Countdown to Carve the Mark

ctm-ew1Even as many Hogpro readers and writers are counting down to Fantastic Beasts, I am starting the clock in anticipation of Veronica Roth’s next series, Carve the Mark, set to debut January 17th. Even now, select readers have managed to get advance review copies—not me, alas– and responses are starting to appear on Twitter and Facebook. Thankfully, most seem favorable, even by some that claimed they had a hard time forgiving Ms. Roth for Allegiant. I even saw one five star review by someone who had not read any of the Divergent series.

All the reviews thus far are spoiler-free, but here’s what I have gleaned so far from news articles, some hints the author has dropped, the opening lines, the excerpt from Chapter 7 that has been released as a preview and several reviews accessed through Goodreads and Twitter.

  • It is anticipated as  the first book of a duology, a move that should meet with the approval of all the Allegiant Abhorrers out there.
  • It is science fiction/fantasy, not a dystopia. Reviews frequently compare the series to Star Wars, which should delight Emily Strand. There is even something called the “Current” that endows people with mysterious “currentgifts.” One review assures us this really is quite different from “The Force,” but we’ll see. Another reviews have likened it to “X-men in Space” with the heroine, Cyra, specifically compared to Rogue.
  • Like Allegiant, it is dually narrated, by Cyra and the male protagonist, Akos. However, Cyra narrates in first person, while Akos’s story is told in third person. This is good news for those who felt Tris and Tobias’s voices were not distinct enough.
  • Cyra, like Tris, has brother issues–Ryzek sounds like a real piece of work; apparently he rules the planet and likes to use his sister’s currentgift to torture people. He also seems to share Tobias’s fondness for knives.
  • The opening lines of Carve the Mark.

    The opening lines of Carve the Mark.

    There seem to be a great emphasis on plants, with “iceflowers” and “hushflowers” both referred to as the people’s “lifeblood.”  There is apparently also something called “feathergrass” that has hallucinogenic properties. I hope Ms. Roth is better versed in botany and pharmacology than she is in genetics.

  • There are oracles and prophecies.
  • Roth claims that the protagonists are both Slytherins, as opposed to the Gryffindor-ish Tris and Tobias. This may explain the tagline: “Honor has no place in survival.
  • Ms. Roth has promised us both a “lower body count,” and Divergent “Easter Eggs.” She also acknowledged that Allegiant suffered from her “not thinking things through” and that she did much more planning this time.

Sooooo…  that’s all I have.  Unless someone out there is willing to send the resident Roth junkie an ARC. The question is…  will Ms. Roth make the same masterful use of psychology that she did in her first trilogy?

That’s it for this Election Day post:  a reminder to all US citizens to do your civic duty!

Speak Your Mind