Thursday, 17 April 2014

Review: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon book cover

Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Series: Carrier of the Mark, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 1 / 5

Add to Goodreads

Their love was meant to be.

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 DeRÍs.

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.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Welcome to Twilight: Irish Style.

Before I begin, this will probably end up being a tad rant-infested, but I’ll try to tone it down!

I have made a discovery. The more notes I take when I’m reading; the more I hate the book. I wrote six A4 pages of notes. Front and back… in very small writing. And yeah, I’m one of those people that won’t highlight, write on or desecrate a book in anyway. Congratulations Carrier of the Mark. You unleashed my obsessive side.

I don’t feel like I’ve read a story, I feel like I’ve read a draft of a story. Everything is very convenient and predictable with info-dumping poorly disguised as conversations. The writing style is very simplistic, and I felt like I was skim-reading but I actually read every word. It lacks a lot of basic detail that I feel is needed. I’m not asking for a dense overly descriptive novel here, all I want is some depth and legitimate feelings. There was no spark, no life evident anywhere. Think of the difference between a Lady Gaga concert… and finger puppets. One uses all the senses, the other has its place, but at the end of the day is basic.

If you’ve ever read Twilight, you have the step-by-step timeline of Carrier of the Mark. Not that long ago, I criticised Dead Beautiful for reminding me of Twilight. Dead Beautiful is a unique masterpiece in comparison, as event after event that was depicted in Twilight, also happens here. At least with Dead Beautiful, it had a unique half to it.

Let me give a few examples. We have the eyes meeting over the school yard scene; the guy rescues the girl magically scene; the “I should but I can’t stay away from you” scene; the meeting the family that disapprove scene… should I continue? The only thing missing was a baseball match in an out of the way location, but considering it's set in Cork, it would be a hurling or GAA match. I probably should have stopped reading and gone and re-read Twilight. Chances are I would have enjoyed it better.

In case you don’t know, I’m Irish. I get that some things Irish might be a little confusing to the non-Irish born, but for goodness sake, give readers some bloody credit! I absolutely hated all the explanations of Irishness and the way it’s presented:

For example “[…] the superintendent from the Kinsale Gardaí (the Irish police) […]”

Ok, maybe I have an advantage on all this, with speaking the lingo and knowing what a fada is, but for goodness sake using this example alone, I think Gardaí or even Garda would be pretty easy to guess what the meaning was! I guess I’m not the target audience (understatement of the year!)

To add another negative, insta-love rears its ugly head yet again. Megan and Adam have barely had two conversations, and their first kiss is on page 104. Barely a third of the way into the book, and their futures are set in stone. All over a little peck! I give up. Any affection shown happens too often for it to mean anything. There should be a purpose for everything, not just a “ooh, lets add another smooch here… and here… oh and also here!” approach.

I didn’t connect with any of the characters. Megan is originally from America, and she and her father move to Kinsale in County Cork when her father’s job is transferred. The sun must shine out of Adam’s backside, because he was all I kept reading about. I was sick of hearing how wonderful Adam was, how impossible it would be to live without him, and how she has now found her one true purpose. And this was all before the hundred and fiftieth page!

At one stage, the characters are out sailing and Megan is hit on the head with the boom and she falls in. I don’t think the desired response is me having a “Ha Ha” moment, Nelson style.

And Adam the poor little gosson, just can’t stay away from Megan. Gee, I wonder where I came across something similar before?!

“But I’m not strong enough to stay away. I think our destinies are too closely linked to be diverted to a different course.”

*Snort* Odds are if a guy said that to me I’d be all… See that door? I’m going to walk out it and never come back.

When “trackers” appeared toward the end, that was the ultimate kiss of death and cemented in my mind that this is a Twilight rip-off. I hate, hate, HATE books that resort to copying successful story-lines to get notice, and I can’t think of Carrier of the Mark in any other way than this. It’s exactly like Twilight, it’s actually quite sickening. This is one of those instances that I wish I had paid more attention to the reviews. I went in with an “It can’t be THAT bad” attitude. I can honestly say that yes it is that bad, and I found out the hard way.

Just a few quotes that made me want to rage-quit:

“I felt like we were being pulled together by some unknown force”

– Yeah… it’s called Insta-love!

“I had a whole new purpose – and it all revolved around this boy by my side”

*feels blood pressure rising*

“When a guy is that gorgeous, he could sprout wings and sport a tutu and I’d still have a bit of him”


  1. Hahaahhahahahah I love your review Alma. Insta-love is a pain in the butt, and that quote about have a new purpose??? Like wut? I'm definitely going to be avoiding this book like the plague, though I've never heard of it (I wonder why).

    1. Aww thanks Val! Insta-love is such a common thing these days, it's grating on my last nerve. I think you'd be doing the right thing by avoiding it!



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