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Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Friday, January 6, 2017
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.

Goodreads Summary

I expected to like this novel much more than I actually did. Don't get me wrong; the world-building and fantasy was there, but I had a really hard time connecting to the characters (maybe the highly unusual  names with no history/real background attached to them or the characters?). Cyra and Akos are enemies by culture. They have currentgifts that do not seem useful at the moment to either of them in particular other than they can be used to benefit other people (sometimes negatively). Cyra's gift is particularly cruel. She can torture and kill someone just by touching them. Her brother uses her currentgift to his advantage more often than not with no regard for Cyra. Akos's touch soothes Cyra's constantly painful existence, but she does not like or want to be dependent on someone to stop the pain and, initially, he isn't too fond of helping. 

Ryzek is Cyra's cruel and hardened brother. He caustically uses Cyra for his own personal gain and maintains an iron fist leadership role. I almost felt like he was the most developed character in the novel though I know that is not what Roth was going for. He had few redemptive factors and seemed almost psychopathic in his inability to care for his sister. The overall setting was interesting. I believe the book was meant to be set in space, but I could easily see the plot unfolding pretty much anywhere with two dueling groups of people. I liked how fast-paced and unusual the novel was. I did not feel like I was reading yet another sci fi book. The novel does fit the novel young adult genre, but I think adults could read it and enjoy the book just fine. I wish the relationships between each character were a little better developed, but I enjoyed it all the same.

4 Stars

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  1. Too bad you didn't connect to the characters more. But this sounds interesting. Thanks for reviewing it.