//I received an ARC of this book from HarperCollins India for review. All opinions are mine.
Title : Carve the Mark
Series : Carve the Mark #1
Author : Veronica Roth
Genre : YA Science-fiction
Released on : 17th January, 2017
Goodreads summary :
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.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room first.
If you’ve been in the Young Adult bookish communtiy for a long while and keeping up with all its news and controversy, you probably know that Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth has met with a harsh response on quite a few grounds. I would like to say that I’m not educated enough to comment deeply/informatively on either issue, and this book personally did NOT offend me excessively, though definitely I could see the faults which so many people have pointed out. For further and detailed reference, please click here, here and here for understanding what the varied discussions on this book has been.
Phew. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the setting, plot, characters, world-building, narration, writing, and the overall book as a whole.
As for the setting and worldbuilding, I struggled throughout the book to understand the basics. This is the type of book where the author probably needed to be a little more info-dumpy, because we’re hardly told anything about the world or the setting. We’re given very little information and explanation – and the main fantasy element of the book, the ‘currentgift’ is just so vaguely explained. Also, the worldbuilding is extremely poor. I couldn’t imagine the scenes or the places in which everything was happening an overall the entire world was extremely lack-lustre.
As for the plot, it was boring and drudged too much. I cannot think of a single factor which kept me intirgued, I honestly couldn’t care less about it. The plot defines the Shotets and Thuvests, both opposite in character and trying to solve their conflicts. I’m sorry, but that sounds like almost every other YA dystopian novel, where it’s two groups fighting each other.
The characters are boring and mediorcre – the main villain was cool, but the protagonists were so boring. Damn. I couldn’t connect to either of them, nor could I like either of them. I was really not interested in what happened to them. The romance was sudden and unnecessary, it just came on all of a sudden and didn’t really ignite a spark. Honestly, the book didn’t need any romance. Like, it was kinda yuck.
The narration and writing was uninteresting and didn’t really have the power to pull me in and become completely invested in the story. I wish the writing had been a little more dramatic, or a little more touching, or a little more flowery, or a little more anything, but it was just plain and unimpactful.
Overall, this book was boring, and totally not worth spending your time on. If you’re a diehard scinece fiction fan, or Veronica Roth fan, obviously I cannot stop you from picking up this book, but other than that, I would suggest not wasting your time. There are tons of other sci-fi books out there, go invest your time on them! :)