Friday, January 6, 2012
Review: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Series: The Carrier Trilogy #1
Author: Leigh Fallon
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Magic, Druids, Spirit Guides, Deities, Mythology
Publisher: Harper TEEN, Harper Collins
Format: Paperback, 344 Pages
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Tagline(s): Their love was meant to be.
Summary: 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 DeRis.
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 intrigued by the use of the elements in Carrier of the Mark and how their power influenced Megan and Adam's relationship. I like how the story takes place in Ireland, a place rich with mythology and folklore, and somewhere I hope to visit one day. But most of all, I love stories with star-crossed lovers and their struggle to make their relationship last.
Carrier of the Mark follows Megan as she settles into her new life in Ireland---she makes new friends almost immediately, has a few run-ins with the mysterious and undeniably gorgeous Adam DeRis, and is able to finally call Ireland home. It makes you wonder whether Megan's easy transition is coincidence, fate, or something else. But her connection to Adam seems meant to be.
Megan is a very real character. She's someone many could relate to. She's had it rough after her mother's death---constantly moving and never having any lasting friendships---but she doesn't let that get her down. She's surprised by how smooth her transition into life in Ireland is. Megan is very mature and level-headed, even with all the unbelievable things being thrown her way. She doesn't freak out and try to run away. She faces it all head-on and doesn't give up when the going gets tough. Her determination to keep her relationship with Adam is so strong that some would consider her selfish, especially considering how important their duty is. Megan also shows amazing and fearsome power with her element.
Now Adam---who is usually calm, cool, and collected---becomes totally unhinged when he first sees Megan. He's tripping over his own feet, walking into doors, and making a complete fool of himself. But I have to say I found that side of him so adorable, and I even got a few chuckles out of it. Because of his family's need for secrecy, no one really knows Adam (which seems pretty lonely to me) until he opens up to Megan. He's very loyal, loving, and protective of those he cares about. His determination to stay with Megan is just as strong as hers is to stay with Adam which causes him to go into a research frenzy trying to find a way. Adam felt comfortable in the knowledge that he had the best control of his element out of those in his family, but a sudden increase in power teaches him that even he can lose control.
The question of whether or not the feelings Megan and Adam have for each other are their own or their element's attraction to the other adds drama and complication to their relationship. Do they really love each other or is it their elements pushing them together? And them there's the added problem of a Carrier not being able to be with another Marked One. Things could literally blow up in their faces. There is so much working to keep Adam and Megan apart, you can't help but wonder if there's any chance at all that they can make their relationship last. All of this makes for a really great star-crossed lovers story.
Leigh Fallon does such a wonderful job telling this story. Her descriptions of landscape, architecture, and the elements themselves is so vivid. I could picture everything so clearly I felt like I was right there walking those streets. The story grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I was completely blown away. Carrier of the Mark wasn't anything like I was expecting it to be. One thing I really likes was how she incorporated how to say the characters Irish names. A lot of authors don't do that and I'm left wondering if I'm saying their names correctly. She's created a world that I wish I could be a part of and that's what makes a memorable story I'm not likely to forget any time soon.
Quote: "Having these powers isn't all rainbows and moonbeams." - Chapter 11, Page 158
About this Author:
I started out life in South Africa. A year later my parents moved home to Dublin, Ireland. When I was older and realized my parents had moved me from exotic Durban, to sedate Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, I was rightly ticked off. I fantasized about the amazing life I could have had in South Africa, and that fantastic accent that could have been all mine.
Instead, I got myself a fine Irish brogue growing up in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains where I went to a convent school and had to contend with uniforms, gabardines, and nuns.
During college I met a dashing sailor who swept me off my feet, all the way to Cork in the south of Ireland. I worked in corporate treasury and traveled Europe doing all sorts of fun finance stuff.
When I had my children I decided to take a career break, and soon discovered a love of writing. That career break became a career change when I wrote my debut novel, Carrier of the Mark.
I posted Carrier of the Mark on a HarperCollins website called inkpop. Within weeks it was voted into the top five books of thousands on the site, and was reviewed by a HarperTeen editor. Two months later that same editor offered me my first publishing contract.
My husband swept me off my feet again, this time in a westerly direction, we landed in Massachusetts, USA, where we now live with our four children and one double pawed cat.