Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
A new science fiction/fantasy novel that begins a new series. . .just what we need in this bleak mid-winter weather. As she did in the Divergent series, Veronica Roth creates a believable and complex world, with characters that are both intriguing and nuanced in their histories and motives. There are similarities as well–the people who populate this planet (and universe) have special talents–currentgifts in the book’s language. Some of these gifts give the holder great power over others ( like the ability to steal memories and replace them with your own); others make the recipient vulnerable to others’ control. The narrative focuses on the two main characters as the story unfolds. Akos is a native Thuvhe, the more peace-loving nation on the planet. His loyalty is unending, especially to his family. Cyra is a Shoetet, the brutal family that rules the other part of the planet. And not just any Shotet; her brother is a brutal tyrant, shaped to rule by fear and intimidation. What happens when Akos must fulfill the destiny his mother (an oracle) predicts and becomes a salve to the Shotet rulers? Friendship,, love, new loyalties, not to mention adventure, suspense, and intriguing landscapes and possibilities. I read it practically in one witting and look forward to the next installment. Let us know what you think!