Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica RothCarve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Series: Carve the Mark #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 468
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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?
Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth's stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.


It’s hard not to have high expectations for a book when you read a series by the author you previously read and enjoyed so much. But, for Carve the Mark I didn’t really set high expectations because the premise sounded like something I’ve read from other dystopian/sci-fi novels before. Part of me was hoping that it didn’t sound like what I thought it sounded like. Anyways it was a bit intriguing even though I had a hard time remembering the characters names and their abilities despite the names are written at the beginning of each chapter. I think I was expecting the story to be told in Cyra’s POV throughout the novel and not also from Akos’.

There were moments in the book that I found a bit disturbing and I almost decided to DNF it, but I forced myself to plow on because you know it’s Veronica Roth and I cannot pass up an author who I read before that I liked. Though I did have a bit of a problem with Divergent, but not as much. Anyhow the whole cutting thing just felt uncomfortable to me. The title doesn’t make sense at first, but when it was explained I just couldn’t really stomach it. Maybe I’m just naive or sensitive to these dark issues, but especially with scenes where Ryzek is asking Cyra to work her abilities made me realize that I wouldn’t be able to handle seeing stuff like this on the big screen. If they ever decide to turn Carve the Mark into a movie. But, other than that the novel just dragged on in some parts and feels almost dull. Some parts you can guess what was about to happen and I just wanted some interesting character developments because by the end of the novel I just didn’t really and couldn’t bring myself to care about these characters.

Which I know is sad.

So as far as the romance is concerned I was disappointed. There was chemistry between Akos and Cyra but it was just one of those romances you wished that developed a bit more. They bonded because of their dislike of Ryzek and while they seemed to hate each other at first they slowly become accustomed to one another. Though I really can’t see them falling for each other because of the situation they’re in and it just feels kind of weird. I think they would’ve been better off as friends. Anyways, it’s really hard not comparing this book to Divergent. There’s some similarities (?), but the whole vibe is different. More darker for one thing. Whereas Tris isn’t easily scared off to face her fears or standing up for what she believes in is right, Cyra seem to have some difficulties to stand up for herself when it comes to her brother’s way of ruling. She disapproves, but doesn’t tell him off when he goes too far because she feels more like a prisoner than his sister in some ways.

Anyways if you like dark dystopian novels, I think you might like Carve the Mark. This book wasn’t for me, but I might read the next book in the series when it comes out.



Author: Jackie

4 Replies to “Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth”

  1. I remember the uproar this book caused on Twitter. A lot of people were very upset about the misrepresentation of illness, I think.

  2. Aw, I am so sorry this didn’t work that well for you! I was leery to begin with because of how disappointed I was with Allegiant, and then when the controversy came out about it dealing poorly with racism and illness, then I didn’t know if I wanted to read it at ALL. And even the reviews I have seen have been similar to yours, the readers have not really enjoyed it that much. It’s definitely a disappointment. Great review, though!

  3. I’m sorry it let you down! I totally understand though…and I know there’s a lot of controversy around this novel. (I’ve actually been told off for owning it, which is a bit scary. 😳) But I do actually like dark fantasy, so I still plan to read it. I liked ADSOM and they do a lot of magic and cutting and blood and stuff. So yeah. I mean, I have low expectations, but I’ll be interested to read it eventually.

  4. Sorry this one didn’t work for you. It’s hard to like a book when you just don’t care about the characters. I’ve heard a lot of negative things about this book :-/

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