Carve the Mark
By Veronica Roth
Katherine Tegan Books, 2017. 468 pgs. Young Adult Fiction
The “current” flows through everyone and everything. People develop currentgifts (extra abilities) as they grow up, and a few have their fates revealed by oracles. Akos lives on the frozen planet of Thuvhe. He is the son of a farmer and an oracle, so when he and his brother are kidnapped by Shotet soldiers because of their newly revealed fates, Akos wonders why his mother didn’t intervene. Cyra is a member of the most powerful Shotet family. Her currentgift brings pain, pain to her and to anyone that touches her. As sister of a tyrant, Cyra is treated like a weapon, a life that has hardened her and brought her psychological, as well as physical pain. Together, Akos and Cyra will work to bring about a future even the oracles have trouble foreseeing.
I was a big fan of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, and her newest book didn’t disappoint. She again uses the idea of a divided society (Thuvhists and Shotets) with differing social constructs and values. The novel started slow and it took a few chapters for me to get used to the unique names and understand the world, but once the scene was set I felt like the pace increased. Yes, the “current” feels a bit like the Force in Star Wars, and the varied currentgifts might make you think of the X-Men, but it didn’t bother me. I enjoyed the story and could easily recommend it to fans of Veronica Roth, as well as anyone looking for a good teen science-fiction novel.