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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Carrier of the Mark (Leigh Fallon)- 2 Cupcakes


TITLE: CARRIER OF THE MARK  SERIES: CARRIER TRILOGY 
AUTHOR: LEIGH FALLON            PUB. DATE: 10/4/11
PUBLISHER: HARPER TEEN       FORMAT: ARC PAPERBACK
SOURCE: WON FROM AUTHOR
Carrier of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy #1)

Their love was meant to be.
When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs.
But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction

THREE WORDS: Overwhelming. Underwhelming. Fantastical…yes, I know I used two conflicting words, but they’ll make sense in my review

MY “I JUST FINISHED THIS BOOK” REACTION: *le sigh*

MY REVIEW: So, I actually kind of feel bad about the review I’m about to write because I wanted so badly to love this book, and for several reasons- there’s been so much buzz surrounding it, the reviews have been quite positive, the author seems like such a nice person, etc-, but I just couldn’t love it. I think my expectations were just too high to be met.

            SUMMARY
Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland and finds herself quickly and intensely drawn to Adam DeRis and his mysterious family. Megan soon discovers that she and the DeRis family are a part of something supernaturally complicated and that her feelings for Adam just may be fated. As a Carrier and Bearer of the Mark, Megan must learn to use and control her newfound powers, deal with bad guys, uncover and decide whether or not to accept her fate, while maintaining her relationship with Adam.

            THE STORY 
Carrier of the Mark started off a bit slow, but I didn’t mind this so much in the beginning. I actually really liked the first quarter of the book where Fallon introduces Megan and her new life in Ireland. I liked getting to know Megan and her new friends. The Megan in the first part of the book was relatable and likable; it’s the Megan in the rest of the book that I just couldn’t connect with…but I’ll discuss that more in a bit. As the book progressed, I kind of found my attention wavering because of the slow pacing. The story takes place over several months, but there really isn’t several months worth of story going on in the book. And this is where the underwhelming aspect comes in. I walked away from this book feeling like there just wasn’t enough substance and oomph. While reading, I kept expecting something big to happen, but it never did.

This is a fantasy/supernatural book, so I definitely want to talk about those aspects of the book because I did really like the supernatural aspects of the Mark and what it means to be a Carrier and/or bearer of the Mark. Leigh did create a highly original, creative and innovative idea as far as the fantasy/supernatural aspects go. Her take on elemental powers was quite intriguing and fun to imagine. However, the scientific explanations that Fallon incorporates with the supernatural elements, specifically all the genetic/bloodline talk, was completely overwhelming to me. There were times when I felt like I needed to dig out my old high-school biology textbook or Google “recessive genes” just to keep up with dizzying information. I wouldn’t have minded if these things were explained once briefly, but they were talked about way too much.

Actual fantasy/supernatural aspects aside, there was nothing very original about the story as a whole. In fact, this book reads very much like another incredibly popular YA series about a teenage girl inexplicably drawn to a mysterious and potentially dangerous boy, who’s thrust into a whirlwind supernatural world. Yes, I’m talking about Twilight. Perhaps it’s unfair to compare the two, but I’m not the only one who has and honestly, it’s kind of impossible not to. The similarities are clearly there. Now of course, to some people this comparison makes Carrier of the Mark that much more appealing and to some it may make them wary. Either way, the point I’m trying to make is that this is a storyline that I’ve read a hundred times before and Carrier of the Mark doesn’t really add anything new or refreshing to the scenario.

I found the ending disappointing, simply because there was a great build up of intense peril and thrilling danger leading up to it, but then it all just kind if fizzled out. There were a few pretty cool supernatural focused scenes during the climax, but overall it was pretty anti-climatic.

            CHARACTERS

This is a very character driven story and there were characters that I really liked and a few that I’m still conflicted about. Like I mentioned before, I liked Megan in the beginning of the book because she seemed like a very realistic teenage girl. She had her insecurities, but there was a feisty independence to her that I admired. But, once Adam DeRis entered the picture, her character kind of morphed into this lovesick co-dependent puppy. Her character was almost redeemed in my eyes when she, after learning about her abilities and the dark and dangerous world she was entering, didn’t run and hide from the situation. For awhile Megan came across as a strong, capable female character, but again, the more intense her relationship with Adam got the less I found myself liking her.

Then there’s Adam, who I just never connected with or liked at all. In the beginning of the book he’s distant and even kind of a jerk towards Megan, and we’re supposed to believe that he did this in order to protect her.  His arrogance grated on my nerves, and there were times when he was so controlling or condescending that you might as well have called him Edward Cullen. I personally did not find him swoon-worthy in any way.

Adam’s twin sister Aine was a likable character. She had an interesting balance of strength and vulnerability that I found intriguing. I think I liked Adam’s brother Rian the best, simply because his anger over his situation was the most real, natural and honest emotional aspect in the book.

            ROMANCE
I’m so conflicted when it comes to the romance between Adam and Megan. On the one hand, I’m not a fan of insta-love in YA books, but on the other hand, Fallon didn’t present any other romantic prospects for either character so I can’t really picture them with anyone else.  Both characters make it a point to acknowledge the fact that their attraction and love for one another is real and comes from a place within them that has nothing to do with the Mark, yet we don’t actually get to see their relationship unfold or progress. There’s no falling in love that happens, it’s all “Hi I’m Megan. Hi I’m Adam. Boom! We’re soulmates”.

I think the biggest issue I have with this romance, is what it did to Megan’s character. After she starts dating Adam, ALL Megan thinks about, talks about is him and how wonderful/gorgeous/perfect he is and how undeserving she is of him and all his glory and blah blah blah. Megan Rosenberg meet Bella Swan, I’m sure y’all can find plenty to talk about.

This is a romance and relationship that I want to believe in and that I truly want to root for, but I think in order for that to happen, these two characters need to be developed as individuals first.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: This book just didn’t work for me. There were aspects that I did like, mainly the fantasy/supernatural aspects, but I found the storyline and characters lacking. I can certainly understand its appeal, but it isn’t a book that I would go out of my way to recommend.

MY RATING
2 out 5 Cupcakes

You can learn more about and connect with Leigh Fallon here:
You can purchase this book here:




3 comments:

Maria @ bookchilla said...

can i just say, "my sentiments exactly"?

I like Rian too, out of all the characters.

I walked away from this book feeling like there just wasn’t enough substance and oomph. you read my mind. :)

Christina Fiorelli said...

Thanks for such a comprehensive review.

Pao Martinez Parente said...

Really? I was going to read it, but now... I guess I won't. Thanks for the review!