“Carve the Mark” by Veronica Roth (2017) Review

For some reason, I found myself questioning what makes a good story. Not necessarily based off general subjective opinion, but rather the objective ‘rules’ that help shape and structure a good story and book. After some quick Google searches, I found myself fascinated with the devices of a good story and realized that Carve the Mark had it all.

As I mentioned in my previous book review, I’ve recently discovered that not all books can engross you as a reader. It seems a silly thing to say, but I’d been lucky  enough with my recent book choices. Because of this, it has in turn made me more aware and somewhat knowledgeable in regard to what makes a good story.

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s newest science fiction book series –  yes the same Veronica Roth that wrote the New York Times Bestselling Divergent trilogy! It’s no secret that Roth is a talented writer and author but can she keep her audience entertained? The short answer is yes.

If the gorgeous cover for Carve the Mark doesn’t attract you enough to the book than let’s briefly outline the story:

“On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favoured 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?” – Credit to Harper Collins.

The protagonists Akos and Cyra are two characters you’ll come to love throughout the book. Although two protagonists in a book usually means that they will end up in a romantic relationship, I never felt as though Akos and Cyra’s relationship was the main focus of the story. Akos’ perspective was in third person whilst Cyra’s was in first person. I personally preferred first person because it felt more personal and I was able to get to know the character more intimately. Obviously it’s also easier as a female to relate to Cyra more too. In spite of this, you soon get used to the juxtaposition of chapters since you sometimes spend multiple sections with Cyra and maybe only one with Akos.

On the topic of chapters, Carve the Mark opts to start its story with ‘flashbacks’ or rather a chronological timeline leading to the present day. These chapters focused on important moments in Akos and Cyra’s past. This narrative structure was interesting but did dwell for quite a while when I wanted to get on with the present day story – or maybe it was just my need to have Akos and Cyra’s paths finally cross…

Settling down into the book, one thing I noticed immediately was the unique world, setting and language (there’s even a glossary in the back!). Whether through characters, objects, location or language, Roth has clearly made an attempt to experiment and that’s certainly something to admire.

Carve the Mark is an exciting and gripping science fiction read. With likable characters, distinctive world-building and more, Carve the Mark is one of those books you’ll long to find more time to read.



Book supplied by Harper Collins NZ – (RRP: $26.99). Click here for details.