Carrier of the Mark Review
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Honestly, this started as a 4/5 but slowly got worse. I'm sorry that happened, I didn't see it coming but it did :/
Why is this a 3/5 stars?
1. If you kept up to date with my status updates, you'd know this was super instalove centric. And I know, this is a typical thing reviewers complain about in YA Romances… but this one was like the biggest sinner of them all.
New, cliche outcast girl moves to a new city. She catches a glimpse of the bad boy/super hot guy everybody adores. And you know what? Who can blame her?
However, she doesn't speak to him for a month, but asks around through her friends/classmates about him. She is actively aware of how sappy her crush is, as seen through her reaction to her new BFF, Caitlin, and her crush/boyfriend/ex Killian or some Irish name (that was a positive: the author kept the background setting very authentic to the culture, which I largely appreciate. 2. However at some point it turned to the focus and the plot wasn't even considered). In this book, Megan (the girl protag) and Adam (the cliche love interest) get together and within two weeks are trying to be separated. Not only that, but in those two weeks; they declare their undying love for each other, that has existed since they first spotted each other.
3. This book was made it 2011, but somehow the author was unaware of her similarities to Twilight which I'm not entirely hateful for. However, the only characteristics that stand it from the bland setting she creates (I'm all for Irish love tales, but it gets to a stage where you start learning about the various education system differences between USA and Ireland that you start to doubt the quality of the book) were the features so easily identified in big selling series such as Twilight. Example? Bella and Charlie-- sorry, Megan and her father's awkward relationship.
I could almost hear "Chief Swan" in the background as I read their sections. I love the relationship that was created, but also at about 200 pages in, all orientation that the author had created was just burned to the stake, and was no longer relevant to whatever crayfest that was about to take place.
4. I got to about 50% and updated "I feel like I've only read 3 chapters but I'm nearly into the second half of this book!"-- I thought this was a good thing at the time, as it showed the book doesn't drag on, but I got near the ending (20 pages left) and finally the showdown between the baddies and the Cullen's-- sorry, Adam's family (the DeNires or something Irish that I can't spell). And it sucked. Big time. It went a little like this (no spoilers):
Adam called, "No… don't attack! Nooooooo!"And then the baddie was defeated. I'm so glad we can live in peace, "Oh Adam, I thought you were dead. I will love you forever and ever." "Me too, babe." After seeing what the world was like without Adam (which, by the way is just wtf like it was basically like when Bella was in the ballet studio and was trippin' out like Edward was RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER, she didn't see a world without him), I knew I would never love anybody else. The end.
5. 57% of the way through, there was this massive information dump and I was like ??????????? And guess what?? It was never elaborated ever again. It was meant to be emotionally life changing for Adam and Megan and to urge an introspection into their forbidden love, but I was like ?????????? This royal family bloodline is futile. Whatever, I can see the attempt of the concept was cool. It just needed to be centred clearer for it to have full effect.
6. Finally, there was waaaaaaaaay too much dialogue. It was practically a script. I recognised this fairly early in my endeavour of the book. For such an interesting fantasy plot line, it is a shame it wasn't explored to its full potential.
Overall, despite by review; I'm not that mad. If it were written more maturely, for a semi-literate YA reader (rather than a 12-13 year old), I'd probably rate it 5/5 stars. If this was made into a movie, I would bet quite a lot to say it'd be the new tween hit (unless they're not all-for Druids. But you know Hollywood, they'd find some ways to make Druids 'sexy').
Warning the following image contains a deceased body ['Peat Bog']:
|Druid, coined 'Peat Bog'|
For what actually happened in the story, it felt like 200 pages (in reality it was almost 350). More needed to happen to make the suspense worth it.
Read if you dare! I suggest this for readers who like; elemental aspects (like low-key witchcraft), the scenes from VA where they had to study their elements (and Christian Ozera sets a boy on fire-- cute), and some aspects of new girl-foreign country- meets cute foreign boy (like the beginning of Anna and the French Kiss).
Ps I should add that the chemistry between Megan and Adam slowly made me feel like a creepy third wheel but I couldn't look away. Not a warm feeling.