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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Carve the Mark - Veronica Roth

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

Veronica Roth’s start to her sci-fi duology is beautiful! It’s a dual narration, but we do get to see things through one narrator’s view over the other. Honestly, having it be done that way enhances the way you experience the characters and the story.

The story follows Akos and Cyra; two individuals who come from opposing sides have been forced together by the fates. Together they learn how your fate isn’t always your doom and what looks like a curse can be turned into a blessing. All taking place in a galaxy of Roth’s imagination.


The establishment of differing languages was well executed in a simple way — you knew that they were speaking different languages but Roth didn’t go through the trouble of physically writing their words. She didn’t overwhelm the audience with a bunch of information about the galaxy. There was just enough to give you an idea of how large it is, but there is still an air of mystery that maybe we’ll get to discover in the second novel.


Cyra’s Current gift has a simple beauty about it. It shows a few things. One, our surroundings impact so much of how we develop as individuals. This is clearly proven when we learn about when her gift developed. It was clearly a defense mechanism, but even those can be used in unhealthy ways. Two, it shows how we are always changing. As she learns things from Akos, the impact her gift has on her evolves. By the end, Cyra has a completely different perspective on her gift and feels more comfortable with it. I think it’s similar to how as we grow older we become more comfortable in our own skin.


While we don’t get to hear a lot from Akos’ perspective in this novel, I still felt a connection to him. I think it’s amazing how he kept a sense of himself in the midst of the craziness he was thrust into. And despite all of the roadblocks he faced in his quest of saving his brother, he still had hope and pressed forward as if he was going to succeed. I won’t say if he did or didn’t for the sake of attempting to be spoiler free. But the sense of familial devotion in the midst of a drastic change was endearing, and beautifully contrasted to Cyra’s relationship with her brother.


Akos and Cyra’s relationship was developed in such an organic way. It wasn’t built up in a way where you were yelling “finally” when the romance side happens. It was truly believable. You saw how they initially struggle to trust one another, but work through any of the problems that arise.


The way I see Cyra’s brother is complicated. While there is clear evidence that his nurturing truly impacted how he interacted with the world, I still believe that he could have chosen a different path. But he was so wrapped up in his fate that he lost sight of what could have been positive.


The information that is shared in the final few chapters did initially come across as shocking, but when I took a moment to reflect back on how the information was set up — I could see how Roth was setting up for this point. I can’t say I have an idea where she’s going with it, but I’m certainly looking forward to picking up the second novel.


Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. More specifically I enjoyed listening to it on audible. The voice actors they chose for the audio book did an amazing job! I think the story was strong, and it certainly had me in the head and heart space.

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