Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Carrier Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062027875 (HarperTeen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062027870 (HarperTeen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
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.
Quick & Dirty: Think of Twilight set in Ireland, without character development and having the story bogged down with excessive exposition.
Opening Sentence: Flames engulfed the boat, and my lungs ached as dark, noxious smoke filled the air.
The cover for Carrier of the Mark is beautiful. Unfortunately, I really could not get into the actual story behind it. I read a little over a hundred pages the first time and after a few days I finally convinced myself to try again, but I had to drag myself through it. I don’t even know where to start. For the most part, Fallon’s writing is reliant on huge swaths of exposition and info dumping as a way to try and explain what is supposed to be happening in the story and what the reader needs to know. The writing made the story boring, the backstory of the Carrier of the Mark was strained and there was really no tension at all. There’s really not a lot I can say about the plot, because Fallon is so reliant on her plot twists that you could probably figure out the story with just a few words from me. Think of Megan as an Avatar-to-be (as in, The Last Airbender, not the blue one!) and Adam, our love interest, as another boy with supernatural powers.
And just so you know, you can trace a lot of this story right back to Twilight. Within the first thirty pages I was thinking “Wow, this all seems so familiar” and then I realized I’d read it before. In Twilight. Except Twilight–while not the greatest story in the world–was entertaining and Carrier of the Mark didn’t live up to the hype. A lot of the characters were the same–Fallon barely tried to hide it. Alice becomes Aine, Rosalie morphs into Rian. The little things add up throughout the story until you’re basically looking at Twilight set in Ireland. There are no vampires or werewolves, instead the supernatural powers at play are magic and the four elements. But pretty much every other aspect of Megan’s life can be seen as a reflection of Bella Swan.
The characters stay pretty much exactly the same throughout the entire book. There’s no development or depth. Their conversations sound awkward and super formal. You don’t talk to a person like this: “Hey Megan! What are you doing today Megan! Want to go look at horses with me Megan?” and you shouldn’t write a conversation that way either. Honestly, I think having deeper character development would seriously help create tension within the plot and make the conversations actually readable. By the third time our heroine’s friend Caitlin said her name in as many sentences I was thinking “Of course it’s Megan. Who else would you be talking to?”
Everything in this story was easy. Megan accepted everything so easily–do not take this for understanding. Megan still asked questions but it was really another way for Fallon to disguise info dumping, and did nothing to add tension to the situation. Our characters are more than half way in love before they even have a conversation with each other. Everything just happens. There’s nothing to keep the reader engaged in the story. Which might be one of the reasons I found it so easy to put down, but so hard to pick up again.
I really did not like this story. I was really, really looking forward to it. I’ll admit to judging a book by its cover, and was really disappointed not only with the writing but with the blatant Twilight parallels. I don’t know if I’d qualify it as a redeeming factor, but the plot was absolutely crazy. I can’t say I was exactly intrigued by it. I won’t be reading the rest of the series, but if a reader can get past page 200 the plot picks up significantly.
“We need to talk,” he said.
I looked up at him. That was a mistake. His eyes smoldered down at me. They were brighter than ever, as the light from the distant bonfire flickered up into his face. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as my breath caught in my throat.
It seemed like he was fighting some sort of inner conflict. I had seen that look before, but this time he softened. Whatever the battle was, I think he had won it.
“I apologize in advance for what I’m about to say. I dont’ want to scare you off, but I need to be honest with you.”
“Okay,” I whispered.
“This is going to sound crazy, but…since the moment I first set eyes on you I haven’t been able to stop thinking of you.”
The Carrier Trilogy:
2. Dawn of the Knights
3. Age of the Fifth
FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of The Carrier of the Mark. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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