Thursday, January 26, 2012

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
October 4, 2011; HarperTeen

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Summary

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. (courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

Carrier of the Mark is two books in my mind: pre-paranormal and post-paranormal. The beginning of the book was weak, but it grew stronger and far more enjoyable as it went on.

Pre-Paranormal:

Think Twilight in Ireland. Given my affinity for Twilight, I am pretty generous with books that share themes and character profiles with Twilight. But Carrier of the Mark is so blatantly similar to Twilight that even I was rolling my eyes. You have the new girl with a single dad (mom is dead here though) who meets a handsome, mysterious guy. The guy is intrigued by her but also cold and rude. His siblings also treat her strangely. There's even a scene in biology class. Then everything turns and it's INSTA-LOVE!

Post-Paranormal:

The book becomes much more interesting once the paranormal element was introduced. I had no idea what the paranormal twist was from the summary of the book. It was something I haven't read in any other book. Very interesting. There were many Celtic (or Gaelic, I'm not sure) influences.

I liked that Megan wasn't just a weak human who fell in love with a paranormal creature. Unlike Bella, Megan is equally powerful to Adam. I enjoyed reading how all the different abilities interacted with each other.

One Twilight similarity that remains throughout the book is the family element. Adam is very close to his siblings Aine and Rian. Aine is sweet and Alice-like perky. Rian is darker and more cautious. They also have a father figure in Fionn who they care for deeply. The strong set of family characters is a feature that never gets old for me. The different characters was one of the strongest parts of the book. I particularly found Fionn's story tragically compelling. Outside of the DeRis family, Megan's friend Caitlin is a fabulous side-kick character. She has a stronger personality than most best friend characters.

The plot moves very quickly. It's split into the danger element and the romantic conflict. While I'm not an insta-love fan, I couldn't help but be carried away by Adam and worried over the obstacle preventing their everlasting happiness. The plot goes from build-up to major dangerous action very quickly. Too quickly perhaps, but it definitely kept me reading.

Carrier of the Mark borrows too heavily from standard paranormal themes, but it has enough individuality to fascinate the paranormal love. It's a good first novel and I'm curious to see where the series goes.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

19 comments :

  1. Love Carrier of the Mark (probably because I love Twilight!) Thanks for your review.

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  2. I'm reading this right now and haven't decided how I feel about it yet...I really like Caitlin though! She's a great friend.

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  3. I'm really past the whole insta-love device in paranormals and I have to be honest, the big TW similarities would really bug me. If this was a movie, however, I wouldn't mind watching it.

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  4. I've heard this one is shockingly similar to Twilight. I know it's easy to compare every paranormal book to Twilight in at least some respects, just like so many books can be traced back to Pride and Prejudice, but when the similarities go beyond merely being influenced by a previous work and get into more blatant parallels, that's a bit problematic. Good to know that the paranormal element at least brings something new and interesting, and saves the overall story from being a Twilight replica. Thanks for the review Alison!

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  5. I had a hard time with this book because it was SO MUCH like Twilight. I rarely like comparing other series with another especially with Twilight because it seems like the obvious thing to do, but I just couldn't help it when it came to this book. I mean, I still enjoyed it - what with the interesting mythology and all - but I did a lot of eye-rolling with the insta-love. Great and honest review!

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  6. I read two chapters of this and dropped it. Too Twi-Like. Seriously Aine and Rian. Why not just call them Alice and Rosalie?! I don't think I'll be picking it up again.

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  7. I saw a side by side review of this one where a lot of the lines from Carrier match exactly to the ones in Twilight, as if there was a bit of plagiarism going on. I totally lost interest.

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  8. I've heard a lot about this book being very similar to Twilight, although I like that Megan was equal in power. I think you might enjoy Bloodspell by Amalie Howard, Alison! I am not a *huge* Twilight fan, and I really, really liked it! I thinks it's something right up your alley!

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  9. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book. I'm not sure I even want to pick it up. But, I'm afraid, I'll be one of those that love it. I guess it's a good library book when I'm done with all the other books I really want to read. HA! Like that will ever happen!

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  10. Great review and I totally agree..while there were definitely some parts that I see in most paranormal young adult books..the overall plot really stood out to me and I enjoyed this book :)

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  11. I liked this book! It was similar to twilight and I love ireland stuff so the book was a perfect fit for me. Loved the review!

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  12. I've seen many comparisons of this book to Twilight, which is kind of a bummer. But I'm glad it gets better once the whole "look-you're-not-human" thing is out of the way. Yay for the little things! Thanks for the review, Alison! :)
    - Lauren

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  13. You have me interested in it now especially with something you haven't seen before.

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  14. You were so much more generous with this book than I was.

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  15. You've given me hope! I bought this based on the cover and then was dismayed while researching to see so much negativity. I'm still not sure I'll like this but it makes me feel a little more optimistic.

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  16. I was keen to read this one but after hearing it's so similar to Twilight (which I love, but don't really want to see replicated over and over again) I think I'll give it a pass. For now at least.

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  17. Hmm, I find I have less patience for books that are soo similar to Twilight these days too. I'm just so over these cliched paranormal themes. Though I do like that she is as powerful as the boy in this case.

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  18. I think I'm starting to mentally put Twilight-clone books into the "retelling" category :P I can swallow similar features when I'm told it's a retelling (this is the Cinderella character, this is the evil stepsister, the prince, etc), so why not with Twilight?

    Ok, so maybe Twilight isn't on the same level or is too new or whatever for retellings, but it helps me enjoy the clones by not harping on the similarities as a BAD thing. I'm with you too, I don't think I'll ever get tired of the big family feature. I don't care if it's "been done"

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  19. Even with the little off puts I still completely enjoyed and loved the book. It is a great quick read that kept me interested at every page. Worth the read for all readers in this genre.

    Mica
    Best Reviews for Affordable Minnesota Divorce Lawyer

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