Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth

Hey all! 
A while ago, I finished reading Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth! The anticipation was quite high for this book, as you probably know. So the Young Adult Dome group and I decided to all read the book together. 

These ideas and opinions are my own, though. 

Note: I understand that there are many issues that have been brought to light considering Carve the Mark, notably by Justina Ireland. I do understand that this may affect people and dissuade people from reading the book. Bloggers are even changing their Goodreads rating of the book because of it. However, this issue will not be the center of my review - I will keep it as I usually do. 

"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?"

So. Carve the Mark. I can't really figure out if I liked it or not, to be completely honest. I liked the characters, but I found the world building to be rushed and messy. I honestly feel like I have to read it again to understand the world everything was happening in. 

See, you have these planets in this Galaxy. Different planets have different people and different environments. These planets interact from time to time and people visit each other and the peoples mix and mingle. Between these planets, we have some kind of life force thing called the Current that is somehow a part of the people and gives them powers that reflect their personality but is also something in the universe that people can go visit. 

To be fair I'd like a novella just explaining this universe and what's going on. 

So, since I didn't understand the world-building, I stuck to concentrating on character development and the plot, which itself was very good! The characters imagined by Roth were colorful and intriguing. I enjoyed how she took the time to have two different points of view between Akos (who is just too sweet!) and Cyra, although I found it strange how Cyra's passages were in the first person while Akos's were in the third. 

Akos is a very sweet character, but his character developed in a way I didn't like so much (very personally). He started off sweet and shy and kind, and ended up... buff? Is that the right word? He had fears and he never liked the idea of hurting people but I feel like there was a tipping point at which he was suddenly out of character, in my opinion. His Currentgift was being able to stop the current in other people - basically to hide their abilities. He has a complex family situation that leaves him quite introverted and protective. 

Cyra is the opposite - she is all fire and can inflict pain with the slightest touch. She is ready to kill for what she believes in and rarely lets people stand in her way. She, unlike Akos, suffers from many internal problems that she hides from the world. I feel like they balance each other quite well! 

Although I feel like the worldmaking was rushed and the story was quite complex, I still enjoyed reading this! I'm giving it a 3/5 feathers :) 

Have you read Carve the Mark? What did you think? Let me know! 

Have a great day! 
Stay bookish! 


  1. I'm glad to hear, actually, that you don't have just praise for this book. All the early reviews I saw were wonderful reviews but it made me a little suspicious when everyone seemed to like it.

    That's really disappointing about the world building. It sounds like there's so much potential with the different worlds! In any case, I'll definitely want to read this soon and see what all the fuss is about :) Lovely review, Caroline!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Thank you!
      Like I said, my criticism might be personal, but for me, comprehensive world building is one of the most interesting and important part of a story. I understand why people liked it, I really do! I just had a hard time seeing it as a whole picture ^^

  2. After the Divergent trilogy, I've been quite hesitant to pick up any more of Veronica Roth's books, but this one seems quite interesting. Ah, that sucks that the world-building wasn't developed enough and seemed rushed. I think the world-building is one of the most important aspects to a book, but at least the characters seem good. Nice review!

    Cloe @ Mornings and Epilogues

    P.S. I nominated you in a tag at this link: https://morningsandepilogues.blogspot.hk/2017/02/the-book-courtship-tag.html and I hope you join in :)

    1. Hi Cloe! Thanks for the nomination, I'll get to it this week! :D
      Yeah, I was also worried - Divergent is one of the Big Five, and topping that would be hard.

  3. I can honestly say that I did not want to read this book because of the Divergent trilogy now with all the crap going down about it, I bought it and can't wait to dive in. I'm so weird I know lol

    Great review!

    Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader

    1. Hahaha I know what you mean! xD Enjoy it then, can't wait to see your review!

  4. I can relate to your review/feelings entirely. I enjoyed the book well enough, but something about it just didn't sit right with me. I, too, narrowed it down to largely being the world-building, which seemed scattered and all over the place. Some parts (the culture of Shotet) were REALLY well fleshed out, and others were just ... not there, I guess. I wrote my review before I caught wind of all of the fuss, but have put off posting it somewhat. Mine is scheduled for this Thursday, in fact!

    I actually really struggled with the perspective changes, personally. I couldn't actually keep track of Akos and his family until AFTER they'd all been separated. And then I finally figured it out and it was ALL Cyra for the longest time! I LIKED Cyra, and had finally settled into being on board with it basically just being her, when suddenly we went back to Akos. I found those switches somewhat jarring, more so because in the audiobook, they actually changed narrators. It was like adjusting to a whole different person again.

    Great review!

    ~ Michelle @ FaerieFits

    1. Hi Michelle!
      I agree! The balance between the different aspects of the world was off, I feel like we need a whole novella purely to understand the world better.

      Oh gosh yeah the different narration must have been hectic in an audiobook - especially because the two characters don't alternate evenly!

  5. This is a book I feel like I could read if I have time...but after what Roth did to Tris (which I'm not over), I feel l'm going to just keep putting it off? HMM. But the plot sounds very interesting, so I'll probably read it one way or another down the road!

    1. I think you might like it, to be fair! If you can get into the tiny details of the plot that is, and if you can understand the world building. If you ever read it I'll make sure to look out for your review. And yes. What Roth did to Tris was awful but then again it made sense in the scope of everything and yeah...


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