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Review: Carrier of the Mark

Carrier of the Mark
by Leigh Fallon

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Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Library Check-Out
Rating: Eye-Catcher
Good for Debut Author Challenge
About the Book:

From the moment she sets foot at her new school in Ireland, Megan is inexplicably drawn to the darkly handsome Adam DeRis. But Megan soon discovers that her feelings for Adam are tied to a supernatural fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that unites them could be their ultimate destruction.

This electrifying debut novel was first discovered on inkpop.com. the online community for aspiring writers. THE CARRIER OF THE MARK sizzles with unbridled romance, a unique supernatural hook, and a breathtaking Irish setting, and will entice fans of the Need series by Carrie Jones and the House of Night series by P. C. and Kristin Cast.
Flames engulfed the boat, and my lungs ached as dark, noxious smoke filled the air. I struggled off the dirty makeshift bed and shuffled across the floor, the cable ties binding my hands and feet making my progress slow...

I could not, for the life of me, figure out WHAT WAS SO SPECIAL about this book. The pacing is dreadfully slow, and I struggled to finish it. It's like this giant tease. One minute something interesting started to grab hold of my attention, and then it let go. And I'm bored again. But the reason why this didn't totally suck for me? There's an addictive quality, that, despite my reluctance to continue with it, kept me from dropping the book and chalking it up as a Total Waste of Precious Reading Time.

The sad thing about Carrier of the Mark is that it had so much potential! It has an interesting concept at its base, one that I wouldn't mind exploring further. There were just so many directions Fallon could've mapped out for this book that, when it didn't deliver, it turned out to be a giant disappointment. It's a little difficult to write this review about a month later because I can barely remember anything other than the notes I wrote down to remind myself. A book's memorability is a great indicator of whether the book is worth a person's time.

Megan Rosenberg is a relatable yet boring heroine. She acts as a typical teenager in mannerisms and thoughts, but as far as personality traits she's less than average. At least average people have interests! This girl is all sorts of bland, dull, and paranormal romance books, in my opinion, need a hearty, strong heroine who is remarkable and makes an IMPACT. I should admire her and ogle her bravery. Instead, Megan comes across as irrational and totally (annoyingly) impulsive - especially when it came to the "romantic lead."

The biggest defect though? The instaluv romance *head-desk*. How many times must I read the same exact formula for teen romance (which really feels like a slap in the face - I mean, are all of us really that shallow?!), and how many times must I groan and whine and gripe about it before I get a thorough, well-written one? And then to throw in the Forbidden Love angle ON TOP OF THAT? Can this "romance" get anymore predictable?

You see, without giving away spoilers, Megan and Adam are unmistakably and irresistibly drawn together (enter Bella Swan!) and the author presents what I'm sure SEEMED like a logical explanation, one where she could get away with writing this. But rather than be fooled, what was supposed to be dramatic and romantic just came off as selfish and foolish. How are these two perfect for each other? And couldn't Megan end up with the cooler of the two brothers, Ryan? I'd date a hot-headed flame-thrower (in spite of possible deadly explosions and random burns) over a perty water user anytime anywhere!

Where it actually went right... The magic and the mythology were awesomesauce! Not to mention the setting! I really enjoy reading spin-offs of Irish mythology and I find their stories some of the most fascinating. Still, even this is hampered by the lack of real action, despite the promise of dastardly enemies coming to rain hell down on everybody. And this, ultimately, is why I struggled so much with Carrier of the Mark. There wasn't much motivation (other than, for me, meeting the bad guys) to get engrossed! Will I read the sequel (is there one??)? Maybe, just for the sake of the mythology. Other than that, no, I wouldn't.

ECs start out as pleasant, the cover and synopsis draw the eye, but are ultimately deceiving. They keep your attention absorbed for a certain amount of chapters before you realize, sadly, that they're not the books for you... (My Rating System In-Depth)


Little Miss Becky : ) said...

I had pretty much the same view of this one! Disappointing, because I know a lot of us readers were really looking forward to this one! The cover definitely sucked us all in! I may continue with this, I may not---like you said, it had potential. And I really liked the ending. So we'll see!

A. Knight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Knight said...

I don't like books like this more than the truly terrible ones because I end up feeling deceived and disappointed. I mean all along we're led to believe how amazing this book is and then it doesn't deliver. I can't help but feel tricked! Like I said I may go into the next book because of the mythology, but even that might not be enough to hold me.

Sarah said...

Oh I'm sorry you didn't like this one as much as much as you were hoping. This is one that's on my much anticipated list so hopefully that's not the case for me too! :-P

♥ Sarah @ I'm Loving Books

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

I read a couple of chapters of this one and it screamed TWILIGHT at me so hard that I had to put it down again. Don't get me wrong - I love Twilight, but this was a little twi-hard (sorry for the bad, bad joke).

I might pick it up again at some point mainly because its set in Ireland (and close to where I live) and I don't get to read a whole lot of YA with such a familiar setting.

Jenny said...

Instalove = NOOOOOOOOOOOO! I'm so, so tired of that! While I'm glad to know that despite being bored at times you still kinda got sucked in, overall this one just sounds like it doesn't quite bring anything new to the paranormal YA table. Thanks for the review Asher, I'm going to hold of on this one I think:)

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jenny said...

Huh. Sorry for the double comment, I have no idea how that happened. Blogger hates me today:)

A. Knight said...

Sarah- Yeah, I hope you like it more than I did despite its undermining qualities.

L- It felt like that. Although the MC isn't totally Bella. She's more like Bella-in-training. And I loved Twilight too, but there's only so many times a formula can work successfully. And the setting IS AWESOME. You're very lucky to live there.

Jenny- YES. Exactly my reaction. And that's the best way to describe. The mythology and paranormal creatures are pretty original, but the plot, characters, and so forth weren't. And that ended up turning me off the book a lot. You're welcome!

And not worry, it happens to all of us.

Liz. R said...

Oh it's such a shame this was disappointing! Especially with all the hype surrounding it - I get why you would feel deceived because this one did really sound like it'd be good :/. Thanks for the review, I think I'll either skip this one or just leave it for a while before attempting it :).

thetravelingreader said...

I tried not to be too disappointed in this one but it was hard because it was just lukewarm. Better if it went hot with action and all-out powers or even passion or cold with conspiracy theories, but no, it had to be something in the middle, which is really really sad. Probably the reason why I haven't written a review about it yet. Hehehe

And you're right, it screams Twilight. At least to me, Aine sounds like Alice Cullen. Hehe

Great review if the material is a bit challenging (not your fault though..hehe)

A. Knight said...

Liz- Yeah I was so looking forward to it and it totally disappointed me on so many levels. The Twilight formula can only work so well so many times, you know? I'd definitely wait to read it if you have more interesting prospects.

thetravelingreader- There was too little of the cool stuff! I think I would've liked it more if I could've read other, more interesting things to ignore the all-consuming romance. But no, I was denied.

And like you said, the similarities to Twilight were very noticeable to me.

Thank you guys for stopping by!

Anne said...

Although I rather enjoyed this book, I completely understand why you don't feel the same.

If you don't mind, I'd like to post a link to your review on mine!? I would love to do more networking and engage myself and my readers more with other bloggers!

Anne (from Living in a Fairy World)