Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Carve the Mark / Veronica Roth / 468 pgs

This was definitely a return to form for Veronica Roth after the disappointment of <i>Allegiant</i>. The story takes a few chapters to really sink in, since we are invited into a galaxy in which people develop gifts from the Current, a stream of energy that seems to travel along the galaxy and wrap itself around the several inhabited planets. The different planets, nations, people, and objects took a bit to fully understand, and I listened to an audio book, which sometimes hinders the process of understanding new world-building. Nevertheless, the story was very well done. It was original, and since I read so much, I highly value unique stories. I know I enjoyed the story, because at times I didn't want to get out of my car or shut my car's engine because I was so engrossed with what was going on.

The crux of the story is that in this galaxy where people develop Current gifts, one planet is divided between two peoples, the peaceful Thuvhe and the warrior race, the Shotet. When some Shotet soldiers kidnap the two sons of the Oracle of Thuvhe, the sons have to figure out a way to escape or else succumb to their fate, to die in the service of Shotet's ruling family, the Noaveks. Meanwhile, Cyra Noavek, the younger sister of the ruler of Shotet, is plagued by constant pain, a "gift" of the Current. Her older brother uses her as a weapon against his enemies and she's sick of it. Together with one of the sons of the Oracle, she might figure out a way to break away from her brother, Ryzek.
For those who enjoyed Red Rising, the Hunger Games, and the Divergent series, I highly recommend. Like those books, there's quite a lot of violence, but no worse than those books.

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