Series: Carve the Mark #1
Genre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Synopsis: 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. 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?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book! I was hesitant going into this new duology because I didn't really like Allegiant (the final book in Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy). Boy was I was proven wrong! Carve the Mark is different from the Divergent books in so many ways. The sci-fi/fantasy world was intriguing and intricate. I really enjoyed learning about all the different people and planets, but I could still use more of this development in book two. Carve the Mark also explores the concept of superpowers in a cool way. In this book, these superpowers are called currentgifts and each person's currentgift is some sort of adaptation of their personality. These currentgifts also allow for us to explore the concept of chronic pain, which is something I have never seen a book cover before. The best part of this book were the characters though. Akos and Cyra were both so intelligent and likeable. Even though they both had their issues, they grew throughout the course of this book and I enjoyed seeing that.
With all that said, there were a couple things that put me off. A few of the plot twists seemed completely obvious to me. I felt like Veronica Roth had hit me in the face with the answers before the questions were really even asked. I also had a hard time keeping up with the timeline of this book. I'm still not sure if Carve the Mark covers weeks, months, or years. The last issue I had was the switching narration styles. Cyra's chapters were told in first person point-of-view (POV), while Akos' chapters were told in third person POV. Every time we switched narrators, I would be taken out of the story for a couple of minutes. I didn't see any reason why this was necessary, so I wish Veronica Roth had just stuck with one POV.
Overall, this book was great. As a fantasy lover, Carve the Mark was right up my alley. I have so many questions and I feel like there is still so much of this world that we can explore. I am very much looking forward to the second and final book in this duology!