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Carrier of the Mark

Carrier of the Mark

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Carrier of the Mark

évaluations:
3.5/5 (70 évaluations)
Longueur:
296 pages
4 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Oct 4, 2011
ISBN:
9780062027887
Format:
Livre

Description

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.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Oct 4, 2011
ISBN:
9780062027887
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Leigh Fallon was born in South Africa, raised in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to Cork in her twenties. Leigh and her family now share their time between Ireland and the United States. She is also the author of Carrier of the Mark.


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Carrier of the Mark - Leigh Fallon

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PROLOGUE

Flames engulfed the boat, and my lungs ached as dark, noxious smoke filled the air. I struggled off the dirty makeshift bed and shuffled across the floor, the cable ties binding my hands and feet making my progress slow.

Suddenly a wall of water smashed through the cabin, dulling the flames.

Seizing my opportunity, I threw myself toward the wooden stairs, where the remains of the fire licked their way upward to freedom. I gritted my teeth and reached over to hook the cable binding my wrists on a jagged piece of scorched metal that I could see through the flames. Turning my face away from the searing heat, I tugged down sharply and felt the tie snap. I screamed as the flames burned my skin, but I didn’t have time to worry about the pain. I needed to get out, to warn the others. I had to make sure they were okay.

With my hands free, I released my ankles and scrambled up the still-burning stairs to the deck. Through the haze I could see a group of people on the shore. They stood motionless, staring at the ground. My eyes followed their horrified gazes to the body lying facedown on the water’s edge.

One

FIRST DAY BLUES

Four months earlier

My first day at a new school … again. I pulled on the school uniform and eyed myself critically in the mirror. A uniform! I couldn’t believe it. Back in Boston, only the fancy private schools had uniforms. But after some extensive Googling I learned that in Ireland, everyone wore them. Mine was a royal blue V-neck sweater (the letter from the school called it a jumper—I guessed I was going to have to get used to Irish phrases), a gray skirt, and a blue-and-yellow-striped tie. Hideous, of course, but it could be worse; at least I’d blend in.

I scowled at my reflection and tugged at the elastic holding up my wavy brown hair. I seriously needed a little makeup—at the very least, some mascara and lip gloss—but the school had a strict no-makeup policy—a throwback to its convent roots.

Finally semisatisfied with my appearance, I went downstairs, where I found my dad in the kitchen playing on his laptop and mumbling about cables.

Morning, Dad. Did you get that thing working?

Hey, Meg, he answered, looking confused. Yeah, it was working fine and then it just died on me.

It helps to plug the charger into the wall. That’s what actually charges the battery. I walked over to the socket, plugged it in, and pressed the power button on the computer.

It’s back! he cried.

The wonder of science, I said over my shoulder as I popped two pieces of bread into the toaster. So how do you like your new job?

It’s great. Why don’t you come down to the club after school? I’ll show you around. I have a feeling about this place, Megan. This could be the one.

I hoped that was true. It would be nice to stay in one school for an entire year, even if it meant living in Kinsale.

Sure, Dad, I replied. I’ll stop by after school. My toast popped up and I buttered it quickly. I should get going. I have to figure out where all my classes are.

Good luck, he said, glancing up from his computer with a reassuring smile. You’ll be fine. I’m sure you’ll fit right in.

The school itself wasn’t far from my house, and on my walk over (all downhill, thankfully) I saw lots of kids making their way in that direction. Nobody really paid any attention to me; in fact, people didn’t even seem to notice I was there. Score one for my unexceptional appearance. At five-foot-five, with pale skin and a sprinkling of freckles, I blended nicely into the sea of faces. I guess I could even pass for Irish, with dark green, almond-shaped eyes, courtesy of my dad, and my mom’s small oval face.

Turning the corner, I caught sight of the school gates, and my stomach fluttered a little. The school, a long, low building all on one level, had a parking lot in the front, and was bordered by basketball courts and grassy soccer fields in the back. I took a deep breath and made for the main entrance, when a pair of eyes caught my attention. Just inside the gate, a tall boy, leaning against a lamppost, was staring at me. A chill ran through my spine and my hands tingled. I balled them into fists and glanced down. What the hell? I was so distracted that I took a step forward and walked straight into another girl.

I’m so sorry, I yelped, as we stumbled and caught each other. I quickly glanced back at the lamppost, but the boy was gone.

No problem, a friendly voice chirped back. Looking for someone? She followed my gaze with a curious expression.

Oh, no. Well, yes, actually. I need to find the principal’s office.

New?

Am I that obvious? I asked, laughing.

I’m Caitlin, she introduced herself. Are you in fifth year?

Another term I was going to have to get used to. I was a junior back home. Yep. I’m—

Megan, she finished for me, and smiled apologetically at my shocked face. It’s a small town. We were wondering when you were going to show up. She pointed toward the school. The principal’s office is through the double doors and to the right. Sister Basil. She pronounced the name with an ominous tone.

I could feel my face paling. Great. A scary nun.

She’s not that bad really, Caitlin reassured me. She’s strict, but fair. Keep eye contact with her and agree with everything she says and you should be sorted.

Thanks, I said, turning to leave. I massaged my hands, trying to ease out the pins-and-needles feeling that still prickled through them.

Good luck! I’m sure to be seeing you later. We’re bound to share some classes. She waved and walked off.

Thanks to Caitlin’s advice, I got through my meeting with Sister Basil easily. She dispensed with the formalities quickly, gave me my schedule and the school map, then ushered me out of her office.

Classes in Ireland were divided into higher and lower curricula depending on ability. Luckily, I’d made the grade for higher English and I had that class first. I walked down the hall, following the map Sister Basil had given me. When I got to the room it was only half-full of students, most of them talking among themselves. I sat down at the first available desk, opened my copy of Hamlet, and tried my best to look engrossed while furtively listening to the chatter around me.

I still couldn’t believe how fast people here spoke, and I was having some trouble getting used to the musical accent. Dropping my pen (accidentally on purpose), I leaned down to retrieve it and took a quick look around. I was surprised by how nervous I felt. I had always taken pride in my ability to adapt—a talent that years of new schools and new friends had helped me perfect—but something about this day felt off. I scratched my neck. It always got itchy when I was nervous. And that prickling feeling I’d had in my hands earlier was back, leaving them cold and stiff. I stuck my fingers under my legs, hoping the heat and the pressure would get the circulation working properly again.

Just then, Caitlin came in. Smiling broadly, she walked toward me.

See, I told you we’d share some classes, she said, dumping her books on the desk beside me. She glanced over my head, then did a double take before sitting down and leaning in. Do you know Adam?

I shook my head. Who?

Adam DeRís, the guy down the back. Don’t look now, but he’s staring at you.

I felt red heat climb slowly up my neck, stinging as it passed over my scar. I ached to turn and look.

I don’t know anybody here.

Well, he appears to know you. He’s still staring. It’s weird; he’s normally only aware of his own self-importance. Oh, crap, she said, flicking her head back to me. He just caught me looking. Like he doesn’t have a big enough head as it is.

I strained my eyes to the side, twisting my neck slightly to try to get a look at him, but just then the teacher walked in and promptly got into some heavy Shakespeare.

At the end of the period, Caitlin packed up her books and notes. I stalled, wanting to give this Adam guy a chance to leave so I could catch a glimpse of him as he left the room.

Caitlin slyly glanced back and stood up. He’s still looking, she mumbled through barely moving lips as she turned to talk to the girl sitting behind me. I’ll tell you when he’s coming.

Just then I heard the screech of a chair on the tiles and Caitlin nudged me, raising her eyebrows. I knew I was being stupid. I was seventeen, not twelve. But I felt compelled to see who this guy was. I glanced up furtively as I heard him come near. It was the guy who had been watching me at the school gates. My heart began thudding loudly and my hands went rigid and tingly. The heat rose up my face.

Ohhhhhhh, new girl has the hots for Adam, scoffed the blond girl behind me. Don’t waste your time, honey, she said, putting on an American accent.

Jennifer! Play nice. Caitlin gave her a playful shove as Jennifer pushed past us to leave.

Adam glanced back at me and collided with the door frame. He winced and, rubbing his shoulder, made a hasty exit. Jennifer turned to us with her mouth hanging open, and then walked out after him, laughing.

Caitlin grabbed my arm and we made our way to the crowded hallway. Don’t mind Jennifer. She’s just ticked off because he’s never even looked at her. He’s a bit of a funny fish, him.

I nodded, barely listening. I was so embarrassed by my bizarre reaction to Adam.

Caitlin saw the look on my face and quickly changed the subject. Let me see your course list, she said, peering at the piece of paper on top of my folder. Oh, great, you’re in the same French as me. Wait until you meet Mr. Flood, our teacher.

Relaxing, I smiled at her. Why?

You should see his face! Only a mother could love it, and that’s not the worst of it.

I looked at her questioningly. What’s the worst of it?

She scrunched up her nose in disgust. You’ll see.

We moved quickly to our next class, and I soon found out why Caitlin very wisely steered us toward seats at the back of the room. Mr. Flood liked to put lots of emphasis into his pronunciation, something he very obviously took great pride in. The first row was a testament to that. There was a lot of scowling and wiping of faces. One of these faces belonged to Jennifer, who’d arrived late. She wiped her face with the sleeve of her sweater, and I giggled. Justice was served.

As much as I tried to focus on the class, my mind kept drifting to Adam. There was an air about him, something different. He oozed arrogance, from his perfectly straight nose to his carefully disheveled dark hair. Not my type at all. Not that I really had a type. We’d never stayed in any town long enough for me to develop anything more than friendships.

Suddenly, I noticed Mr. Flood standing over me. Excusez-moi, mademoiselle, mais peux j’ayez s’il vous plaît votre attention, he said into my face with a liberal spraying of saliva.

Oui, monsieur, je suis désolée, I said, snapping out of my reverie. It was a good thing Adam wasn’t in this class because I really needed to focus.

Mr. Flood walked back to his desk and I quickly mopped my face while he wasn’t looking. He lives up to his name, doesn’t he? I whispered to Caitlin.

