Carrier of the Mark Review

Monday, October 3, 2011

Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: October 4, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher

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.
Megan is no stranger to being the new girl, but this time, she's the new girl at school, the new girl in town and the new girl in a new country. Everything's different this time, despite the fact that it's yet another fresh start for Megan and her father. This time, she feels at home. This time, Megan feels like Ireland might just be calling to her. She finds friends, and she finds a place for herself, and she finds herself oddly attracted to the attractive Adam DeRís who, despite her outgoing personality, seems to have a strange reaction to her presence in Ireland. But the more she learns about Adam, his sister Aine, and his brother Rian, the more questions she has. Is it worth getting to know Adam, or is it too dangerous? Either way, Ireland is beginning to awaken her destiny.

Carrier of the Mark is an intoxicating tale that whisks the reader away to the lush, verdant landscape of Ireland and immerses them in the warm, breathtakingly beautiful and richly historic culture. Debut author Leigh Fallon lends her considerable firsthand knowledge of Ireland to the story and presents a story that is certain to find a niche in the vast young adult market today. With an intriguing premise, a full cast of characters that help drive the story and a fresh take on the paranormal genre, Carrier of the Mark is an inviting and easily-read tale. Alive with mysterious powers and a soaring love story, it's sure to please.

That said though, my review of Carrier of the Mark is a difficult one for me to write, in part because the author is one of the sweetest women ever. That said, I had some pretty major qualms with Carrier of the Mark. First of all, I read the first two chapters, and all I could think was that the book was exactly in the same vein of Twilight. Now, I understand that plots are easily intermingled for a successful story, but it felt overly formulaic and, had I replaced just a few names in the story, I would easily have believed I was reading Twilight. Furthermore, the insta-love between Megan and Adam developed with little to no real drama, and I desperately wanted to feel some tension that was just lacking. Carrier of the Mark began to pick up a bit when the paranormal elements came into play, but they were developed in a bit of a tricky manner. The nature of the powers described in Carrier of the Mark were fascinating, to be sure, but the revelation and information regarding them felt more like an informational dumb than a developing plot arc. The characters in Carrier of the Mark were shadows of awesomeness, if that makes sense. For example, Rian could easily have stolen the show with his fiery temper and demeanor, but he was merely a two-dimensional representation of rebellion. Megan, as a protagonist, should have been able to carry the story but, unfortunately, I felt that she wasn't strong enough to carry a weighted plot that was unbalanced, though promising.

All in all, Carrier of the Mark shows a tremendous atmount of promise for the author, but I wasn't completely satisfied. Perhaps I've read too many books, but I just expect more. I will say that there weren't too many loose ends at the end, and it was nice to feel a decent conclusion. I give it a 3 out of 5 for a promising premise and the intoxicating setting, and I'd recommend it to fans of young adult novels and paranormal stories. Fans of Twilight are sure to enjoy it.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I liked Carrier of the Mark quite a bit, but I feel exactly like you about the Twilight connection. Even some of the lines were the same. And I am usually very generous with quasi-Twilight books. That said, I liked the paranormal element. It was something I hadn't read before and I liked that Megan was equally or more powerful than Adam. Nice to have a strong girl.

  2. When I read the summary for Carrier, I got a total Twilight vibe. Sad to see that the book is actually kind of formulaic! And double darn that Megan isn't a strong protagonist. I might still give this one a try, but we'll see. Thanks for the honest review, Melissa!

  3. Oh, bummer. I was totally looking forward to this one when I heard it was about Irish mythology, something original that I've never read about before, but to hear that the plot is in fact pretty derivative is not encouraging. And even if I was okay with the reminiscent plot, I probably wouldn't be impressed with the characters either. Oh well, who knows, maybe I'll give this one a try just in case. I really appreciate the review though!

  4. Oh sorry to hear that it's a bit formulaic and had a strong Twilight vibe. While I liked TW, I feel like that's a one time experience and just expect something a bit more. I'm curious about her Irish mythology and may lower my expectations for it if I decide to pick it up. Thanks for your honest opinion, Melissa!

  5. This is definitely a bit disappointing. I know that many, including me, have been anxiously awaiting this books release. I am not a fan of the insta-love often employed in YA books either, but can usually overlook it if the characters are dynamic and fully rounded. Sadly this does not sound as if it is the case here. Excellent review though and I will be keeping this in mind when I think about purchasing this.

  6. Thanks for your most excellent and honest review. The main reason I want to read this one is the Irish setting, but I have to say that even from reading the synopsis it all sounds a little formulaic. Still, I will check it out soon and see how I like it!

  7. Great review, thanks for being honest! I've been wanting to read this book for awhile now, and I've heard a lot of mixed reviews. I don't know if I'll like the Twilight resemblance though, and the insta-love always bugs me. We shall see :)

  8. It's weird, because I'm a Twilight fan, but the last book I just read (and wrote a review for) was just like it and it drove me nuts. I guess because to me it shouldn't be too hard to change things, substantially and make the book unique in its own respect. I may read this one because I love books that take place in Ireland, but I'll be leery of the Twilight comparison. At least it will prep me enough that I may like it. I do love your reviews, Melissa. Especially when you break down what you did and didn't like.

  9. Nice review! This book had me smiling all the way through. I loved the characters!

  10. The setting sounds lovely, but the Twilight comparison (and insta-love)...not so much. I'll check it out at my library.

    Great honest review, Melissa! :)

  11. One big reason I want to read this one is for the setting. But if it feels similar to Twilight then maybe I should skip it. I'm not a fan of insta-love (though sometimes it works) either. I'll wait for a few more reviews on this one or get it from the library. Thanks for the honest review!

  12. "Furthermore, the insta-love between Megan and Adam developed with little to no real drama, and I desperately wanted to feel some tension that was just lacking."

    Shoot. Tension is my thing. I love it. I need it to be there between two characters because it drives me crazy (in a good way) and sucks me into the story even more. I'll still be picking this one up, but I'm glad to know about the insta love going in, thanks Melissa:)

  13. Ah, instalove is one of my pet peeves! But I seriously love the look of this book, even if it is a little like Twilight. Brilliant review!

  14. Phew, giving it a miss ;) Lol, the phew comes from all those books you have raved about and this one, well good but meh

  15. Despite the issues, it still sounds like it's worth the read even if insta-love does make me go meh.

  16. I just got this one today, prior to reading your review. I might have waited had I turned my computer on earlier and read it. Oh well, it isn't at the top of the pile anyway. Great review! I know it hurts when you love the author (you must have met her somewhere) but the book just doesn't live up to your standards. Thanks for delivering an honest review!


  17. I had issues with this one. A lot. Which really bummed me out, because I wanted so much to like it. I haven't finished it yet, I probably have 60 or so pages left but I needed a breather before I went on. Here's for hoping for a magical ending.

  18. I like your honest review about this one. It sounds really good and I'm excited to read it because it's set in Ireland. Interesting how it's comparable to Twilight. I don't know why so many authors copy that book or maybe it's just that there's no new idea under the sun. Great review!


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