My mother was the one who convinced me to read Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” series, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. So when I saw that Roth had a new series, beginning with “Carve the Mark,” I figured I would give it a try.
“Carve the Mark” follows the interwoven stories of Akos and Cyra. They live on the same planet but come from completely different cultures. Akos comes from the Thuvhe culture, which worships the current that gives everyone a special gift; and Cyra comes from the Shotet culture, which is descended from a race of cosmic drifters who sustain themselves by raiding other cultures.
These two come from vastly different places, but their fates are inextricably intertwined. You see Akos and Cyra are considered fate favoured, which means that the oracles know their fates, and when all the fate favoured children’s fates are broadcasted to the galaxy, Shotet invaders kidnap Akos and his brother Eijeh. Suddenly, Akos and Cyra are thrust together. They have to decide whether or not they can trust one another, and whether or not their fates are actually set in stone.
I will readily admit this book was entirely predictable. Of course this was going to be about love. It’s a young adult novel, for crying out loud. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s sort of like watching a Hallmark movie. You know the girl is going to pick the small town baker with a heart of gold over the big city banker who jets her off to Rome to eat pizza, but you’re still going to watch the movie from beginning to end. It’s a feel good, and that’s what this book is.
Admittedly, the bad guy in this book is far more evil than anything in any Hallmark movie I’ve ever seen. But overall, this is the kind of book you just know is going to have a happy ending when you pick it up.
What keeps this novel from being totally clichéd is the setting. There is a system of nine planets, which have separate governments, cultures and ways of life, that are all connected through one major governing body. Throughout the story, the reader gets to learn about many of these planets and their cultures, which is unendingly fascinating. This book isn’t without its flaws, but it’s fun and engaging. If you were a fan of the “Divergent” series, you will enjoy this book.
The sequel, “The Fates Divide,” is expected to be released on April 10.