Reviewed by Elizabeth Talbott

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 Carrier of the Mark, I was really excited to read 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. In fact, 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 dialogue between the characters felt authentic; I wanted to know more about them and wish the book was more focused on character development.

The problems I had with Carrier of the Mark had to do with the romance between the main characters as well as 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.

Rating: 3/5

Elizabeth is a student at Cal State Long Beach. She laughs a lot, loves cats, and lives for music and books. You can read her blog here: http://titania86-fishmuffins.blogspot.com/.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperTeen. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.