Narrator: Austin Butler, Emily Rankin
Title: Carve the Mark by Veronica Mark
Series: Carve the Mark, Book 1
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Format: Audiobook (14 hours, 56 mins)
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance, Magic
Published By: Harper Audio
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.
I was hesitant to start this book until the series was finished. I just didn’t want to invest in another series like I did with Divergent only to be gutted by a terrible ending. But at alas, I couldn’t help myself so I got the audiobook.
I came in with an open mind and avoided all reviews. This book was alright, nothing super engaging. The characters are an alien planet where there are various factions vying to rule their planet. There are the Shotet people who are currently in power and subjugation the other faces such as the Thuvhe people using their magical powers. Each race has unique powers, but only one race has the ability to raise Oracles. The oracles are useful because they can be used to predict the future. The current Shotet ruler, Ryzek,invaded Thuvhe to get one of their oracles in order to know what to expect or how to anticipate his enemies moves.
The main characters are Akos, who was kidnapped along with his younger brother who is a budding oracle and Cyra, whose brother tyrannical ruler Ryzek wants Shotet to dominate all the races on their planet. Akos and Cyra are pawns and when it is discovered that their individual magical talent complements the other, Akos is forced to move in with Cyra as her slave. Then they begin to get to know each other and see what the effect of Shotet rule is having on their planet and the citizens. They had to decide how to deal with their individual family dynamics, their feelings and their society as a whole.
The story was slow in developing but it is a book 1. I did like the characters Akos and Cyra but I wish they were developed a little more. Also, I realize there are a number of controversies regarding the racial stereotypes, many reviews address this issue. I do think the author should have done a much better job on that issue.
At the end of the day I found Akos and Cyra as a couple as well as the storyline to be a bit boring. I was interested in enough to see how Ryzek would be defeated because he was terrible. I was interested to see how Akos would rescue his brother. Akos and Cyra were not as engaging but I am glad they found love together.
It was okay but nothing memorable. Though I may read book 2 when it comes out.