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Book Review: The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

This review is so tough to write! I’m sort of torn about The Carrier of the Mark.

Book Review: The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

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carrier of the mark by leigh fallon

Title & Author: The Carrier of the Markby Leigh Fallon

Genre: YA- Fantasy Romance

Release Date: October 4, 2011

Series: 1st in a planned series


How I Got the Book: ARC from the publisher


“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.

Same Story, Different Setting

The Carrier of the Mark had a lot of really great moments, and I enjoyed reading about the fantastic, mystical Ireland setting. This is a tough review to write because there weren’t a lot of things I didn’t like about this book.

The one big problem I encountered is how similar The Carrier of the Mark is to that ever-popular vampire/werewolf novel that has changed YA fiction as we know it. If I had read The Carrier of the Mark in a vacuum, I think I would have come away with feeling different.

The fact of the matter is that we can’t escape Twilight. It’s influenced the YA world drastically. Themes from Twilight are being repeated everywhere, maybe even subliminally.

Some similarities I noticed:

Twilight Saga

  • Teen girl moves to a new city (Forks) with her dad (divorced)
  • Girl is instantly drawn to mysterious brothers and sisters at school who everyone thinks are weird/scary
  • Girl and boy try to resist, but cannot stay away from each other. Boy makes this decision against better judgement/warnings
  • Girl discovers her boy is a vampire
  • Boy and girl can’t be together because it defies the natural order of things

The Carrier of the Mark

  • Teen girl movies to a new country (Ireland) with her dad (widower)

  • Girl is instantly drawn to mysterious brothers and sisters at school who everyone thinks are weird/cursed
  • Girl and boy try to resist, but cannot stay away from each other. Boy makes this decision against better judgement/warnings
  • Girl discovers her boy has special powers
  • Boy and girl can’t be together because it defies a group of people called The Order (see what I did, there? 😉 )

Without being too spoilery, I’ll leave the similarities at that. It’s just one of those feelings of “been there, done that.” I wanted to really love this book, but I just kept seeing things that I’ve read about in so many books before.

Redeeming Qualities

The Carrier of the Mark does have a lot of great themes and ideas that I ended up clicking with– like the characters, the setting and the writing.

Megan is 100 percent more likable than Bella. Make that 1000 percent. She’s funny and sweet and she has good taste in friends. (Caitlin can be my BFF any day!). Plus, she seems like she has ambition aside from being Mrs. Hottie McHotterson.

Megan’s personal story deviates from Bella’s, too. She actually has some really cool things going on with her that could develop into a great story in future books. In this one, not a lot really happened for the reader to see or experience.

Plus, the setting for this book really can’t be beat. Ireland added an immense cool factor to this novel. It’s spooky and misty and there’s ravens! Nothing says fantasy romance like the birthplace of hundreds of legends and myths. Fallon has a great writing style– she’s direct and doesn’t fluff her work with overly-long descriptions or wordy dialogue.


I know I gave this book a hard time, but I will say that I will most definitely be picking up the sequel to The Carrier of the Mark. I have to know what happens to Megan, Adam and the DeRis’.

I’m just craving something different these days. Like I keep saying, I need a break from the insta-love, high school dramas.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • StuckInBooks

    I guess I don’t mind the similarities because I loved Twilight and I love Carrier of the Mark. I didn’t really compare them when I read Carrier though. I see you points and notice it now but I still don’t mind. I think Carrier is a great novel that I really enjoyed reading and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. I really doubt that Megan will end up having Adams baby that kills her so maybe the similarities will end with book 1. =)


  • Deadtreesandsilverscreens

    Hmmmmm I have been wanting to read this for awhile but now this is making me not so happy about it. I guess I will have to read for myself to find out. Yeah, I’m tired of all the wannabe twilight stuff too.

  • Elizabeth Rodriguez

    I love Twilight, so I guess I will like this book too. Thank you for the review!

  • I can tell you put some effort into this review, and it’s wonderful. Thanks for pointing out its unfortunate characteristics. I’m might be wary of reading it because I am not a fan of Twilight, although if this book is very original, despite that, I might want to keep in on my TBR.


  • Ems

    Awesome review. I’d been hearing about the similarities, so I’d decided to skip this one. However, if you can find redeeming, non-Twilight things about it, I’ll give it a shot.

    • Zebra48045

      atcually it doesnt remind me of twilight at all i am only 12 and i loved it i am still stuck in it i have read it hundreds of times and still find it mysterious

  • ooh, great review. Glad you liked it, and I adore things set in Ireland, but with so much similar to twilight this one will have to be moved down a bit on my TBR pile.

    However, something I JUST finished reading (stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to do so) and is new, different, hilarious, and swoon worthy all at the same time is “His Fair Assasins: Grave Mercy” by RL LaFevers. I got it through Netgalley though it’s not out until April 2012 but it was AMAZING!!!! No insta-love and SUCH a likable protagonist and believable progression of love. Makes me smile and giggle to think about it again!

  • Melissa Hayden

    I really like the sounds of this book, and series. But I’ve not read the twilight series, and don’t really want to. *shhh, doen’t tell anyone* 😉 I’m not so sure about this one now. I might still give it a try in the future as I get through some of the books I have here. 🙂 Thank you!!

  • Truly Bookish

    You are the third blogger that I trust that has issues with this book. I already bought it so I’ll still read it but at least I have lowered my expectations. I’m reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone right now it is a more mature YA/fantasy novel. I’m almost halfway through and so far, there is no insta-love and it’s good.
    Truly Bookish

  • a.

    I’m only 67 pages in, but I have noticed a few other similarities.. On top of the new locale, it was also mentioned that it was unusually sunny outside and would probably quickly shift to 6 months of rain. Followed by the nearly fatal accident where Adam swoops in to the rescue so quickly, almost TOO quickly. We’ll see how many more little things I can pick out!

  • Zebra475869

    sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo is all i got to say about this book it is boring