The first half of the day passed quickly, one class running into another, and soon it was time for lunch. Caitlin and I sat on the grass in front of the building eating our soggy sandwiches. There were others scattered in groups around the grounds, enjoying the sunshine. It was still warm for September, and I was just rolling up my sleeves when Jennifer joined us.

As she passed me she fluffed my hair. Sorry about earlier; I was only playing. No hard feelings? She sat down and smiled at me.

Sure, I said, a little taken aback by the turnaround.

Sitting side by side, Jennifer and Caitlin were like night and day. Jennifer’s hair was highlighted and straightened and her skin was a smooth, perfect tan—which I assumed was fake. She was pretty, but she clearly worked at it; I could tell she had plenty of makeup on. So the strict no-makeup policy was not quite so strict. I could definitely get away with some.

Caitlin, on the other hand, was completely natural. Her light brown hair hung in long layers, framing a friendly, pretty face. She had a huge smile that touched her warm brown eyes, and she wasn’t wearing any makeup so far as I could tell.

Jennifer stood up and waved at two boys by the school doors, trying to get their attention. One had curly blond hair and bounded over with a big smile on his face. I noticed Caitlin blushing faintly as they approached. She glanced up at the blond shyly. The other guy had dark hair that was coaxed upward into messy peaks.

Hi, Jennifer, the dark-haired guy said.

Darren, this is the new American girl I was telling you about, Megan, Jennifer announced.

Ah, so you’re the reason DeRís has been tripping over himself all morning. Can’t say I’m not enjoying seeing him stumble around like that. Nice work, Megan. Welcome to the metropolis of Kinsale.

D’Reese? I asked, looking at Caitlin.

Adam DeRís, the guy from this morning, she explained.

Don’t get too close, Darren said with a smirk. Or he’ll turn you into a toad or some— A soccer ball came sailing through the air and smacked off the side of Darren’s head. That hurt, you plonkers! he shouted to a group of guys standing around the goal nets.

Come on, Killian, they’re starting without us, Darren said, kicking the blond boy, who was looking down at Caitlin. Jennifer, I’ll meet you at the front gates after school?

Sure, Jennifer replied, fluttering her eyelids. Then she turned back to us. I have to agree with him. It’s great to see Mr. Über-cool and Collected make a twat of himself. She looked me up and down appreciatively. I have a feeling you are going to be a very useful addition to our circle. Now … isn’t someone going to ask me what happened over the weekend with Darren? She smiled expectantly at Caitlin.

Oh, go on. Like you need to be asked, Caitlin said, rolling her eyes.

Jennifer launched into an all-out explanation of how she and Darren hooked up over the weekend, making sure to include every incidental happening. The more excited she got, the faster she spoke, until I couldn’t understand her anymore. It didn’t even sound like English. My mind drifted to Darren. What had he said about toads? Jennifer’s voice faded into the background as a familiar profile caught my attention.

Over by the school gate, Adam appeared to be arguing with someone. I could see that his eyebrows were furrowed together and his body was rigid. The other guy’s dark hair was wavy and long enough to spill out over the collar of his leather jacket. He pointed toward the school, his face screwed up in irritation, and then turned and walked away. Adam watched him leave as he rubbed his forehead with his hand.

I wonder what that was all about. Suddenly, Adam turned and looked at me, right into my eyes. Burdened by the weight of his stare, I dropped my gaze before he did and rubbed my tingling neck. When I looked up, he was gone.

Jennifer’s voice came back into focus; she’d come to the end of her story. She sighed and looked a little dreamy.

That’s so cool, isn’t it, Meg? Caitlin said, turning to me.

Um, yeah. Great, I replied quickly.

So, Caitlin, when’s the big move on Killian going to happen? Jennifer asked.

Caitlin flushed.

Jennifer rolled her eyes. Oh, come on. You’ve been hankering after that boy for two years now. It’s getting old! It’s so obvious that you’re mad into him.

Oh, shut up, Jennifer, Caitlin said, but not in a mean way. Come on; it’s time to get back to class. She jumped up and hauled me to my feet.

Holy crap, your hands are cold, she said, letting go of me to retrieve her grass-covered sweater from the ground.

I know; they’ve been like that all day. I shook my head in frustration, and pulled my sleeves down over them as I followed her inside.

Caitlin caught up to me as I was walking to the gate at the end of the day and took out her cell phone. What’s your number? I’ll definitely need it for some late-night bitching.

I held up my still-tingling hands. Sorry, I haven’t got an Irish one yet, but I’ll get right on it.

She made a face of mock horror. No phone! How have you existed here this long?

I cracked up. I promise I’ll have one by the end of the week. I’m meeting my dad now; I’ll put on the pressure.

But my laughter quickly died in my throat. A little down the road, Adam was leaning against the chipped paint of an old Volkswagen Golf. He was talking to the guy he’d been fighting with earlier. Adam’s mouth curled into a smile as the other guy gave Adam a mock punch before climbing onto a motorcycle.

Caitlin followed my stare and sighed. Trust me, you don’t want to go there, she said, stepping into my line of sight.

What do you mean?

She lowered her voice. He’s a snotty, stuck-up git. He’ll mess with your head. Just do yourself a favor and keep walking. I have to leg it now or my mum will kill me. She slowly turned and walked away.

My freezing hands shook. I shoved them in my pockets, but stayed rooted to the spot. Adam was relaxed, still laughing at something the other guy said. I gazed at his eyes, bright green, set wide apart, whites perfectly clear, framed with thick, dark lashes. I took in the curve of his lips, the high angle of his cheekbones, and his long jaw that gently rounded to his chin. I caught my breath when I saw there was a girl sitting in the car’s passenger seat.

Figures, I muttered.

Adam glanced in my direction and said something to the girl. She looked at me warily and I felt a flush of embarrassment creep up my neck. Was I that obvious?

Get a grip. Squaring my shoulders, I turned to walk into town. I didn’t see the old man approaching me until I was right in front of him.

Oh, I’m so sorry. I smiled, expecting him to apologize too, or perhaps step aside to let me by. But he just stood there, his watery gray eyes focused on mine.

Well … excuse me, I said, stepping off the sidewalk and quickening my pace. I looked back at the old man. He was wearing a brown cloak with a rope around his waist like some bizarre monk. His long gray hair hung loose down his back, and his beard was tied with a leather clip. His expressionless face turned to me.

I whipped my head around and didn’t glance behind me again. Odd; I felt like his face jogged a memory, but I couldn’t quite place it.

I focused on navigating the ten-minute walk to the marina where my dad worked. The club, though small, was world-renowned, and this manager position was the opportunity of a lifetime for my dad. Pulling on the shiny brass door handle, I walked inside and went straight to the receptionist’s desk.

Hi, I’m Megan Rosenberg; I’m here to see my dad, Caleb.

Ah, Mr. Rosenberg’s daughter—I wondered when I’d see you. Did you enjoy your first day at school, pet? It’s a nice school we have here. My own daughter was a student there until last year. She’s in college now in Limerick.

Not knowing what else to do, I nodded.

She cocked her head to the side and gave me a big motherly smile. I’ll just call him and let him know you’re here, dear.

A few minutes later, my dad came wandering in. Megan! he exclaimed. How was your first day?

I pulled my dad away from the reception desk. It was mostly good, I think.

Make any friends? Dad said, following his usual first-day script.

I made a few friends. One girl, Caitlin, is really nice.

Caitlin Brennan? the receptionist piped up.

Er, yeah, I replied slowly. Wow, this really was a small town.

Her mother owns the Misty Moorings bed-and-breakfast. She smiled.

My dad discreetly rolled his eyes and directed me out the front door. Sybil, he said, as if that explained it all. Tell me, what was your first day really like?

Honestly, it was one of the better ones. Something feels different this time.

I know what you mean, Meg. I think your mom’s looking after us, he said wistfully, glancing up to the sky.

Maybe.

Or it could be that Irish blood in you; it’s back on home turf.

I have Irish blood?

It’s pretty diluted, but it’s definitely in there. Your mom’s grandfather came from somewhere near here, I think. Somewhere in County Cork.

I guess that explains the freckles, I said, inspecting my arms. So, are you going to show me around your vast empire? I put my arm in the air and waved it around extravagantly. It looks very fancy. Is your office nice?

My dad was happy to give me the grand tour: the boats, the marina, and the club. I tried to look interested, but water and boats were never my

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3.6
70 évaluations / 32 Avis
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  • (5/5)
    Sometimes do you feel like just getting lost in a swoon-worthy, enchanting book? Me, too. Carrier of the Mark is that kind of book. From the ominous prologue, through the very last line, this book pulled me in and carried me along on the remarkable journey of Megan Rosenberg.Carrier of the Mark has so much going for it. Starting with the characters. Megan is a lovely teen protagonist. She is sweet, slightly awkward, and has a great sense of humor. She's not perfect. She occasionally has a snarky comeback, but usually keeps the snark in her head. She is an American new to Ireland, along with it's customs and slang. Her confusion and funny reactions to the slang she doesn't understand and the names she can not pronounce had me smiling through the whole book. You would think my favorite guy in Carrier of the Mark would be Adam. And I do dig Adam, I'll get to him next. But my favorite man is Megan's dad, Caleb Rosenberg. The father/daughter relationship is so heart-warming and great to see in a Young Adult novel. So many of the fathers in these books are absent or bumbling, cartoon-ish men or distant and hateful with their child. Megan's father is loving and attentive with Megan. He's not completely clueless and that was so awesome! Now for Adam. If you like your guy to be a appropriately mysterious and aloof when first meeting, and handsome (of course), then you will fall fast and hard for Adam. He's sweet and loving, but not cheesy. Romantic, without being sleezy. Protective, but not condescending. Adam is everything you want in a Young Adult guy. As for the rest of the characters, they are all equally fabulous. If I went into all the details about why I liked each one, this review would be way too long! Megan's friends, Caitlin and Jennifer are always good for a laugh. Adam's family Fionn, Rian, and Aine (forgive me because I lack the proper character keys to type their names properly) are all equally as intriguing as Adam. Fionn just completely breaks my heart. Aine is a delight. And Rian, well, I think (and hope) we will learn a lot more about this mysterious quasi-bad boy in the future. Author Leigh Fallon did a fantastic job of creating her own spin on the "paranormal young adult" genre. The paranormal aspect of the story is completely unique. Yay! Because, let's face it. Sometimes we really need a change from the same old story. I try so hard for spoiler-free reviews, so I won't get into the details, but her background for the story is elaborate and extremely well-developed, and not overly confusing. And if you are into Irish lore and traditions, and who isn't, you will really enjoy the background story of the Carrier of the Mark. Carrier of the Mark is such an enjoyable book. I devoured it within a day. Leigh Fallon has such an ease in her story-telling, making you feel as if you are part of the world. Carrier of the Mark is paranormal Young Adult at it's finest. Favorite Quote: " 'You feel it, too. I can tell. It's more than just attraction.' His finger that was caressing my lips moved slowly to my cheek. He let it slide gently up my jawbone toward my ear, stopping there to twirl a lock of my hair in between his finger and thumb."* I received this book from Harper Teen, in exchange for an honest review. *
  • (2/5)
    ***Spoilers***



    If I were smart I would probably not even review this book. I think I'm more puzzled than anything else. I should probably also state at this point that I did read the Twilight series: I didn't gag and groan about it as many people did, complaining about how pathetic Bella Swan was as a main character, nor am I a "Twi-Hard." I do think it set an unfortunate trend in Young Adult literature that I thought we were starting to pull out of.

