Veronica Roth’s latest book barely makes its mark

“Carve the Mark” is not Roth’s best read

By Era Goel, Reporter


eronica Roth’s long awaited first novel in her upcoming duology was released on Jan. 17. The book is written from the perspective of two characters, Akos Kereseth and Cyra Noavek, and takes place in a universe where certain individuals are born with “fates” or special powers, as deemed by the planetary oracles.

The ice planet of Thuvhe is revealed to be in increasing friction with a rising group of rogues known as the Shotets. They are led by a family known as the Noaveks who have children that possess fates, while the rest of Thuvhe looks to the Kereseths for guidance because of Akos’ mother, who is the oracle.

At the age of 14, Akos and his older brother Eijeh, who both have yet to discover their fates, are kidnapped from their home by the Shotets. The abduction came from orders of Ryzek Noavek, the leader of the Shotets who uses the fate of his sister, Cyra, to instill fear and pain in his effort to rule the universe.

The novel struggles to create a new world without creating confusion.

In comparison to Roth’s hugely successful “Divergent” trilogy, “Carve the Mark” falls short if its expectations. While the faction system and Tris’ situation took some time to be accustomed to, the plot was relatively fast-paced, providing a fun, enthralling read for Roth’s audience. However, building an entirely new universe can be very difficult, and the struggle to do so in a captivating and quick way is seen in “Carve the Mark.”

While the plot is fairly intriguing, it relies too heavily on its influence from George Lucas’ Star Wars series. The “current” that flows through every being in the universe of Roth’s novel is just a reproduction of “the force” from Star Wars. Furthermore, Cyra, the female protagonist, is essentially a Darth Vader with morals, using “the force” to hurt her family’s enemies by causing them unseen pain at the command of her ruthless brother.

For budding Star Wars fans who are searching for a YA novel, this novel may be what you are looking for; but for the remaining reader population, “Carve the Mark” is a miss.