Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 4th, 2011
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.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: 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 also 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 amazingly addictive world, with a fresh, fascinating mythology, a beautiful budding romance, and lovable characters that will stay with you long after you read the last page. I am eager to see where this series will go next and excited to see where Megan’s story will lead her.
I am going to leave you with the trailer to get you extra excited about the book. Enjoy!
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC to read and review.