    Maybe I should back up a little further. Maybe six months ago, I watched the DVDs of The Vampire Diaries, and I thought, boy, they are really copying Twilight. Then I looked up the dates and found out The Vampire Diaries had been written years before Twilight. It was simply that Twilight made vampires all cool and popular and sparkly. But new? Hardly.

    Varney the Vampire was written in the 1840's, almost fifty years before Dracula. I'm sure there are earlier stories than that, Varney is just the first one I thought of (one of the only good things about specializing in Gothic Fiction for my MA. I did have to check the date, though. I don't remember the important things, but that's a hard title to forget).

    Anyway, my point is that vampires were suddenly "in" and the new thing, when really they've been around for hundreds of years in literature. Stephanie Meyer just made them popular again. To death. (Sorry, no pun intended).

    Publishers, as always, pay attention to the covers of their books. Goodreads has lists of some of the categorizations some of these covers fall into, such as my favorite, "Girl running in dress in the forest." There are a lot of books on that list. Some of them are more tastefully done than others. One of them, Entwined, I happened to like quite a bit and own a copy myself now. I also think it was one of the better done of the covers.

    Carrier of the Mark has one of those interesting, pretty covers that made me want to check it out. I liked the abstract blue swipes? feathers? I'm not a graphic artist, I don't know what you call those swoopy things on the bottom of the cover. Incidentally, the same sort of swoopy things also grace the cover of Everneath, which I am also interested in reading, also partially because of the cover. I really like the swoopy things.

    The book also takes place in Ireland, which is a sure thing to suck me in. As I was reading, though, the story began to feel very, very familiar. An Amazon reviewer summed it up better than I did because she actually went through Twilight and matched all the similarities situation for situation. I am too lazy to do that--if you want to see how similar they really are, go to Amazon and check out the reviews there. Actually, it's because I have other things I'd rather be doing, but I'm glad someone spent the time to do what the reviewer did, because I thought I was possibly losing it a little.

    Basically, it has exactly the same plot line as Twilight, with some exceptions that did make it interesting. Instead of vampires, they are elementals. If things get messed up, it could mean the end of the world in some obscure fashion. The "family" (e.g. the Cullens) consist of a set of twins, a boy and a girl, and a cranky older brother who is very hostile toward the new girl in town that his younger twin brother has fallen head over heels in love with, and vice versa, and the man who is their guardian. Oh, and their rook. I did like the rook, Randel (I think I spelled that right--I've already turned the book back in to the library). But it's too dangerous for them to be together, they might create some sort of monster that could mean the end of the world, or, absolutely nothing. The translations of the histories are a little scrambled. Those crazy monks. Who knows what trouble they get up to down in those catacombs.

    Wait, that sounds a little like some past current events--the end of the world is nigh: oh, well, wait, maybe we just read that wrong. We'll try that again another time. Nope. Another year, maybe? We'll get back to you on that. But don't hold your breath.

    One difference is the main character, Megan, does actually have some power and uses it at the end, unlike Bella Swan, who, well, doesn't really change very much other than going from human to vampire. Maybe Megan and Bella aren't all that different after all.

    This book was "found" on inkpop. For those who don't know, inkpop was a Harper Collins site sold very recently to another company. It is a place for young adults and people who write for young adults to post their manuscripts and from then on it is a mad popularity contest to see if you can get your manuscript to the top five and keep it there for a month. It consists of a lot of spamming other inkpop members, etc. I know this because I did post a manuscript on inkpop, and also on authonomy, which is the adult version of inkpop. I ended up so disgusted by the whole thing (and worse, somewhat obsessed by it, wondering what number my manuscript was at--it's a little nerve-wracking) I pulled my manuscripts from both sites and deleting my accounts. As far as I know, Carrier of the Mark may be the only book, or one of the very few, to actually have been published from the hundreds, if not thousands, of manuscripts that get posted to those sites. I was wondering if I may have read an earlier version of the book on inkpop, because the names were very familiar, the plot was familiar, etc. Then I was left wondering if it was just the Twilight similarities.

    It's extremely unfortunate. The book had the potential to be good, instead of a knockoff of an already extremely popular set of books. You can dress a duck up in a dress and call it your Aunt Martha, but it's still a duck. Unless you happen to be a duck, in which case it very well could be your Aunt Martha.

    Similarities happen. I believe in the collective unconscious, and am so frustrated when I read something in a book that's already in mine that I started fifteen years ago but am still working on. It's maddening. Will I change it? If it's something big, I might have to. If it's something small, I may just leave it alone. There are a limited set of stories out there--there are theories on that, I'm not just tossing things out there as I sometimes tend to do. (Who told you that? Um. They did?) The point is to tell those same stories in different ways--the challenge. Carrier of the Mark isn't just a case of getting some of the same ideas from the collective unconscious, it's an all out collision with all of the flashing lights.

    Carrier of the Mark is supposed to be the first book of either a series or a trilogy. I don't make fun of those people anymore since I've become one of them and people in glass houses... (what? need curtains?) I may read them anyway, just to see if Fallon can pull the books out of the Twilight trap, take the pieces off the ground, and make them into something beautiful and new. (And who would have guessed I could have fit a reference to... now I'm curious to see how many people actually know what that reference is from. I'll give one hint. I like to sing it at the top of my lungs in my car, which is the only place I really sing. By myself. So now you know it's a musical.)

    I feel badly, to an extent, about this review. I get on my younger sister's case about being professional in reviews online because you never knew who will read them. I'm not trying to offend anyone. I think it's just my extreme disappointment that the book wasn't what I was hoping it would be, and my fear that now that the Twilight furor is dying down, depending on the popularity of Carrier of the Mark, it might start up again, when there are truly good novels coming out.

    Froi of the Exiles is coming out the 13th of this month. It's excellent. I'm actually considering spending the forty dollars or whatever it will be to order the third book from Australia when it comes out in October (not coming out here until next March). Melissa Marr's new book of short stories is out. Some I've already read from when they were posted online. I read one, on the Wicked Lovely timeline, that comes after Ink Exchange. It looks like a really good collection. I should write up a list of Young Adult books that I really liked, which means only that I really liked them, not that I am queen of the world and my taste dictates that everyone else must like them as well.

