Monday, February 18, 2013

Mini Reviews # 5

Today's mini reviews are linked by a common paranormal affinity. Leigh Fallon's CARRIER OF THE MARK scores with its elemental forces. FATED features a bunch of demons, a female demon slayer and a romance surprisingly grown out of enmity. Melissa Darnell's CRAVE serves us both, witches and vampires, to complete the paranormal creatures tour.

Mythical Ireland is home to our carriers of the mark. A country that is on top of my list of places to visit, because of its wide landscapes and allurement of  originality. But we aren't granted to revel in its stunning beauty for long,  Megan has to face the paranormal side of her life very soon.
When Megan and her father move to the green island, everything seems to come together just perfectly. She easily finds new friends, adapts well to her new school and is immediately drawn to gorgeous Adam DRís.
Adam is the local boy of high romantic interest, that Megan just can't take her eyes off. He and Megan sense an instant attraction that quickly leads to more deeper feelings. But them being together promises to be hard. Adam and Megan are both marked ones who are forbidden to by physically together. Their love story is dainty, but I wouldn't declare it the story's strongest feature.
The DeRís family is charismatic and sticks together like an old clan and like every family should. There wasn't one family member I wasn't fond of. Adam and his siblings Aíne, Rían and Fionn in their union made CARRIER OF THE MARK a kick-ass read characterwise. DeRís daughter Aíne is a character with best friend potential which one cannot but approve of.
A certain paranormal kick is supplied by assorted elemental abilities the DeRís kids and apparently Megan possess. The teenagers don't hesitate to make use of their powers and present us with what they're capable of. Earth, air, water and fire form an essential quartet in the task to fulfill their prophesied fate.

3,5/5 ***/* CARRIER OF THE MARK- An atmospheric and mystical read with the elemental powers of Ireland!

Megan's story might have a complex and mythical background, even so it never entirely grabbed my full attention. CARRIER OF THE MARK is about inheritance, bearing your family’s fate and learning to be your own person and to figure out what to make out of it all.

Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Publishing Date: October 4th 2011
Length: 342 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, Ireland, elements, myth,  romance, paranormal
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Summary
Carrier of the Mark Excerpt
Author's Info

Fated (Fated #1) by Sarah Alderson

I’m a big fan of Sarah Alderson’s  HUNTING LILA and at the time, FATED came in handy as option to bypass the wait for LOSING LILA, the sequel to Sarah's debut. 
FATED tells the story of Evie, who has to discover that she's been born as the descendent of an ancient line of Demon hunters. So this book is another that jumbles its heroine's life as it has been, and leaves her with a seemingly insurmountable task to conquer.
Evie has to train hard to face the dangers her fate presents her with. Her training makes up a major part of the book. She even receives a helpful guide with all kinds of useful information about demons. Finally a heroine who doesn't have to figure out everything on her own! Unfortunately I wasn't always that into it, because she's attached to a mentor that appeared more pesky than beneficial. 
Against Evie and her task to rid the world of evil, stands an organised group of demons. Among them specially gifted shadow warrior Lucas. It's his task to spy on Evie and eliminate her before she's trained enough to pose a threat to the demons. 
Easy to predict that there will be more between Evie and Lucas than just the usual slaying business. Compelling about their romance is that Lucas was initially sent to her as a spy. Alternating perspectives between Evie and Lucas allow us to see how different their lives really are. Before Lucas knows what he’s feeling for Evie it's in his instincts to protect her. He would rather die for her rather than risk her death and that makes him one of the most amiable demons I've encountered so far.
The demons Evie has to face are all different kinds of dark creatures. There are scorpio demons, mixen demons and a certain shadow warrior. This demon gang is even funnier and more sarcastic than one would expect.

3,5/5 ***/* FATED - An arsenal of weapons, a demon fashionista and a boy who steps over his shadow.

FATED is a book about the dark side. Where others highlight the task to extinguish evil, FATED has it the other way round: Destroy the one person who could save the world. The first half of the story was primarily about Evie’s daily life and her finding out about her destiny. Even the encounters with Lucas didn’t feel as charged as expected. More speed and a higher entertainment factor are guaranteed in the second half.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publishing Date: January 5th 2012
Length: 320 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, demons, romance, paranormal
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary
Fated Excerpt
Author's Info 

Crave (The Clann #1) by Melissa Darnell

CRAVE tells the story of Savannah and Tristan, who aren't allowed to be together. She a vampire, he a warlock, and still they can't help it. They are willing to break the rules of two worlds to date secretly and with that, dare to cause an enormous conflict. 
Told from two perspectives, we get offered a detailed understanding of both of their emotional conditions, but are robbed of any chance for surprises. They both have the same feelings for each other, no need to interpret Tristan's motives.  Strangely I found myself anticipating the scenes from Tristan's point of view and ignoring Svannah's as she started to bug me more with each chapter.
CRAVE appeared to have potential. At some points the love story had me really involved and I couldn't wait to see Tristan and Savannah  meet secretly and give their relationship a chance. At first CRAVE seemed to be different, but in the end I found myself  reading the same old story of a love that shouldn't be and a heroine who can't act consequently or think straight for even a few minutes.
Savannah and Tristan's story spans over 400 pages. I'm into long stories, but CRAVE is one that could've been shortened in many scenes. Large parts have nothing to do with Tristan or the Clann. They're about Savannah doing what she loves. Dancing. She's talking more about her dancing than the consequences of her transformation into a vampire, which left me fed up at numerous occasions.
The conflict between the witches of the Clann and the vampires didn't feel like an actual problem or a conflict that couldn't have been solved.

3/5 *** CRAVE - Unimaginative in its witches versus vampires conflict, yet respectable basic approaches at an appealing love story.

The spells the Clann is capable of are nice tricks, but not nearly enough for a fan of paranormal tellings expecting powerful magical action. We don't get to see the full potential of CRAVE's paranormal beings. It's mostly about strategy and intimidation, than grand fights or clever maneuvers. Let's put our hope on its sequel!

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: October 25th 2011
Length: 416 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, vampires, witches, romance
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads Summary
Crave Excerpt
Author's Info


  1. Carrier of the mark didn't blow me away, but I still like the cover. I can't wait to read Fated and Crave sounds also interesting :) Great mini reviews!


  2. Carrier of the Mark has had such mixed reviews that I'm not sure if I want to give it a go. I'm glad you liked it well enough, though, and that you enjoyed Fated. It's not my favourite Sarah Alderson book, but I liked it too. :)

    Great reviews!