Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth is a Perfect Ten!

Roth, Veronica. Carve the Mark. Katherine Tegen/ HarperCollins, 2017. 480p. $22.99.  978-0-06-234863-0. 5Q 5P J S                                                     

This dystopia is galaxy-wide. Nine major planets are bound by a “currentstream” flowing through every living thing. This currentstream endows the children of favored families with a fate known to the oracles at birth and revealed to the fated in adolescence. Eijeh Kereseth, a sixteen-year-old native of peaceful Thuvhe, is fated to be an oracle. Along with his younger brother Akos, Eijeh is kidnapped by rival soldiers from Shotet. Brutal Shotet ruler Ryzek Noavek needs an oracle to outmaneuver his well-publicized fate of falling victim to Thuvhe rulers. Ryzek soon discovers that Akos’s current gift can alleviate the constant pain that is the strange currentgift of Ryzek’s younger sister, Cyra. Cyra not only suffers pain but can inflict it on others as well, and Ryzek uses her to punish enemies. The novel belongs to Akos and Cyra who narrate in alternating chapters, layering their growing attraction with persistent attempts to rescue Akos’s brother, remove Ryzek from power, and escape. Both must fight death matches in the arena, and Ryzek’s revenge on Cyra is horrifying. While Akos’s love for Cyra redeems the kill-marks carved into their arms, another enemy is rising in Shotet, and Eijeh is still magically bound to Ryzek.

Roth skillfully weaves the careful world-building and intricate web of characters that distinguished Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011/VOYA August 2011), with settings that are rich with color, ripe for a cinematographer. Roth fans will cheer this new novel with its power to absorb the reader. By making this a duology, Roth avoids a trilogy’s middle book pitfall—often it is a tedious bridge to the climax. Readers will be anxiously awaiting the sequel.—Katherine Noone.

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  1. […] and a great opening for the future series. Perfect for fans of science fiction thrills like Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark (Katherine Tegen/ HarperCollins, 2017).-Amanda […]

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