Before I dive into my latest read, I’d like to give a quick shout-out to all of my family members celebrating stuff today. Happy 35th anniversary to my wonderful parents, happy birthday to my cousins Ally and Kade, and Happy Fathers’ Day to my delightful father and my brother-in-law Tony, who enjoyed his first Fathers’ Day celebration. You guys are awesome!
Now, let’s move on to the reason we’re all here–books. Today, after all of the festivities came to an end, I was able to finish a book that had been on my to-read list for a while, Leigh Fallon’s Carrier of the Mark. I started this book last night, and I fully expected to be blown away. Sadly, the book fell a bit short of my expectations. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did, but it didn’t really “wow” me. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting–Ireland, or, as I refer to it, the Motherland–and I was interested in how the main characters could make their relationship work despite the odds, but it just felt like there was something missing. Maybe I’m being overly critical, but I really wish this book had lived up to what I hoped it would be.
Megan Rosenberg is an American teen who has just moved to Ireland. One would think that she’d feel completely out of place in this new environment. But one would be wrong. For the first time in years, Megan feels completely at home, but she’s not entirely sure why. It may have something to do with the new friends she’s making so easily. Or it could be the connection she feels with the enigmatic Adam DeRís, a mysterious guy who seems to be as drawn to Megan as she is to him.
Megan’s new friends notice her attraction to Adam, and they tell her some pretty unsettling stories about the entire DeRís family–stories involving Druids, curses, and powerful magic. Megan just shrugs the tales off…until she realizes that there may be some truth to them. Megan’s a little freaked out, but things are about to get even weirder. As it turns out, her own destiny is inextricably linked to Adam and his family.
Adam and his siblings are Marked. They represent three of the four elements that exist on earth: water, fire, and earth. Guess who is Marked as the fourth element? That’s right. Much to her dismay, Megan discovers that she is also Marked, and her element is air. What does this mean? Well, it’s a little complicated, but, basically, it means that each of the Marked controls their respective element, and they must perform an aligning ritual very soon to have any hope of balancing these volatile elements. (The whys and hows of this are still confusing to me. I’m hoping this will be cleared up in future books.)
As Megan deals with this new part of her life, she’s also faced with a love she’s never known and never expected. She and Adam grow closer, but forces are at work that could drive them apart forever. After all, when elements collide, sometimes things get destroyed. Can Megan find a way to harness her newfound power while holding fast to the boy she loves? Or will dark forces–or well-meaning allies–rip everything apart?
I haven’t done a very good job explaining what happens in this book, but I think part of that stems from the fact that I’m still confused about a lot of it. I don’t really know why Megan was marked, what’s so super-duper special about her, why her relationship with Adam is such a no-no, what it really means to be a Carrier of the Mark, or what the agenda of their supposed enemies truly is. I feel like a lot of things could have been explained better. Sometimes the writing seemed a bit choppy, and that didn’t help matters either.
I really, really wanted to love this book, but I’m sorry to say that isn’t the case. It was okay, but it definitely won’t be one of my stand-out reads of the summer. Feel free to disagree with me. In fact, let me know in the comments what I’m missing about this book. I’ll be happy to give it a reread if you can convince me that I’m wrong–which almost never happens ;-).
There are two more books due in this series. Book two is Shadow of the Mark, and book three is Age of the Fifth. Both books are scheduled to be released in 2013. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this series–unless someone can convince me otherwise. I may change my mind. Things were left a bit up in the air (pun intended) in Carrier of the Mark, and I am a little curious about how that will play out in future books. I just don’t know if that curiosity is enough to keep me interested. We’ll have to see…
For more information on Carrier of the Mark and author Leigh Fallon, visit http://leighfallon.com/.