Saturday, 22 October 2011

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark
by Leigh Fallon

Summary: 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.
I was really excited to read this book and, well, it was kind of a let down. I hate writing negative reviews but I just wasn’t very into this book - it was okay, but that’s only because the last hundred or so pages redeemed it a little, the first 200 were a chore to get through.

I’ll split the review into two; the first 200 pages and the rest.

So, for the first 200 pages…I hate comparing books to Twilight, but something about this book just kept reminding me of Twilight in the worst ways (just certain characters reminded me of Twilight characters, the romance, the writing, a few little plot points); that’s not to say it copied Twilight, it definitely didn’t, but it just reminded me of it in a bad way (mostly it reminded me of things I did not like about Twilight).

Normally romance is one of my favourite--if not my actual favourite--parts of a book, but 90% of the time I hated the romance in this. It was insta-love at its worst. She is seriously obsessed with the guy from the first time she sees him staring at her…and they don’t have an actual conversation for like 80 pages or something and yet she is obsessing over him that whole time. And then when they do actually talk and get together it’s just - eugh…they don’t even really TALK about anything aside from their feelings for each other and annoying OTT Q and A type descriptions of the mythology/supernatural element in the book. They don’t get to know each other really.

Actually, most of the conversations in the book go like that - they either talk about the people they're attracted to/"in love" with or they talk about the supernatural things (I'm not kidding, even Megan's conversations with her dad mostly revolve around their love lives)...the only other conversations that seem to be shown are ridiculously dull small talk-ish conversations. If they were real, I would probably not be friends with any of them because I can't be friends with people that can't hold a decent conversation.

The plot was so slow and dull; more than 100 pages in and I was still waiting for it to get interesting and had to force myself to keep reading and even when it started to pick up pace, other things about the story prevented me from liking it.

Other things being the characters. They just felt so…flat and cliché and I didn’t really give a damn about any of them (for most of the book, a crow in the story had the most personality). And the writing. My god, the writing irritated me beyond belief. It wasn’t the worst writing I’ve read, far from it, but the dialogue was terrible most of the time and the writing ticked a few of my pet peeve boxes with things like this:

Bella Swan-esque OTT descriptions of how hot the object of her obsession is:

He was so gorgeous; his lightly tanned skin rippled over his toned body. His dazzling eyes were hidden for the moment behind a pair of dark sunglasses. His defined cheekbones were flushed red from the sea air. His full, curling lips were slightly parted; I wondered what they would feel like, taste like…

I’m sorry, but no. Just no. Do not want. Ease up on the adjectives; he’s pretty, we get it. If I wasn’t holding the book, I would’ve facepalmed so hard it would’ve left bruises.

Descriptions like this (one of the things that had my brain screaming Twilight at me - I hate the writing in the Twilight books and this book was riddled with all the same flaws that the writing in Twilight had):

Crap! I’d better hurry. I chucked on what I was wearing last night, giving it a quick sniff to make sure it didn’t smell like fish; then I pulled on my Converse and ran down the stairs. I gasped in horror as I caught sight of myself in the mirror. Whoa, hair. Calm yourself. I quickly pulled it into a ponytail and slicked on some lip gloss and mascara.
It was weighed down with ridiculous amounts of details that no one gives a crap about. I don’t care if the character is making dinner or brushing her teeth or whatever other day-to-day thing she is doing, unless it is some way important for the reader to know, I do not care (I get that some of that stuff has to be included as filler stuff but it should be used in moderation).

Now, onto the positives (i.e. the post-page 200 part of the book…200 being a rough estimate):

The mythology/supernatural part (not sure which category it’d fall under) of the story was pretty original and parts of it were quite interesting. The only issue I had there was the way it was written having the pacing go from quick to dragging, and whenever they were explaining aspects of the supernatural side of things, they’d get very…encyclopedia/information dump-ish and would talk in a way people don’t actually talk (just one of the ways the dialogue was bad most of the time).

Rian and Fionn’s stories were the most interesting part of the whole book to me. I liked their characters best (and Aine, although she kept reminding me of Alice Cullen from Twilight for some reason) and it was when they started playing a bigger part in the story and their back stories were introduced that I got more into the book.

The romance was still very…eugh, but by that point I’d just begun to accept the fact that two planks of wood would have more on-page chemistry than their characters and accepted the insta-loveness (a reason for the latter was sort of given eventually but it didn't make the insta-love any less annoying and it came so late in the book that it barely counted). I just…I hated how the romance was handled in the book. I could handle insta-love if the characters actually had conversations about EACH OTHER following the obsessed-at-first-sight stage to convince me that they genuinely got to know each other and fell in love but it just didn’t really happen.

For me, the book was easy to put down, not easy to pick up again. I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews of the book (although I haven't read any yet cause I didn't want to be influenced by them but they must've liked enough about the book to warrant the four and five star ratings I saw), so it could just be that the book wasn’t really my kind of thing or I was in the wrong mood to read a book like this right now making me judge it more harshly, so I still recommend checking it out. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t great either…I’d rate it maybe 2.5 stars out of 5.


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