Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth

Series:
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.

three-stars

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.

Ezi

The Applicant by Aidee Ladnier

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Applicant: by Aidee Ladnier
Series: Busted Labs #1
Release Date: January 11, 2017
Pages: 47 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

2nd Edition

How can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now.

Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.

If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job.

First Edition published as The Applicant (or Virgins, Robot Bears, and Other Disasters) by Torquere Press, 2012.

two-stars

I liked the idea behind the story more then the execution of it. This was my first read from this author, and I don’t have anything else to compare it to. I am getting into the idea of time travel tropes, and it had good bones to the story, but everything went so fast, and it was not enough background information for me to enjoy Oliver and Forbes his together. I thought the teddy bear bit was funny, and cute. It held my interest, and had me guessing what could be, but other then that I was a tad disappointed. I really do feel like it could have been so much better if it was at least 100 pages. For me because it was an established couple, I felt like they needed time and room to grow on page as well. I don’t know how to feel about each guy, well I kinda wanted more explanation out of Oliver. His reasoning on coming back didn’t sit clear to me. I did find myself kinda confused with his reason. I don’t know much about Forbes because everyone else was explaining his person instead of him. I’d like to give this author another shot in the future, but I can’t recommend this.

About Aidee Ladnier

Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, send ping pong balls into space, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.