CARVE THE MARK
by Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication Date: 18th January 2017
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?
You know that feeling when your favourite author announces a new series and you just cannot wait to read it? This is how I felt when Carve The Mark was announced, as I've read the Divergent books more times than I care to mention. However, when it came around to it I just couldn't pick it up. What if its not as good? What if I end up being let down? Well over a year after it was first published I FINALLY got around to reading Carve the Mark and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed!
Carve The Mark is a story of two halves, told from two points of view. The first is Akos, a boy torn away from his family, who has to learn to survive in enemy territory and serve a family that threaten everything he holds dear. Second is Cyra, a girl fated to bring pain to anyone who touches her. As the book unfolds these two characters’ lives become intertwined as their fates are destined to play out but the path they find themselves on was nothing like they imagined. For you see, Akos may be the only relief from Cyra's current gift, a moment in time where she is able to breathe. With hostile relations between two races reaching its apex and a rebellion on the horizon, can our two main characters out run their destinies or were the fates sealed long ago?
I'll be honest, to begin with I wasn't convinced. I don't know if it was the fact it wasn’t Tris and Four or if my expectations were just to high but I honestly thought I wasn't going to like this book. However, after a couple of chapters I found that I couldn't put this book down. I needed to know what happened next. The story line was exciting and constantly moving from one thing to the next and it kept me on my toes throughout. One of my favourite things with books like this is seeing how the author uses contemporary human behaviour to create worlds that parallel our own and the universe Roth describes is both otherworldly and relatable (which is a hard mix to pull off).
The characters themselves are all completely and utterly imperfect, they make mistakes and fall down throughout the book, but they also find the strength within themselves and each other to fight. The growth of Cyra's character was probably one of my favourites as it shows not just the harshness of growing up and finding yourself but also the struggles of doing what's right when it's so much easier to do what's being asked of you.
Overall, I fell in love with this story and the main characters. It was fasted paced and exhilarating, with plot twists around every corner. It was one of those books that makes me wish I hadn't waited so long to read it and I'm not making the same mistake with book 2 as I can't wait to find out what is in store for these characters next.