Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon [Review...ish]

          Ever since HarperCollins announced that they were going to publish The Carrier of the Mark, there has been a crazy amount of excitement spreading around because of it. Although I am a member of inkpop.com, the website where the book and its author, Leigh Fallon, were discovered, the general excitement running through the site never really fazed me. I guess that was probably because I had joined long after Fallon, and since I have never really been incredibly active in the community I never had the pleasure of meeting her or reading the book in its early stages. Still, since it was the first book published through inkpop, there was more than enough blog posts, forum threads, and the such to keep me well acquainted with the title. Without that general knowledge, I probably wouldn't have had the privilege of reading it.

         This might bore you to death, so if you skip to the next paragraph, I won't be offended :P. Anyway. I'm not really into the supernatural or super sappy teen oriented books, so if this had been any ordinary book, I most likely would have passed by without a second glance. I was in Barnes&Nobles -- a rare occasion to begin with, since 1) I live in the middle of nowhere where the only real legit store without driving 1+ hours away is Walmart, and 2) I'm generally broke -- looking for another book. Yeah, I was actually looking for a completely different book, completely different author, completely different genre. I walked in and asked the lady at the customer service desk, because I'm a loser and since I don't usually have the occasion to wander around in bookstores, I have no idea where to find what I'm looking for. Yes, I'm lame like that. So the lady looks it up on her computer, and tells me that they don't carry it. My mom and I are heading back toward the door, and then I'm like, give me a sec, I'm going to go look for it anyway. Why I decided I didn't believe the lady, I'm not sure. But we ended up looking around anyway, and as we're passing a bookshelf labeled "top teen lit" (or something close to that) the cover of The Carrier of the Mark caught my attention (which I've seen a few million times on inkpop). One big double take and backwards step, and suddenly the book I keep hearing about is in my hands. I don't think I've ever grabbed a book so fast in my entire life. For some reason or another, I thought it was so cool to actually find the book I kept hearing about. About five minutes later, we walked out of the building with my newly purchased copy of the The Carrier of the Mark. Some things you just can't explain :-).

         ***May contain spoilers***

         It's been a long, long time since I've been blown away by a book without being completely confused (Shakespeare tends to blow me into confusion, but that's different). I find it hard to believe someone could come up with such a complex idea as the Marked without losing the reader in the process, and yet Fallon has done it. Throughout the book, I could tell that there was so much more to the story, so much more back story, but it was well spaces and told only in small chunks to absorb, so that by the time the next chunk of information came, the reader had had plenty of time to absorb and reach an understanding of the last chunk.

         Generally I'm not the biggest fan of romances where the characters fall for each other in a ridiculously short amount of time, as Adam and Megan do, but the farther I read, the less it bothered me. It made more sense when we learned that the elements attracted one another, and hence their quick love didn't seem to be entirely their fault, and made a little bit more sense as to why they got together so quickly.

         The one thing that really bothered me was the swearing used throughout the book. I understand that in this day and age teens swear just as much as in the book if not more, but I still do not believe it to be right. I am also of the firm conviction that you can have excellent teen fiction without needed to insert foul language.

         I loved the setting as well. I thought it was really cool that Fallon uses locations that actually exist. The intertwined history and myths made it so much more real and interesting, as well as the added flavor of the dialogue and expressions. I quickly found myself wanted to read more, until finally there was no more to be read. I look forward to the publication of The Carrier 2 (unnamed), and this time, I'll be on the lookout and headed to a bookstore to get it, not a different book. :-)

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