    On the other hand, if you liked Twilight, I think you will really like Carrier of the Mark. I didn't dislike it--I read the whole thing. Pretty quickly. It was just a disappointment. And a frustration. Why won't publishing companies be a little more courageous and publish new things instead of sticking to what they are sure will sell? That's another whole post in itself, not a review. Enough said.
  • (3/5)
    Megan Rosenberg has always moved around a lot. After her mother's death, her father just can't stay in one place for too long. This time, they are moving to Ireland because of her father's new job at a marina. When she goes to her new school for the first time, she immediately notices Adam DeRis and feels a magnetic connection to him. Unfortunately, he seems to avoid her at all costs. Other than this anomaly, Megan makes many friends like Caitlin, who tell her about the rumors that Adam and his family are druids and cast black magic. This doesn't deter Megan from her crush. As she spends more time with him, she notices strange things happening around him and his family. Is Adam some sort of druid? Is he dangerous? Why does she feel such a strong connection with him?When I first heard about this book, I was really excited about it. I enjoy Ireland and paranormal books, plus the cover is gorgeous. I was also impressed that it was picked up by HarperCollins after being put up on InkPop, a creative writing community. However, Carrier of the Mark fell short of my expectations. I enjoyed the writing, the characters, and the dialog between Megan and her friends. The writing was really what kept me interested. It flowed really well and had energy behind it that kept me reading even when parts of the plot didn't interest me. The characters were well rounded and detailed. The dialog between them felt authentic and I wanted to know more about them. No one was a stock character and I wish the book was more focused on character development. The other aspect I really liked was the paranormal and mythological aspects. I had never heard of anything like it before. It seemed to be loosely based in Irish mythology with Leigh Fallon's own ideas thrown in. I loved it and again wished there was more of it.The main problem I had was with the romance and some of the plot points. The romance was love at first sight and Adam and Megan became quickly obsessed with each other. I get that young love is intense, but they seemed too in love too quickly. I felt that their declarations of love and how they would die without each other got old really fast. There were a lot of similarities to Twilight including the forbidden love, girl moving to a new school and falling in love with the hot outcast, Adam's family, and even some structural problems. The main conflict was introduced very late and then resolved very quickly as well because their meeting and subsequent relationship took up about the first two thirds of the book. The beautiful Irish landscape and culture was also underplayed for the most part. Overall, I liked Carrier of the Mark for the original paranormal storyline and skilled writing. The romance was overplayed, tiresome, and seemed to similar to others in its genre. I would read the next book in the series to see if the mythology is explored in greater detail.
  • (4/5)
    I heard about Leigh Fallon's Carrier of the Mark a while back, before there was even news that it would be picked up and published by HarperCollins... back when it was still The Carrier of the Mark and had a giant THE covering the girls head on the cover. The story at the time sounded so intriguing and I quickly added it to my list of books to read some day.Well, sure enough, Leigh came out with the news that Carrier of the Mark would be a real, tangible book! Now all I had to do was wait many many months until it was published. And wait I did... while I read on Twitter about other people receiving this book for review, or seeing blogger's In My Mailbox posts containing this beauty. Finally, release day came around and I got my very own copy.For those of you who don't know, Leigh is an Irish lass. I've watched YouTube videos of her and her cute little accent is just to die for! Now knowing the way that Leigh speaks, I was able to easily transfer that accent to Carrier of the Mark which takes place in Ireland.Megan Rosenberg has moved quite a few times with her father since her mother's death. Most recently they've ended up in Ireland and, mysteriously, it feels like home. Megan can't explain the sudden attachment she has to Kinsale or the weird electrical current she feels coursing through her body when Adam DeRis is around... The more time she spends around the DeRis family, the more questions she has that need answers.My main downfall with this story was how much the beginning of the book felt like a Twilight rerun. With YA novels nowadays, it's really hard to come up with something truly unique without following the same formula as other novels. The first couple of chapters really read like Twilight to me. Girl moves to strange place with single father. Girl meets dark, broody boy in school and is instantly interested. Boy has never been interested in ANY girls and continues showing no interest in new girl. Suddenly, boy can't stand to be away from girl any longer even if it is dangerous. See?That being said, once Leigh added in the paranormal aspect the storyline picked right up and took of! I loved the mythology and the lore, the unique use of the elements (Air, Water, Earth, Fire) in the storytelling. The things that each character could do with their element and the ways they chose to use them was fascinating. I especially loved how Megan came more fully into her powers towards the end of the book, the way she harnessed them and fought to protect those she loves.I adored the setting. I'm fascinated with stories that take place outside of the United States. I like to hear about faraway places that I will most likely never travel. After googling photos of Kinsale and Ireland, I fell in love with the lush green hills and the sparking blue sea. The small town life was charming. I was grateful to find that I wouldn't be smothered by the Irish dialect in the story, as I learned how to pronounce the words through Megan learning to pronounce them correctly.I would have liked a little more depth to the characters, but I believe Leigh can easily build on them in her second novel. I would have loved to see Rian get a little more acknowledgement in the story. I think he could have been a real standout character had there been a little more dimension to him. I'm hoping that he will take more of a front seat in the upcoming novels. I loved the overall dynamic of the DeRis family. Their nature and spunk was just infectious.Overall, Carrier of the Mark is a very enjoyable read. Author Leigh Fallon has graced readers with a promising premise, steamy romance and a potent setting. I look forward to seeing where Leigh and the Carrier trilogy will take readers.
  • (5/5)
    If anyone knows me, they know how much I love Ireland. So this book not only had me bouncing in my seat, but I'm in love with Ms. Fallon's writing. Written beautifully, Carrier of the Mark captures the reader from the very first page, marking them forever...The plot line of this book is what captured me immediately. I loved the pacing of the story as well as the development of the characters. Strange things happen little by little, making the reader curious, ensnaring the reader to keep reading. Ms. Fallon's elements in this book aren't overly done all at once, but gives the right information at just the right moments.The characters of the book are amazing! I love it when an author came bring fresh voices to a whole new story. Megan is a smart, easy going girl that everyone loves. I love how Megan is not easily fooled by excuses. This girl knows what she wants and what she saw!The love interest is another great part of this book! I love that Ms. Fallon created a love that is not only meant to be but forbidden. It makes the story much more exciting to see to lovers fight for their right to be with each other. I love watching them endure hardships but also find peace in each other. Now that, is true love.If you like a type of book where there is more than meets the eye, read this book. It's a unexpected move, new school, new boy, and strange happenings. Dark and intriguing, Ms. Fallon created a world like no other. Are you marked?
  • (4/5)
    Although it took me a little while to really get into, once The Carrier of the Mark got me, it kept me reading. This book has a unique story line that is quite different than anything I've ever read before and that's one of the reasons why this is a good read!My favourite part of this book was the cool elemental twist! I've always been fascinated with the elements and a book about 4 people who can control and who are pretty much human embodiments of the elements was pretty darn cool! I really liked learning about the history and mythology of how the 4 elements came to live, for lack of a better word, within human bodies and how the powers traveled down through bloodlines. Although it was a bit confusing, it was definitely interesting!I liked our main character, Megan, for the most part, but she did annoy me a bit. She was definitely a strong character and was able to handle the crazy stuff that got thrown her was really well. She really cared about the people that she was close to and would do so much to keep them safe. But my problem with Megan was that I found her to be a bit selfish at times (which she admitted herself in the book). With her power, she had the opportunity to do something that would positively affect the lives of so many people, but she was so caught up in her relationship with Adam that she wasn't willing to give him up, even if it was for the "greater good, so instead of making a choice, so decided that she wanted to have both even when she was told that she couldn't. Although I still liked her, I feel like I would have liked her a lot more had she been a little more selfless.I quite liked our love interest, Adam, and his family! His family was really interesting and I liked getting to know them better as the book progressed. I also found Adam to be very sweet and willing to do whatever he could to protect those who he loved, even if it meant putting his own life at risk. I just wished that we had gotten to know Adam a bit better than we did, I feel like even by the end of the book I still didn't quite know him as well as I would have liked to.I also feel like the relationship between Megan and Adam was a bit weird. I felt like the two characters had hardly any interaction with each other before jumping into a super lovey-dovey relationship. I feel like the romantic build up between Adam and Megan was kind of skipped over, which I didn't like. What makes a romance feel real to me in a book is the build up and tension between two characters as they start to fall for each other. With this couple, it felt like Adam was just there in the background for a while, no interaction was really going on between him and Megan and then bam! I turned the page and they're suddenly a couple. It kind of caught me off guard. I felt a bit like their relationship appeared out of thin air (no pun intended, you'll understand this if you read the book :P).As a whole, I did quite enjoy The Carrier of the Mark and I look forward to reading its sequel, but it definitely wasn't the best book that I've ever read. I really liked most of the characters, I just had a few issues with Megan and wished that I knew Adam a bit better. I also feel like the romance between those two could have used a lot more building up so that it didn't feel so strange and sudden when they got together. Although the relationship might have been a bit of a miss in my eyes, the overall story line and cool element stuff behind this book was definilty a hit!I think that this book is definitely worth a shot because the good greatly out weighs the not so good in this book! I think that if you're willing to look past some of the flaws in this book, then it's an enjoyable read!
  • (3/5)
    Let me start by saying I was a little disappointed in this book.... It was like EVERY element of Twilight was featured here. So much so, I remember thinking that Bella and Edward must have packed up and moved to Ireland while I was reading the book. Lucky for the book, I did enjoy Twilight. I just don't think the book had enough of its own voice. One thing I did like about it was the cover. Wow, it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! And once you read it and you find out why it looks that way..... Psssh you'll be just as hooked as I was. I also liked the mythology that was featured in the story. I learned so much about the Irish culture that I had never even heard of. I absolutely love books like that. I can enjoy reading them but also learn about different cultures and places as I read. Which brings me to my next point. I felt as if I were swept away to Ireland as I was reading this. It was a very readable book, but the thing that put me off was the fact that I thought I might have been reading a book I thoroughly enjoyed before or if it was her actual writing. I am looking forward to the next installment of the trilogy to see if it was her writing or the thought that I may have heard the story before.
  • (3/5)
    I didn't get a chance to read Carrier back when it was still on Inkpop, so I can't tell you how different it is from what it used to be. I can tell you that Meghan was a great character - a little unbelievable at times, but realistic when it counted. It was easy to read her narration. The one thing I didn't like is that in the beginning, she gave up too easily after she saw Adam and his sister do some strange things. Sure, she still wondered about them, but she didn't really do much to try to figure it out, she didn't speculate about what it could have been.I'm not sure how I felt about Adam. There were times when I absolutely loved him, and then there were times when he just felt . . . blah to me. Easily forgettable.Adam's family was awesome, though. I loved how they each had their own history that we got to learn about. I feel like we might have met them a little too early, though.And this is where I have something to seriously complain about - the speed of Adam and Meghan's relationship. They've barely said ten words to each other and then suddenly they're claiming they can't stop thinking about each other and kissing. I was like . . . come on. Meghan knows absolutely nothing about Adam, other than his name and who his family is and where he works. That's pretty much it. I don't care if he's pretty. You don't just suddenly start making out with each other. And then the next day she's going to his house. I don't know about you, but that screams. "CREEPY" to me.I don't understand why everyone has to be "meant" for each other, "drawn" to each other by forces unseen. WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAIN OLD FALLING IN LOVE, HUH?There were some other parts in the beginning that seemed a bit rushed, too. You'd be reading a chapter, and then suddenly the next chapter is talking about how it's a month later, and I'm wondering what the hell happened.It got better once you got farther along, though I wish there had been some more descriptions of things. I want to know what things look like, what the people look like. There was so much dialogue and the descriptions of what was happening through Meghan's eyes that i have no idea what anything looked like.Overall: I probably made it sound way worse than it is. The plot of this book was awesome and original, and there were times when Adam was downright adorable that I loved him as much as Meghan. Adam's family and their interactions with Meghan had me laughing sometimes, angry others. Carrier of the Mark brought out some emotions from me, and I'll definitely be waiting for the next book. 3 stars.
  • (5/5)
    Carrier of the Mark was a great, refreshing Young Adult read. It was not at all what I was expecting, and I loved it.Carrier of the Mark focuses on Megan, an American teenager relocated to Ireland when her father receives a new job there. Soon, Megan meets Adam, a mysterious boy rumored to be a member of a family that practices dark magic and stuff like that. Megan begins to notice strange things when Adam is around, and soon she finds out she is a large part of something that has been in the works for thousands of years. What is it exactly? Read it to find out :) I found the story to be engaging and amazing, and unlike anything I have read so far. Though at times it felt somewhat slow, overall I enjoyed it, while I do wish there was a bit more action. Ireland! I really have wanted to go to Ireland for a while, seeing as my father's side of the family is from there and I know people from there, and they always talk about how great it is. Carrier of the Mark only increased my desire to go there. The beauty of the island where perfectly described and it fit the story perfectly. I really think it was one of the aspects of the story that made it really believable. The characters were a very strong point in this book. Every one of them had something likable about them. The relationship between Megan and her new friends was very believable, and they acted like friends would in real life. They had their ups and downs, but overall they stayed together. It was believable, which I found great. Adam and Megan's relationship was perfect. I liked the explanation behind their instant attraction. I really don't see many reasonable (in my opinion) explanations for some insta-romances in YA, so it was nice to see one that I really liked. Megan was a strong main character and it was great to see things from her perspective. She was never annoying and she didn't complain, and she really took care of herself. She had her moments when things didn't work out for her and she was upset, but that's understandable, nobody's perfect. Leigh's writing was excellent. Even when not much was going on, she had a way of making you keep reading, needing to know what's gonna happen. The tension of underlying threats was always there, and you never knew what's going to happen. Even at the slow parts, I found myself flipping pages pretty fast. Also, the mythology that Leigh found/created/used was amazing. As I said before, I have never seen any other plot like it. And if anyone else was thinking they knew what the novel was really about, you probably don't :) I thought I did, and I was wrong! (Which surprised me, haha)(kidding ;p ) Anyways, I felt the pace of the novel was perfect, it didn't keep you waiting too long to find out was going on, which I always love. (I am a very impatient person when reading.) While I wish there was a tad more action, which I expected there to be, I think it was enough to expect a lot more action/fights to be happening in future installments. (As you can probably tell, I am a lover of fight sequences and such.) Overall, I really loved Carrier of the Mark, and I think a lot of other people will too. It is original and isn't about werewolves or vampires or anything I have seen in the young adult world before. I think that will stick out to a lot of people, it definitely did to me. My outcome: Check this one out, I have a feeling you guys will love it just as much as I did.*I received this arc from Harper Collins publisher free of charge in exchange for an honest review- this in no way changed my review.*
  • (2/5)
