Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth


  • Title: Carve the Mark
  • Author: Veronica Roth
  • Genre: Young adult literature, fantasy
  • Pages:  480
  • Format: Hardback
  • Other: GoodReads, Amazon
  • Grade: F (1/5)


 In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

CYRA is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

AKOS is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual current-gift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost.

Then Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship—and love—in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.


Well, it’s early into 2018 and I think I’ve already found my least favorite book of the year. That’s right. Carve the Mark. And no, it isn’t because of the controversy surrounding the book (apparently, it’s racist). It’s because it just wasn’t good.

But I guess I’ll start with the positives.

  • The last third of the book was interesting for about 30 pages (out of 480, mind you).
  • The premise of the book was interesting. A young adult novel set in space? Pretty cool.
  • There was a lot of world building.
  • Cyra was different from a lot of female protagonists.

So why did I bullet point these? Because they aren’t really positives. Not for me at least, which is why this book is an F for me.

This book was incredibly boring. I did not want to finish it, but I decided to keep reading it since it was a gift (one that I wanted). It took Roth so long to actually get into the story that I didn’t know what the point of the book was until well past the half-way mark.

The characters were flat, underdeveloped, and lacked personality. Akos was boring, and it never made sense for him to form a friendship with Cyra. He should have been angrier. His friendship with her shouldn’t have evolved as quickly as it did. And Cyra? She definitely never felt like a real person. In fact, everyone felt like a caricature, and a bad one at that.  Besides, their friendship is painful to read. There’s no real chemistry and it’s just uncomfortable.

And while the premise was interesting, the execution did not work for me. There should have been more conflict and action, but there wasn’t.  Instead, I was waiting for something remotely interesting to happen.

And despite all the world building, I kept forgetting that this was a science-fiction novel set in space. It was like the author wanted to write fantasy, did, and then decided it was set in space. And to top it all off, the “current” felt a hell of a lot like the force to me.

Then there’s the writing. At best, it was clunky.  Sometimes it was cheesy. Sometimes it was hard to understand what Roth was trying to say.

All in all, I do not recommend this book. It felt like a complete waste of my time, but at least I learned a few things to not do in my writing. But basically, I definitely won’t be picking up the second book.

6 thoughts on “Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

  1. Ngoza says:

    I totally agree with your review! I personally could not even finish the book and that was before even knowing all the racism controversies. It’s kinda sad that Veronica Roth missed the mark with this one (pun intended 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s