Thursday, January 12, 2012

Carrier of the Mark (Carrier of the Mark #1) by Leigh Fallon

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Series or Stand Alone: Book 1 in the Carrier of the Mark trilogy
SummaryTheir 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.

Carrier of the Mark was another book presented at the Teen Buzz Panel at Book Expo that I missed out on getting due to the great book box fiasco of ’11. I intended to read at least four out of five, if not all, of the books presented. The presenting editor at Book Expo explained the elements-based concept and Irish setting of Fallon’s debut novel, making me want to read this one the most out of all of the books. Meh.
Basically, the story goes like this: Megan moves to Ireland with her father. She meets the (of course) mysterious, dreamy Adam DeRis and his twin sister Aine. She is immediately and inexplicably drawn to them (of course). She later find that she is drawn to them because she, like the DeRis twins and their older brother Rian, is one of the “marked ones,” basically the guardians and controllers of the four elements of earth. Many, many moons ago, the Celtic goddess Danu created Tuatha de Danann, humans that controlled earth, water, fire, and air. There was a bunch of complicated lineage stuff, none of which I remember at the moment. The main problem with these bitchin’ powers: there are people in an organization called the Knox hunting them down for a nefarious purpose. Oh, and Megan and Adam cannot be together for a completely justifiable reason—it’ll endanger the fate of the free world. Adam doesn’t see the issue and chucks a fit. The introduction to the series, a lot of buildup more than anything else.
The concept behind this book is great. Having a Celtic goddess be the origin of humans that can control the four elements was a good way to combine mythology with paranormal elements. This was a very different idea—and I’m always on the lookout for new concepts in paranormal books. I commend anyone who doesn’t go for straight up vampires, werewolves, faeries, or, as the case seems to be these days, angels. Fallon certainly created a fresh new concept in the paranormal world, one that dipped into a pool of mythology not often heard from in young adult literature.
Unfortunately, the fresh concept was not able to cure the paranormal romance syndrome that seems to rear its ugly head far more than I would like it to. The heroine of the story, Megan, is  shade of beige made famous by one Ms. Isabella Swan in a series that shall remain nameless. She’s pretty average, never-had-a-boyfriend being her number one characteristic. Of course, to the mysterious “bad boy” Mr. DeRis, she’s speeeecial. The be-all end-all. Blah, blah.
Adam DeRis. The supposedly rebellious mystery manwhore that wanders the halls of Megan’s new high school. Here’s the thing: Mr. DeRis suffers from one bad case of paranormal romantic lead syndrome (a related disease to paranormal romance syndrome, but they are not always found together). I need more personality in my male leads. I get that he’s attractive and showers Megan with compliments, but I can’t see him, nor is he complimenting me, so I’m going to need a personality to hear about if I am to care about him on a deep, readerly level. Also, the brooding type just doesn’t interest me anymore, not if there’s not much reason behind/some snarky girl joyously mocking him for it.
I’m also tired of the leads being warned to stay away from each other because it’s not going to be safe for (insert female character’s name here). Why is it always dangerous for the girl? Why can’t the boy be in grave danger? I don’t generally associate with ardent feminists but I’m going to wield their sword on this one.
All and all, I found myself disappointed by Carrier of the Mark. There was a really good premise behind it, but it suffered from the general vague, beige qualities that plague other paranormal romances. Sigh.

Rating: 2 – meh. the book didn't thrill me.

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