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.
Veronica has to be one of my top five Favourite YA authors of all time, so when I was offered the chance to read an ARC of Carve The Mark I was over the moon. I had heard amazing things about what Veronica was writing next and with Divergent being such a huge success, I had extremely high hopes.
From the get-go, I had the feeling that Carve The Mark was a mix of Star Wars meets The 100 with some kind of drama mixed in to give it an intriguing edge. Cyra and Akos were the POV’s of the book and while I thought that the gender reversal of the gentler characteristics given to the male and strength to the female was refreshingly powerful, I had heard from some readers on Instagram that the book could potentially be offensive toward POC readers because of the race of certain tropes in Carve The Mark – so I would advise discretion to readers who might be offended by these elements, but I also stress that Veronica probably didn’t mean/want to offend any readers with her story.
Though it is slow-paced, I loved that it was because it gave way for the elements of the story to come to light and build a strong plot to carry it through powerfully. I had Shatter Me and Divergent vibes at certain points (which was a huge YES from me!) and the way that the characters powers projected through the pages was dynamic and brilliant. Cyra was my favourite character and she was a strong-willed and minded character (and I love those). Akos was one of those characters that I could picture on the big screen, though I couldn’t relate to him as much as Cyra. The way that they weave into each others lives with their special powers called currentgifts is enrapturing. They could either help each other survive or give in and fight – but the need to survive in their world is strong and they ultimately decide that they’re going to need help if they want to live.
The character development for both Cyra and Akos throughout the story was compelling and with the spaceships, planets and stars, Carve The Mark was a gem among the diamond-like solar system. The Sci-Fi elements meets drama made for a story worth jumping into and getting lost in the pages. With enthralling enemies, raw and well-written characters and the hope for more of the believably magnificent story when Carve The Mark returns in this duo-logy, I am in awe at the way Veronica’s writing has evolved and grown.
Overall, Carve The Mark is a story worth waiting for. With brave and bold characters, a story set in the stars and a lively plot to keep you hooked, you’ll be turning the pages faster than you think. Though it didn’t live up to Divergent (because that will forever be the best), I still thought that it was in an epic league of it’s own. Amazing!
Have you read Carve The Mark?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments or @LittleMemoirs on twitter!