Carrier of the Mark: Leigh Fallon

What would happen if Captain Planet and Twilight had a baby?  You’d get Carrier of the Mark.

General Summary: Megan has never been popular.  But things change in when she and her dad move to a small town in Ireland.  She finds herself having friends and attracted to a strange boy.  And he amazingly likes her back.  But can she and Adam be together?  Or will forces pull them apart.

Review:  I bought this book in good faith.  I honestly planned on loving it.  But when I read it, something just felt off.  Being the sassy detective I am, I went to Good Reads and found out that I was not crazy.  The book is like Twilight Éirinn go Brách Edition.  I’m not going to go into the particulars because I feel that Stephanie’s review does this part justice.  What I’m going to focus on is the actual book itself.  I feel like there was a lot of potential here.   Yet the book itself felt so stilted.  First there was Megan herself.  She seems nice enough, but there’s nothing really special about her.  Oh, yes we’re told repeatedly that she’s able to do great things that she’s some sort of Wonder Woman in disguise (she’s no Diana Prince though).  But really other than the fact that she’s a girl who is apparently a carrier of the mark, there’s nothing really that we know about her.  So, she likes to eat cereal.  Other than that, all she ever does throughout the novel is obsess over Adam, even before she has a conversation with him.  This bothers me on a lot of levels.  I understand that this is a fiction, but what makes good fiction is an element of realism (hence, creative writing lesson 101: write what you know).  And most people don’t start obsessing over someone without at least talking to them.  Or for that matter fall in love within the span of five minutes.  Seriously, both characters fall in love with each other after one kiss.  And yeah, there is such a thing as love at first sight.  But it’s only supposed to happen in works like Romeo and Juliet or Twilight.

Besides character development the world building, the dialogue felt fake.  World building was mostly done through dialogue.  I think this was done so that Fallon would be “showing” rather than “telling” only this little technique backfired on her.  While it is true that you can show through dialogue, the dialogue has to not obvious be a place for info dumping and needs to feel nature.  Besides that, there could’ve been some variance in using narrative or descriptive passes in between dialogue that informed us about Megan’s destiny.  Once again, the one positive thing, besides the beautiful setting that I can say about this book is that it had an interesting concept.  I love stuff that deals with the elements and for that matter Celtic mythology.  Though I do have to say there were parts that reminded me a little too much of Captain Planet especially if…..

 

 

Best Feature:  Ireland.  I love Ireland.  I studied there abroad last summer and I was hoping for some nostalgia with this book.  Unfortunately, the beautiful lush setting of Ireland was often fluffed over.  Although, I generally don’t like over descriptive passages, I think this would be the time to do them.  Megan’s an American girl in Ireland, you sort of become obsessed with the foreign country that you’re forced to live in.  For your viewing pleasure here’s some of the places that were mentioned in the book:

 

Cork City.  Which only made an appearance for five pages and which beautiful, rich culture was  overly underplayed (Team Cork, ya’ll).
Trinity College where Megan wants to go to school.  What is it with YA characters always wanting to go to a Ivy League or Ivy League like school? And for that matter getting in even if they’re dumb as rocks.  Why not go to a state school like most people?  State schools aren’t bad.  The education they provide is just as good and it’s sooo much cheaper.

 

 

Worse Feature: Stiffness in the writing: I get this is Fallon’s freshman debut, but the writing really felt stiff (which I mentioned in the main review).  I feel like a lot of this is probably the editor’s/publisher’s fault more than anything else for rushing this thing out.  I really think there was a great concept here, it just didn’t work out and it’s really sad.

Blockbuster Worthy: This book would actually be interesting to see on screen, if for the Ireland bits and cool elemental powers.  Here’s my cast.

Megan: India Eisley: I see Megan looking like her.  So why not?

Adam: Damian McGinty: Yep, another Glee alum that I’m casting.  He is Irish after all.

Possible Spawn between Megan and Adam: Captain Planet of course.  Though he has yet to make an appearance in the series.

Overall Rating: For the content of the book alone, I’m giving a three.  Yes, it received a higher grade than Modelland only because it was comprehensible and I finished it.

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2 thoughts on “Carrier of the Mark: Leigh Fallon

  1. Aww, I'm so sorry the book didn't live up to it's potential, I was considering putting it on my wish list because I do have a fondness for books set in Ireland -there aren't nearly enough! – but I could never get into Twilight and it sounds like this book shares a lot of it's characteristics. :(Thanks for your review.

  2. It's really sad because this one was getting a lot of press too. Leigh was chosen out of many submissions on Ink Pot to be published. But you're right it's just like Twilight. Is it a total rip off? I'd say no, there is some originality here with the element thing, but there are some similarities that seem a little eerily. For example, the Adam and Megan get together right after Megan is almost attacked by some thugs and Adam goes all Dudley Do-Right and saves the day. And I agree, not enough books set in Ireland which is such a shame since that country has such a dark broody history and mystical folklore that's plum for picking.

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