    Carrier of the Mark owes its existence to Inkpop.com. I actually didn't know this before I picked up the book, but it's a fascinating story. Aspiring author Leigh Fallon posts Carrier to Inkpop.com, where it becomes the most popular work of fiction on the site. Thus, it caught the attention of editors at HarperCollins, who offered her a three-book deal to bring the Carrier story to the world. I've actually not heard of something like this happening before in the publishing world -I mean, why would a publisher want to publish something that's already around online for readers to enjoy for free? I suppose that it had enough promise that it was just worth it -seriously, this story sounds like something out of a dream.In Carrier of the Mark, young Megan Rosenberg moves to a new town and a new school in Ireland. She hopes that, this time she can stay in the same school for more than one year and you know, actually have a normal high school life complete with friends, boyfriend and a stable life. As she starts to settle into her Irish school (complete with new best friends, and new crushes), things turn out to be not-so-normal in Ireland. Megan's feeling for Adam are connected to an age-old secret group of elementals whose very existence helps to keep the world in balance.There really isn't much else to Carrier than that. In fact, if you've read just about any other YA novel with a thin paranormal backdrop, then you've read Carrier. It's the typical girl-moves-to-new-school, gets-crush-on-hot-boy, then there's some paranormal element that threatens to drive them apart. And sadly, the paranormal element of Carrier isn't all that interesting. At least there's the faint resemblance of some sort of originality here, but the concept is so overly complex that's its nearly impossible to fully understand -which makes much of the Megan/Adam romantic conflict difficult to get into. There was just not enough weight put into the conflict here -it didn't feel meaningful or "earth shattering" enough if the two "forbidden lovers" ended up together.I spent much of the novel struggling with its cliche approach and seemingly thin mythology, so it was very difficult to even attempt to enjoy anything else. At least Fallon is a decent writer -not great, but good. Most importantly, she did an excellent job of creating dialog that was interesting, realistic and really made the characters come to life, which is much more than I can say for a number of other books in the same genre. This is probably the only thing that got me through this book, though I never fully connected with Megan's dilemma. Recommendation? If you like these types of frequently-used teen paranormal setups, then Carrier will deliver exactly what you're expecting, complete with romance and a slight paranormal backdrop. If you're looking for something different, or don't care much for these types of setups (like me), then give Carrier a miss.
  • (5/5)
    Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon is the first of two books about a young girl, Megan, who moves to Ireland with her father. She finds comfort in her new friends there, and a boy named Adam, soon catches her eye. Megan can feel a pull that she cannot deny between her and Adam, but little does she know that this pull sprouted from a magical fate from her ancestors. She and Adam then find out that their unbreakable love could also be their death sentence.The cover of the novel is quite intriguing. The bright blue dress that the girl, who would presumably be Megan, is very captivating and contrasts with her bright red hair. Megan is floating in the sky in her dress because the element she possesses is air. I would recommend this book to any girl that is in middle school or high school.
  • (3/5)
    I started Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon with not a little trepidation, mostly assuming that I'd totally dislike it. Misty at The Book Rat's review covers all the ways the book mimics Twilight, and I think I've already proven I have zero tolerance for that. That being said - I ended up getting much more into the story than I expected!First off. Hell yes, the beginning of the book is basically Twilight set in Ireland. Every single thing about it is a straight up imitation and I was about to die of shock that the book had been published. Then things changed.Once the plot really gets going, all (well, most) of the Twilightness disappeared for me. Megan Rosenburg finds out that she is part of a mythological world she knew nothing about. She is eager to embrace the power she is discovering - until she learns it might be at the expense of her growing relationship with Adam. I am definitely not a fan of girls giving up their lives for a boy - but come on folks, we're dealing with teenagers here. Angst is a given. Unfortunately, insta-love is also usually a given, and this book is no exception. The entire book is so dramatic though, that the intensity of Adam and Megan's relationship in no way stands out.The magical system is very easy to get interested in - and the characters quickly grew on me once we got past the book's unfortunate beginning. If you find yourself wanting to throw the book against the wall when first starting, I highly recommend you keep going.Also, involved father alert! I love love when YA books don't just sweep the parentals under the rug as dead weight.So - the book is certainly not one that I feel the need to immediately rush out and buy to have on my shelves, nor is it one I'd mention to people asking me for recommendations - but if you have a copy or think the plot sounds intriguing, pick it up! The story is easy to get lost in and is definitely worth the few hours it will take you to read.
  • (1/5)
    I made it about 100 pages in before I gave up. The dialogue is unbelievable (especially the interactions with her dad) and her reactions to what is going on around her just didn't ring true to me.
  • (2/5)
    This book was not nearly as good as it seemed it would be. The plot was much too similar to Twilight, which I didn't enjoy. I'm just sick of the new girl comes to a different place and finds a beautiful, vapid young man who loves her instantly and has to valiantly stop himself from jumping her bones. The main reason I enjoyed any of this book was because of the Irish setting, names, and the premise of the four elements.
  • (4/5)
    Carrier of the Mark is not a novel that I will be forgetting about anytime soon, as I have many questions regarding certain aspects of it. I believe that it has a wealth of potential that it quite possibly taps into, as you follow along with the story it has to tell, whether or not some of it is confusing in some ways is left to the reader to decide for themselves. It is a bit different and unique, but that in and of itself, and I applaud Leigh Fallon for that. There was so much to the story, that needed to be told and sometimes it felt as if it were a bit too much, in a way it was a touch overwhelming with everything being given to the reader all at once. Then the relationship aspect of it, that occurs between Adam and Megan, seemed quite intense and almost rushed in a sense. I think I would have liked to have seen that slowed down just a bit and pulled back on. I have always been one for slow build up's to a romantic interest, it makes it more realistic in a sense. Although, I will have to say, that I found these two quite adorable. Fallon also gets bonus points for not writing in a love triangle, as fun and interesting as those can sometimes be, sometimes it's much nicer without them hanging about and mucking things up in the process.The scenery was gorgeous and very well depicted in the novel. With every flourish of Fallon's turn of phrase, I felt like I was right there with the character's and was experiencing everything they were. Reading this novel, felt like reading beautiful poetry set to real life motion. It was undeniably beautiful. There is just no other way to describe it. And the thing is, as confusing as the prophecy and the Carrier's were to me, I very much enjoyed that aspect of the novel. I felt like there was so much more to the story and that it would be revealed with the next book, if I could just wait long enough for it. I have this strong desire to know more about them, like more on the history of how the legend came about and why the Carrier's function as they do, and what makes that prophecy so important?As confused as I am with some aspects, I find myself captivated and driven by a natural desire to know more. I want to see other stories given the chance to unfold, such as Rian's, Adam's older brother whom I was quite taken with. The supporting character's are just as interesting as the main protagonists, few of them I think I may have ended up liking a bit more. The only flaw, that I keep inherantly coming back to, is that it seems as if Fallon has this desire to tell everyone's story all at once to get them out there, but I do feel it muddles up the plot and again becomes a bit overwhelming to the reader with everything being given to them all at once, instead of built up over a period of time and then revealed. The plot line was well developed, I do feel, with some room for improvement and a little less clutter or confusion. Carrier of the Mark does provide an interesting and unique story, with some pretty memorable supporting character's as well as the two main protragonists that accompany them. I found myself deeply invested in this story and all that it had to offer, it's almost as if you're leaving normal and you're headed out into the great unknown. It's just that strong feeling of wanting to know more, even if it is dangerous to know and you do have a strong keen sense of power to keep the balance in the world from shifting. All of this and so much more, is what Megan now has to deal with and it's probably one of the most interesting and confusing things that I have ever read in a long time. For me, personally, Carrier of the Mark was powerfully alluring, massively exciting, and filled with so many questions that I want the answers to. Which is why, I have no problem giving it four of five stars, I would have given it the full five if it hadn't been for some of the confusion and the feelings of being overwhelmed by all of the stories that were being told at once. These are minor flaws though, and they don't slow me down in recommending this book to all who enjoy great paranormal novels that provide unique stories being told. In my opinion, Carrier of the Mark was a great debut novel for Fallon and I look forward to seeing more from her. It just simply possesses everything that I would want a new debut young adult paranormal romance complete with legend's, original storyline's, and star-crossed romance to entail.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book!!! I loved the fact is was set in Ireland. All the characters were really easy to like and Adam is swoon worthy!!Full review to come.
  • (3/5)
    I really, really wanted to love The Carrier of the Mark. Ireland, intriguing supernatural storyline, and a darkly handsome boy?And the storyline of The Carrier of the Mark certainly grabbed my interest. It was original and I honestly didn't know where Leigh Fallon was going to take her story because I've never read anything quite like it before.But the romance. The romance was maybe just a bit too much for me. If you liked Edward Cullen, you would definitely like Adam. Very overprotective, lots of the insta-romance. It just wasn't for me. I like dark and dangerous. I found myself hoping she would be attracted to his brother or something just to make it interesting. Although, I did think it was funny to see a guy embarrassing himself in front of the girl for once.The setting was beautiful. I love reading about Megan's time in Ireland because it reminded me so much of my time living abroad. Overall, I liked and disliked The Carrier of the Mark. Without the romance, it would have definitely been an absolute hit with me. Sort of witchy, which I like a lot. If you're looking for an original supernatural storyline, and are a fan of romance, definitely check out The Carrier of the Mark.
  • (5/5)
    What I LovedStoryLoved the magic, romance, conflicts, the beginning of many trials to come and of course the setting. I was kept very interested throughout the entire book, never any dull moments that made me want to skim through paragraphs.RomanceA Romeo and Juliet type love affair, always a wonderful classic type love. They have wonderful chemistry and passion, they still keep it innocent for the younger readers though. I am rooting for them to be together and I can't wait to see what will happen in the next book. Fallon has some hard trials ahead of them in the coming books.A Little ConcernedWhen I first started reading the book I was a little put off by all the similarities to Twilight. The grouchy across the room first meeting with a cold shoulder, the new girl in a small town with the mysterious hottie family, a Rosalie type character and even the almost attack and save. But I guess we have to all realize that similarities will always happen in books, there is only so many storylines that can be created, but how the author creates the characters and conflicts is how this story completely went its own direction. By the middle of the book I no longer cared about the similarities and I was completely riveted and entranced with this Irish land with magic.RecommendationEven with the little off puts I still completely enjoyed and loved the book. It is a great quick read that kept me interested at every page. Worth the read for all readers in this genre.
  • (3/5)
    The story and concept were nice and engaging even though they were not totally unique in themselves. I love fantasy elemental ideas and I think the author pulled this off pretty well.Meg was an okay character, she didn't really do anything for me and really neither did Adam. They seemed pretty flat and one dimensional. The insta-love kind of bugged me too. Okay, I can see a little bit the elemental attraction but it never really was explained enough for me, it was still just uninspiring insta-love.As I was reading I did (like everyone else) pick up on the twilight similarities. Unlike everyone else I found this to be amusing and quite entertaining overallI will read and am looking forward to the second addition to this series. The book was a light quick read that was entertaining and fun
  • (4/5)
    Carrier of the Mark gave me a little bit of Twilight deja vu. Girl moves to new town living with her dad. She is drawn to the mysterious boy who is a loner along with the rest of his family. Once it got off that track though it found it's own plot. I really liked what the made the family so "strange". I've always felt that things incorporating nature seem a little more realistic to me. In a whole if magic was actually real sense. I enjoyed the writing and the character development. I was a little confused on some of the bloodlines. I felt like I needed a chart but I got the jist enough to understand what was going on. I liked the ending even though some things were tied up in a manner of speaking it still left some unanswered questions. Question that I want to know the answer to and will definitely be diving into the next book as soon as it comes out.
  • (5/5)
    Okay, look at this cover and tell me it doesn't scream "READ ME!"? I have been in such a big reading slump lately that it has been very hard for me to get into a book and actually finish it. I started maybe six books and did not finish them. Finally, I decided that I would try the book with the amazing cover and see if I can finally snap out of this. Two pages in and I was hooked!It only took me a day to read it. This book went everywhere with me and whenever I could sneak a page or two, I did! I loved all the characters and the whole world Fallon created. It was very believable and very exciting. I also REALLY liked that Fallon did not waste any time at all bringing Adam into the picture. From their first meeting I was already a fan of Adam ,I am a sucker for the dark and mysterious boys.The only thing I did have a bit of a problem with was that almost every character had a story to be told. Don't get me wrong, it was nice to learn all the why's and who's, but it just felt like it was way too much information being thrown at me all at once, and at times I got a bit confused. I actually had to reread some parts to make sure I was getting everything. In the end though, it all fell into place and made perfect sense. I am so happy that I got the chance to read it.Carrier of The Mark is just AMAZING. The End.5 out 5 Stars!
  • (3/5)
    More at theawesomemagicattic.blogspot.comThe cover is just gorgeous! One of the best covers I've seen this year, no doubt. And the summary's got a lot of potential, and definitely makes you itch to get your hands on this book. Lucky for me, the publisher sent me a review copy :DIt's a wonderful story, and has plenty of potential. The whole idea with Carriers and the Marked is all very unique, and quite unlike any other story I've read so far. And it's set in Ireland! Don't think I've read any other book set in the same place before.Megan moves to a new town in Ireland with her dad. At her new school, she's drawn to the mysterious Adam, but many girls warn her against him. Adam and his family are quiet, aloof, and keep to themselves, and there are strange stories surrounding the family. However, Adam acts differently around Megan, and when Megan begins seeing and experiencing strange things when being around the DeRis family, she begins to wonder if there was more to them than meets the eye.This was an interesting story, with a lot of interesting characters. I've never heard anyone speak with an Irish accent, and I was kind of wondering what it sounded like? It's the first story to be 'discovered' on Inkpop, and I can see why the people over at HarperTeen chose this one to publish, but honestly, I had some tiny issues with this one. Nothing major, but with all the buzz running around about this book, my expectations were pretty high. Like I said earlier, this story was unique, and definitely had a lot of potential. But to be honest, the part where Adam and his family explains all about the legends, the prophecy, and the Carriers confused me, and even when I re-read it a few times, my mind was more than a little muddled up. I feel that we should've been been explained things gradually, and reading that much information at once put my brain at an overload. Also, Adam and Megan's relationship was... unreal. I felt like it was rushed, too fast and too intense at a way too early stage. But they were a really cute couple, and I wish the author had slowed down, and let their relationship slowly unfold.My favorite character was Adam's sister, Aileen. To be honest, most of Megan's friends seemed like the stereotypical 'popular girl,' with all that talk about boys, boys, and boys. Aileen was the most realistic one out of them all, with a preppy but slightly mysterious and nice attitude, and a sunny smile. But a good thing was that the dialogue was realistic. It was interesting, and really brought life and attitude to her characters.Overall, it was a very entertaining story. I'd recommend this to paranormal romance lovers, and fans of books like Twilight, or perhaps Beautiful Creatures. I'm really glad I got the chance to read this book, and I'll definitely be looking out for the second book when it hits stores :)(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC!)
  • (2/5)
    ***Spoilers***



