Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen (HC imprint)
When Megan arrives in Ireland, everything in her life oddly falls into place. After growing up in the US, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new town and new school, complete with uniform. She makes some new friends and finds herself drawn to someone in particular, the darkly handsome Adam. But then Megan discovered the reason for the connection is ties to a fate sealed long ago - and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their destruction.
Carrier of the Mark was mysterious and magical, sweet and new, and intrigued me with its twist on Ireland and mythology more than the romance (but the romance didn't hurt). Megan's feeling at home in Ireland but out of sorts around Adam and his family, curious about the stories of magic and mystery, curious why he can't stop staring at her.
I adore stories drawn from mythology, be they Celtic or Greek or Roman, and this satisfied the historical and international part of my brain. Ireland was gorgeous when I was there in 2008, always sunny and green, and I always had the feeling there was something going on under the rolling hills, hidden under the rocks of the Giant's Causeway, lost deep inside the huge mound of Newgrange. What appealed to me was the lack of US setting. Call me crazy, but not all YA books take place in the US. Variety is very much appreciated.
It wasn't until the end that I realized that a lot of different events happened in this book, that I'd just read 300+ pages of Megan telling me the story of what happened to her after she and her dad moved to Ireland. I liked Megan's voice, and I would've enjoyed more of it, perhaps more of her internal thoughts and how she really felt about the situation. I did enjoy the book, don't get me wrong, but perhaps there was a bit too much exposition and not enough 'what does Megan feel right now' for my tastes.
I'm starting to wonder about romantic situations in YA books. Most times, there's a love triangle or there's an instant connection. Done right, I enjoy both. In terms of the instant connection, it works when you drag it out a bit longer, have them at odds for longer, maybe have them fight a little, build the tension (this is just my opinion, don't take this as a huge jab at the author because it's not, I'm actually glad that while there is an instant connection nothing happens until a good-sized chunk into the book).
This book left me intrigued for what happens next and hungry for more mythology. I'll gladly read the rest of the trilogy.
(I received a copy from HarperCollins Canada for the purpose of reviewing it.)