Sunday, February 12, 2012

Missed the Mark

Carrier of the Mark
With all the supernatural or paranormal stories out there, it is really hard to be original these days. You can make your vampires sparkle or have kids kill each other in an area. Or you can use a supernatural element no one has ever used before, like Leigh Fallon's elements in Carrier of the Mark.

Since Megan's mother died, she and her father don't stay in one place for very long. She has learned not to get attached or make friends since she won't likely stay for very long. When they move to Ireland, it is more than just an adjustment to a new school and a new country, she also finds herself drawn to the guy in school whose family is rumored to be witches. Megan can't stop thinking about Adam, but strange things seem to happen when she is around him. When a sudden tornado saves her from two drunken attackers, she thinks Adam caused the wind storm. What she wasn't prepared for was the truth- that it was her who created the tornado.

Adam has to explain to Megan that they, along with his brother and sister, are the Marked Ones. They carry the four separate elements and Megan carries Wind. The elements were given to them by the Celtic goddess Dura. She wanted the elements to live in harmony and the Order continues that work. Now Megan must either accept her element or deny it and leave the world to continue on in chaos. In the meantime, a fringe group has infiltrated the Order and wants to stop the balance the alliance of the elements will bring. Megan has big decisions to make, but none of them are easy or clear cut. Not to mention the powers she can barely control!

I know people always compare new books of the same genre to uber-popular stories like Twilight, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games. I don't make those comparisons often, and usually only when the similarities are too blatant to ignore. I have to say, this book is eerily similar to Twilight. In fact, the similarities are too obvious to ignore and go way beyond just the basic plot elements. It is sad to see, especially since the idea of the elemental beings is so unique (although really confusing). Forget the setting (South Fork vs. West Cork), but the angry sibling who doesn't want the heroine to take on the powers, the surrogate/adoptive parent, the absentee/oblivious father, the ridiculously quick "could never live without you" love, etc. was just too much for me! In fact, the way Megan and Adam just all of a sudden (two weeks go by) are madly in love was not only unrealistic for me, it was just plain absurd. I wish Fallon had taken the elements and created the original story the potential was there for. 

This is a book best left for someone who likes paranormal romance and hasn't read Twilight. If they have, they will most likely be plagued with the same thoughts I had- the overwhelming similarities to Meyers' stories. I think it would also be best left to those "head over heels" kind of girls as the romance is a bit too much for most people. Not that I am not a romantic, but once in a while I need to see a healthy relationship between characters- not the kind where she will just melt into a puddle of tears and snot bubbles because she lost the love of her life... who she met two weeks ago. Where are my strong female leads already! So, sadly, I would suggest giving this one a pass. It wasn't a bad story, but the similarities are too numerous and too blatant to overlook. Especially now that I have mentioned them!

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