    If I were smart I would probably not even review this book. I think I'm more puzzled than anything else. I should probably also state at this point that I did read the Twilight series: I didn't gag and groan about it as many people did, complaining about how pathetic Bella Swan was as a main character, nor am I a "Twi-Hard." I do think it set an unfortunate trend in Young Adult literature that I thought we were starting to pull out of.

    Maybe I should back up a little further. Maybe six months ago, I watched the DVDs of The Vampire Diaries, and I thought, boy, they are really copying Twilight. Then I looked up the dates and found out The Vampire Diaries had been written years before Twilight. It was simply that Twilight made vampires all cool and popular and sparkly. But new? Hardly.

    Varney the Vampire was written in the 1840's, almost fifty years before Dracula. I'm sure there are earlier stories than that, Varney is just the first one I thought of (one of the only good things about specializing in Gothic Fiction for my MA. I did have to check the date, though. I don't remember the important things, but that's a hard title to forget).

    Anyway, my point is that vampires were suddenly "in" and the new thing, when really they've been around for hundreds of years in literature. Stephanie Meyer just made them popular again. To death. (Sorry, no pun intended).

    Publishers, as always, pay attention to the covers of their books. Goodreads has lists of some of the categorizations some of these covers fall into, such as my favorite, "Girl running in dress in the forest." There are a lot of books on that list. Some of them are more tastefully done than others. One of them, Entwined, I happened to like quite a bit and own a copy myself now. I also think it was one of the better done of the covers.

    Carrier of the Mark has one of those interesting, pretty covers that made me want to check it out. I liked the abstract blue swipes? feathers? I'm not a graphic artist, I don't know what you call those swoopy things on the bottom of the cover. Incidentally, the same sort of swoopy things also grace the cover of Everneath, which I am also interested in reading, also partially because of the cover. I really like the swoopy things.

    The book also takes place in Ireland, which is a sure thing to suck me in. As I was reading, though, the story began to feel very, very familiar. An Amazon reviewer summed it up better than I did because she actually went through Twilight and matched all the similarities situation for situation. I am too lazy to do that--if you want to see how similar they really are, go to Amazon and check out the reviews there. Actually, it's because I have other things I'd rather be doing, but I'm glad someone spent the time to do what the reviewer did, because I thought I was possibly losing it a little.

    Basically, it has exactly the same plot line as Twilight, with some exceptions that did make it interesting. Instead of vampires, they are elementals. If things get messed up, it could mean the end of the world in some obscure fashion. The "family" (e.g. the Cullens) consist of a set of twins, a boy and a girl, and a cranky older brother who is very hostile toward the new girl in town that his younger twin brother has fallen head over heels in love with, and vice versa, and the man who is their guardian. Oh, and their rook. I did like the rook, Randel (I think I spelled that right--I've already turned the book back in to the library). But it's too dangerous for them to be together, they might create some sort of monster that could mean the end of the world, or, absolutely nothing. The translations of the histories are a little scrambled. Those crazy monks. Who knows what trouble they get up to down in those catacombs.

