and good light people, I didn’t think the comparative characteristics of each group was that straightforward. In my view, each had a mix of good and bad people. But adding color to one side or the other didn’t seem to serve any purpose in any event.

While I didn’t hate this book, I can’t see myself seeking out the next installment. ( )
  nbmars | Jun 16, 2017 |
I enjoyed Veronica Roth's writing in the Divergent Series and did not realize she had a new book out until about a month ago when I was perusing through Goodreads and some of my favorite authors to see if there were any new books forthcoming. Thankfully the wait list wasn't long at the library and I was able to pick up this book and devour it. It was a bit slow at the beginning and the similarity of some of the character's names threw me off a bit along with all the "made-up" terminology, but once I figured out who was who the plot moved along quickly and effortlessly.

I really like this world that Roth has created, although she could have done a bit more to flesh out some of the characters and the story may have move too fast, which made it seem at times like Roth was rushing therefore the plot had more holes than I would have liked. However, I can't wait to read further books set in this world. Since I haven't researched the series, but I hope this is not another trilogy. I can't begin to express how much I don't like YA trilogies because often times the second book isn't as well thought out as the first and the third book ends unsatisfactory. Here's to hoping it's not a trilogy and that we get more books from this world! ( )
  jthao_02 | May 18, 2017 |
I borrowed Carve the Mark without knowing anything about it - I liked Divergent and was curious about what sort of stories Veronica Roth would tell next. The answer: a story about two teenagers in a world of fates, magical abilities and interplanetary travel.

Akos and Cyra belong to very different societies and very different - albeit both important - families. Akos is the youngest son of Thuvhe’s sitting oracle, while Cyra is the youngest member of the Shotet ruling family; Cyra has an adversarial relationship with her brother, whereas Akos is determined to rescue his no matter what. When Cyra and Akos are forced into each other’s company, they discover their survival could depend on learning to work together.

The title comes from the Shotet custom of “carving a mark” in one’s arm after killing someone. If I’d known that beforehand, I might have decided against reading this. I am idiosyncratically (and some have said, illogically) squeamish about some things: certain types of violence, poisons, things that destroy memories. Between this and my empathy for a character dealing with chronic pain, parts of this book made me - uncomfortable. A purely subjective reaction that leaves me doubting my ability to be objective. I don’t think that Carve the Mark is exceptionally dark, or even just darker than other stories I’ve loved - I suspect it’s simply dark in a way that happens to really bother me - but I’m not sure.

Nevertheless, I am really glad I kept reading. The worldbuilding is intriguing, the family dynamics are nuanced, and I became unexpectedly and fiercely attached to the characters.

I especially like the way this is so forcefully Cyra’s story. At first I thought this was an oddly paced book, for the way it begins with Akos, quickly upends his life and then abruptly switches to Cyra’s POV. When we next see Akos, some time - and several traumatic, life-altering experiences - later, it is through Cyra’s eyes.

This seemed like odd pacing because part of me expects that of course this story is going to focus on the teenage boy as he unwillingly leaves home, deals with grief and revelations about his destiny, develops his currentgift, learns to fight and so on. Because that’s what fantasy stories are about, right? Instead we get Cyra dealing with her family and her currentgift and her pain. Akos is important, and the book returns to his POV later on, but the story doesn’t revolve around him the way it so easily could.

I want to reread this, to see if I can look at it more clearly - I feel like it deserves more eloquence and objectivity than I can manage right now.

“Let me cook, okay?” He took the pot from her. The water sloshed, spilling on his shoes. “I guarantee I won’t see anything on fire.”
“That happened
one time,” she said. “I’m not a walking, talking hazard.”
Like so much of what she said about herself, it was both a joke and not a joke.
( )
  Herenya | May 16, 2017 |
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