    Wait, that sounds a little like some past current events--the end of the world is nigh: oh, well, wait, maybe we just read that wrong. We'll try that again another time. Nope. Another year, maybe? We'll get back to you on that. But don't hold your breath.

    One difference is the main character, Megan, does actually have some power and uses it at the end, unlike Bella Swan, who, well, doesn't really change very much other than going from human to vampire. Maybe Megan and Bella aren't all that different after all.

    This book was "found" on inkpop. For those who don't know, inkpop was a Harper Collins site sold very recently to another company. It is a place for young adults and people who write for young adults to post their manuscripts and from then on it is a mad popularity contest to see if you can get your manuscript to the top five and keep it there for a month. It consists of a lot of spamming other inkpop members, etc. I know this because I did post a manuscript on inkpop, and also on authonomy, which is the adult version of inkpop. I ended up so disgusted by the whole thing (and worse, somewhat obsessed by it, wondering what number my manuscript was at--it's a little nerve-wracking) I pulled my manuscripts from both sites and deleting my accounts. As far as I know, Carrier of the Mark may be the only book, or one of the very few, to actually have been published from the hundreds, if not thousands, of manuscripts that get posted to those sites. I was wondering if I may have read an earlier version of the book on inkpop, because the names were very familiar, the plot was familiar, etc. Then I was left wondering if it was just the Twilight similarities.

    It's extremely unfortunate. The book had the potential to be good, instead of a knockoff of an already extremely popular set of books. You can dress a duck up in a dress and call it your Aunt Martha, but it's still a duck. Unless you happen to be a duck, in which case it very well could be your Aunt Martha.

    Similarities happen. I believe in the collective unconscious, and am so frustrated when I read something in a book that's already in mine that I started fifteen years ago but am still working on. It's maddening. Will I change it? If it's something big, I might have to. If it's something small, I may just leave it alone. There are a limited set of stories out there--there are theories on that, I'm not just tossing things out there as I sometimes tend to do. (Who told you that? Um. They did?) The point is to tell those same stories in different ways--the challenge. Carrier of the Mark isn't just a case of getting some of the same ideas from the collective unconscious, it's an all out collision with all of the flashing lights.

    Carrier of the Mark is supposed to be the first book of either a series or a trilogy. I don't make fun of those people anymore since I've become one of them and people in glass houses... (what? need curtains?) I may read them anyway, just to see if Fallon can pull the books out of the Twilight trap, take the pieces off the ground, and make them into something beautiful and new. (And who would have guessed I could have fit a reference to... now I'm curious to see how many people actually know what that reference is from. I'll give one hint. I like to sing it at the top of my lungs in my car, which is the only place I really sing. By myself. So now you know it's a musical.)

    I feel badly, to an extent, about this review. I get on my younger sister's case about being professional in reviews online because you never knew who will read them. I'm not trying to offend anyone. I think it's just my extreme disappointment that the book wasn't what I was hoping it would be, and my fear that now that the Twilight furor is dying down, depending on the popularity of Carrier of the Mark, it might start up again, when there are truly good novels coming out.

    Froi of the Exiles is coming out the 13th of this month. It's excellent. I'm actually considering spending the forty dollars or whatever it will be to order the third book from Australia when it comes out in October (not coming out here until next March). Melissa Marr's new book of short stories is out. Some I've already read from when they were posted online. I read one, on the Wicked Lovely timeline, that comes after Ink Exchange. It looks like a really good collection. I should write up a list of Young Adult books that I really liked, which means only that I really liked them, not that I am queen of the world and my taste dictates that everyone else must like them as well.

    On the other hand, if you liked Twilight, I think you will really like Carrier of the Mark. I didn't dislike it--I read the whole thing. Pretty quickly. It was just a disappointment. And a frustration. Why won't publishing companies be a little more courageous and publish new things instead of sticking to what they are sure will sell? That's another whole post in itself, not a review. Enough said.
  • (2/5)
    Instantly drawn to a mysterious, alluring boy in her class, teenaged Megan, an American living in Ireland, discovers that they are linked by a supernatural destiny that gives them power Megan never knew she possessed.

    [Thursday, December 15, 2011] I'm almost half way through the book. But as always I can't wait to write my review before I'm done. I guess I don't want to forget a thing. When I first began, I thought the story was very cute, but later on, I thought: "Oh boy! Another Twilight fan!" The story might be set in Ireland (where it's cold) but the story line seems similar to Twilight a lot. First, a girl living with her dad alone, than the whole clan thing, than the weird sister (like Alice) than the accident, and her feeling something is off, and than the incident with the boys assault and him saving her, visiting his family, the possibility of a strange baby if they ever get married... etc etc. The author is following Twilight story line to a fault!! That... I didn't like. But unlike Twilight, the use of words and vocabulary is not strong. Beside that the characters seem lame. I like the cover though.

    [Wednesday, July 24, 2013] I can't even give this book two stars. The story is fake, so are the characters. The worst books are the books that make you see that the author is lying and that his/her imagination is flawed. Great books make you believe every lie and invention that author creates.
  • (1/5)
    1.5I feel bad about what I'm about to do. Honestly. I'm not one of those people who just writes snarky, mean-spirited reviews, just for the sheer black-hearted, puppy-kicking glee of it. As tempting as that sometimes it, I just am not that reviewer (generally). I like puppies.   And Leigh Fallon seems like a really nice person, and  I had high hopes for this book.  And everything I'm about to say makes me feel like a bully, but no.  Just - no.I knew almost immediately that I was not going to like this book.  You may be asking yourself, then, why the hell I kept reading.  Generally, I would not.  But there were a few reasons in this case:1. When it's a book I requested, and it's for an event like this, then I absolutely will make myself finish.2. I was curious enough and it was a quick enough read that I was willing to give it a chance - and then at a certain point, when you get so far, you just can't back down.But mostly 3. I kept noticing these little things (that added up to one very big thing) that were driving me out of my mind, so I had to finish it just to see how many I would come across.  (The little things are spoilery and rant-like, and OHMYGOD I could go on about them forever, but instead they comprise a chart at the bottom.  Read at your own discretion)Beyond the one-very-big-thing-comprised-of-little-things, I never connected with the writing in this.  The characters speak like they're in an after-school special.  It was strange: by turns formulaic, other times robotic, and often just not natural.  They were caricatures rather than characters, and they crossed the line into cheesy one too many times for my liking.  It was all these stupid, seemingly insignificant things - for example: people don't generally say each other's names a lot in conversations.  If someone were to speak to you like this: "Hey, Mary. What are you doing later today, Mary?  I was thinking, Mary, that maybe we could go to the mall - what do you think, Mary?" you would be like, WHY THE F*CK DO YOU KEEP SAYING MY NAME?!  It's weird. It's uncomfortable.  And it makes it seem like the characters aren't well acquainted, like they aren't comfortable enough with each other to just talk.Sort of in-line with that, the characters have a tendency toward woodenness.  Megan's dad is ridiculous, as cardboard and saccharine as they come.  There's never any tension or discovery with any of the characters because they all stay basically what they enter the story as, and what you are expecting them to be.  Rian is the only one who changes(ish), but the rest pretty much leave the story as they entered it.And I think this is emblematic of the problems with the book as a whole: there isn't enough depth and tension. There's an immaturity to the writing that deprives the story of tension, of struggle, of that key element that makes you sit on the edge of your seat.  Instead, everything is obvious and the reader is hit over the head with it.  But worse, everything comes so easy.  Megan accepts what she is too easily, she transitions into the deRis family too easily, she and Adam fall in love too easily, become comfortable with each other and the situation to easily - everything just happens and it's not really built on any kind of foundation other than "I say so".  The monk and the bird and the rumors and the OBVIOUSNESS of it all, and the suddenness and the easy acceptance - the way is cleared time and time again for things to just happen and as a result all chances at the delicious tension readers crave is killed.  There's never very much of a struggle on Megan's part to understand* or accept this whole new way of thinking about the world and herself.  It's frustrating.The only thing I can really say in its favor is that it did actually start to pick up at one point.  The only thing is...that was 200 pages in. And for a review, I'll stick with it, but for pleasure, you are NEVER going to get 200+ pages out of me before I can call it enjoyable. That book will be put down (like a rabid dog).*And on the note of "understanding", I do have to make a mention of the times when understanding does not come easily to Megan.  There are times - huge swathes of the story - when Megan's intellect and powers of comprehension seemingly revert to that of a 4 year old.  Every time one of the deRis' begin to tell her of the history of the Marked and all that shiz, she peppers them with "why"s and "what about"s and "I don't understand"s and "but"s - and it's all a sneaky little set-up for Fallon to do massive amounts of info-dumping in the guise of dialogue.  I mean, paragraph upon paragraph, page upon page of convoluted, over-sharing info-dumps, with set-ups you can see coming a mile away.  All for the sake of trying to explain what is a fairly strained mythology and backstory.  It just - no.Just no.And now: The Little Things: aka The Carrier of the Twilight Mark by Leighmeyer Stephallon; or, The Tale of an Epic Rip-Off(unless Misty is just hyper-aware of these things...)See the chart here!
  • (4/5)
    Originally posted at Christa's Hooked on BooksTo be quiet honest I had mediocre expectations for this book. It sounded like so many other books I've read this year. But let this be a lesson to me! Expectations can be wrong. This book was so fun and unique and I absolutely loved it. In fact I ended up loving it more than many of those “similar sounding” books. Here are some of the reasons it really stood out for me.First of all it's set in Ireland. Sorry to all my American readers but as a non-American resident, sometimes it gets frustrating when every story is set in the U.S. Having The Carrier of the Mark take place is Ireland was a refreshing change. Plus Ireland is amazing. It's beautiful, it's got amazing history and culture and the book is full of neat little nuances and sayings that make you wish you could head over to the Emerald Isle yourself.In addition to the setting I love the way this book draws on nature. I can't tell you exactly what the supernatural powers are in this book but there are many references to the elements and I love this. I saw one review that said it made them think of Captain Planet! I love that description! I think Megan has a kick-ass superpower and that makes her pretty darn cool in my book!Finally I loved Adam. Seriously, could this guy get any more sweet? Though I also love the rebel without a cause thing, that many leading men in YA tend to emulate, it's nice to come across someone like Adam. Someone who doesn't play games and get angry at every little thing. There's no stupid little arguments, where one (or both) characters stomp off and don't talk to each other (quick tip – this is not the foundation of a solid relationship and is no way to solve your problems!). Instead Adam and Megan face things together. They're a team and they care about each others well being. I think this sends a positive message to readers of every age. My only complaint, however, is that this book falls into the trap of insta-love. I'm sorry but you just don't fall completely “head over heels – I'd do anything for you – we're going to be together forever” in love, after only a few days. You just don't. I just wish there was a little more relationship building instead of just jumping right in.To sum up, this book totally exceeded my expectations! It has an amazing setting, a unique plot and the love story is adorable (although a little cheesy). I am now one of Leigh Fallon's dedicated fans and I am certain I will not be the last. The Carrier of the Mark is a great read and I hope you pick it up!
  • (5/5)
    Have you ever looked at a book, read the summary and just know you are going to love it? Well, it has happened to me a couple of times and the first time I heard about Carrier of the Mark I got that feeling. The fact that it takes place in Ireland was the first big pull for me, the paranormal element the second, and the promise of an epic romance sealed the deal. I sat down and started reading thinking I would get through a hundred pages before I had to get some work done, yeah that work never got done. I engulfed this book in one sitting and loved every minute of it.Let’s start out with the story itself. We follow Megan, who is not only going to a new school, but a whole new country. Her and her dad move around quite a bit since her mom died, so she is used to it, but getting used to being in a new country is taking some adjusting. She is lucky enough to find Caitlin on her first day of school, who immediately takes Megan under her wing. Megan know that her and Caitlin are going to get along great, but she is not so sure about the guy who seems to be everywhere she turns and is always starting at her, Adam. She feels a spark as soon as she sees him, but cannot pinpoint the why. She also notices some strange things about Adam and his family and cannot help but seek out the truth behind the odd behavior and the strange rumors that her classmates tell her about him.As far as secondary characters go, I really enjoyed them. Caitlin was a solid character and had great interactions with Megan. It was good to see Megan have healthy friendships and not get caught up in the cattiness that came sometimes come with high school. I also appreciated Megan’s relationship with her father. Sometimes in young adult books the parents can me absent or uncaring, but that was not the case with Megan’s dad, Caleb. He cared so much for her and was there for her every step of the way. It was nice to have the problems in Megan’s life be about the paranormal and not backstabbing friends or bad parenting. I also need to talk about Adam’s family. His sister Áine, his brother Ríne, and their guardian Fionn, because once Megan begins to unravel secrets those people become pivotal to her life. Áine was my personal favorite with her quirky personality and great sense of humor that would come out randomly throughout the book and have me laughing out loud. Ríne took a little longer to grow on me, but by the end I did come to like him too. I still think there is a lot more to him then we have seen so far though. His darker side is alluded to a couple of times and I worry that is going to come out later in the series as a problem, but I will have to wait in see what Leigh has in store for him. Fionn was the character my heart went out to the most; once his past was revealed, his tragic circumstances had my heart breaking. He has lost so much and still watches over Adam and his siblings like they are his own children. The emotional connection I had to some of these people just proves how strong secondary characters in this book really are. They all have some sort of effect on Megan’s life and their stories just enriched hers.The mythology Leigh created in this book was so interesting. I am not sure if it is based on actual Irish legend, but I ate up every detail she gave us. So often paranormal books can be about the same creatures with a different spin, but Carrier of the Mark is based on a legend I had never heard of before and I welcomed the change. I will say that when Megan first gets the explanation for why things are happening, I had to slow down to read the information. It is not that I did not understand it; it is just when you get an abundance of information for the first time it takes a minute to process it all. I am guessing it is also because it covered a topic I had not heard of before and therefore I had to digest all the knowledge I had learned. Once I understood though, I was eager to learn more about the history of this group and what this all meant for Megan. I really cannot say too much else without spoiling it, so you are going to have to read the book yourself to see what I mean.While there were paranormal elements prevalent in Carrier of the Mark, the story was a romance at its core. Megan and Adam have an instant attraction for one another that has them both confused and unsure of where these intense feelings came from. Once they start to explore their emotions further their romance had such an innocent feel, it made it so sweet to see it grow. Watching someone fall in love for the first time can be awkward, but Leigh managed to keep it so tender I caught myself saying “aww” a couple of times out loud. It was embarrassing when people caught me, but I could not help it. Adam and Megan were just so cute and I lived for the moments they had together as a couple. Since is the only the first book in the series, I am sure they are going to have plenty of obstacles ahead of them, but I am hoping they lean on each other for support and can pull through all of this together.While the book did end at a good stopping point and it is not a cliffhanger, I am still left with so many questions. Many people’s futures are still unknown and I am still not sure Megan can trust everyone she has come to meet. But for now, those questions are going to have to wait. I am happy to see that Leigh is going to be writing this into a trilogy, so hopefully some of my questions will be answered. I only have suspicions about where the story is going to go next, but I am sure Leigh still has a few unexpected twists up her sleeve.Overall, I absolutely l-o-v-e-d this book! Leigh has created an amazing world, with fascinating mythology I have never seen explored before, a beautiful budding romance that left me swooning and fantastic lovable characters. I am eager to see where this series will go next and excited to see where Megan’s story will lead her.
  • (3/5)
    I liked this book and I'm glad I read it, but I didn't love it. The story is wonderfully set in Ireland which I enjoyed. The characters are all great and the writing is good but sometimes a little oversimplistic.Symopsis:From the moment she sets foot at her new school in Ireland, Megan is inexplicably drawn to the darkly handsome Adam DeRis. But Megan soon discovers that her feelings for Adam are tied to a supernatural fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that unites them could be their ultimate destruction.Review:While reading the story I felt a little disengaged from the main character-Megan. I don't know whether its because she seemed to have little personality or whether it was her seventeen year old POV but at times I wanted to scream at her for her one-tracked mind. Especially when it came to Adam.Personally, if I'd meant an eighteen year old boy that was so compassionate about me, I too would probably never want to leave him. But at times I felt the romance was a bit overkill. I love a nice swoony lead man but it was a little too much in very inappropriate places. Such as the training session where they seemed unable to take their hands (or eyes) off each other. I mean, there were three other people there trying to help with her training and all she can do is snog Adam in front of them? Awkward!The story continues and picks up the pace to a suitable conclusion however another thing that affected me was the fact that Adam had to have a kidney removed. A KIDNEY REMOVED-SERIOUS STUFF!!! And all Megan can do is go gooey over his love for her, his kisses and caresses....yeah, that didn't ring true either. Overall I will read the next one, and am keen to find out where the story takes me but at little less self-indulgence wouldn't go amiss.
  • (3/5)
    I’m really conflicted on this book – because first of all, it read like a big-time Twilight rip-off, and second of all… I was entertained by it. That entertainment means I’m not going to go all crazy in my review, because, frankly, there are quite a few reviews out there that do that for me.However, I do want to say this – if you are an author looking to write a book to appeal to the young adult crowd, think long and hard before making an “instant” relationship happen between two teens. It’s unrealistic and it sets a really bad example and I don’t see it well received well at all in reading reviews and looking around the blogosphere (this is also in general, not just with this book – although it is guilty).Now – I will admit I was fascinated by the magic system in this book, and aside from the relationships, everything else seemed pretty solid. The setting was fantastic, the group of friends plausible, and the writing pulled me in and kept me entertained, despite the lack of original story-line.All that said, I cannot blame Fallon for taking inspiration from the Twilight books. They are a huge success. I think for those people who love the story, this book will be a great read for them, and for those who had some of the issues I had (the breaking of rules, the implausibility of parts of the Twilight story), you might actually enjoy this one more.
  • (5/5)
    The story follows Megan following her move to Kinsale, Ireland for her father's new job at a marina. Leigh introduces the characters in a wonderful manner from Megan showing her father how to work the 'wonders of technology' to bumping into Caitlin and catching the deliciously hot Adam staring at her on the first day of school. (Okay, Adam staring comes second, but I'm listing it last to place more emphasis on hot Adam.) Leigh has a light-hearted writing style, and you can see her humor mix in with Megan's thoughts as she adjusts to Irish lingo and Irish life in general. From the first chapters, I fell in love with Kinsale. Leigh does a fabulous job of describing the place while building the tension surrounding Megan's instant chemistry with Adam and the development of the mystery surrounding the DeRís family. Her attraction to Adam is all too understandable because of his looks, but Leigh has another explanation for it, one that I'm going to have to leave out so as not to spoil the surprise. Adam may appear to be aloof and unapproachable at first, but the reader will find in him a passionate, charming young man with a level head that will cease to listen to reason should harm threaten to come to those he loves. His sister Áine has a wonderful sense of humor. I'm certain that I had a silly smile on my face during her appearances. And as for the rest of the family, I'm going to leave it with there's a lot more beneath the surface than one would initially think, and I grew to love each member of the family. Leigh has created another kind of paranormal. It's one that we may have seen in another form, to be fair, but she's incorporated a mythology and ancient orders into it. Her use of imagery isn't especially ornate or embellished, but her words are mesmerizing and filled with a simple beauty that captivated me from the beginning, the attraction only continuing to grow as I delved deeper into the magical world of this book. While her powers excite her at first, presenting her the opportunity of growing closer to Adam, they threaten to tear her away from him at the same time. Love is never easy, especially when your partner comes from the same breed as you in The Carrier of the Mark. The battle for love and the protection of order in the world will be a long and heartbreaking journey for Megan, and I will be cheering for Megan and Adam all the way. Thanks Leigh for the great read. The Carrier of the Mark touched both my book-loving and my human heart. I will definitely be on the lookout for Dawn of the Knights, the next installment in the trilogy. Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to grab an ARC of that story as well!