School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Megan and her dad have recently moved to Ireland following the death of her mother. At her new school, the teen is inexplicably attracted to a young man, and the feelings are mutual. After a near-drowning, when it appears that her new love interest has the ability to control water, she is soon let in on the secret of his family: he and his siblings are "marked," and each one controls one of the elements of fire, earth, or water. It also seems that Megan herself has a budding mark, involving the control of air, first evident when she accidentally conjures a tornado to avert an assault. The lore is complicated further when it is revealed that many pagan prophecies will be fulfilled with the addition of her as the fourth, final element. Combine prophecy, amulets, and a secret society stalking the group and you have the makings of a fine paranormal romance, tame enough for younger readers. Wendy Delsol's Stork (Candlewick, 2010) and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush (S & S, 2009) will provide more of what they are looking for here.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL
Fallon’s debut novel, first published on the HarperCollins online writing community inkpop.com and then selected for print, is a better-than-average offering that occasionally betrays its amateur roots with some uneven pacing. The setup is familiar and briskly handled: 17-year-old Megan Rosenberg has moved to Kinsale, Ireland, with her father after several unsettled years following the death of Megan’s mother. Megan fits right in with the popular crowd at her new school, but a broodingly handsome boy, Adam DeRís, keeps staring at her, and Megan stares right back, despite her friends’ warnings. Several chapters of teenage day-in-the-life narration ensue before Fallon suddenly dumps mysterious marks, elemental forces, and the Celtic goddess Danu into the mix, and the story takes off in a paranormal direction that the first third of the book has only hinted at. The intense, immediate romance between Megan and Adam remains the focus and the main draw. It’s an engaging story, heavy on the “snogging” and light on the mystical perils, from an author likely to improve with time. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)
“First-time novelist Fallon has blended a unique tale of magic, folklore, friendship, and sweet romance into a tantalizing mystery with a modicum of danger.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“With its page-turning pacing, tension is high and readers will want to read future episodes.”
VOYA - Ann McDuffie
Escaping painful memories, Megan and her father move from the United States to Ireland based on an anonymous job recommendation. Megan is quickly accepted into the small-town school by everyone except one guy: the aloof Adam, who has a problem with the new American girl. Despite coming from different worlds, Megan and Adam are irresistibly drawn to each other. While Adam teaches sailing class, Megan notices he has a supernatural command over water; his siblings have similar powers over earth and fire, and Megan experiences the ability to control air. Powerful forces are drawing Megan and Adam together, and she discovers that the scar she bears is actually a mark that makes her one of the four earthly elements in human form. Though their love is forbidden, Adam tries to unlock the code that will allow them to be together. Meanwhile, the evil Knox organization wants control of the elements and kidnaps Megan. Adam comes to her rescue, but in a surprising twist, Megan becomes the rescuer. If teens are not completely over paranormal novels, Carrier of the Mark will appeal to fans of supernatural romance. With its page-turning pacing, tension is high and readers will want to read future episodes. The romance is mostly implied, with a few breathless kissing scenes but nothing more. Minor flaws are that Megan accepts her magical talent far too quickly, and readers may be confused about details of the history of the mark. These faults will likely be overlooked in favor of likable characters and an engaging, though somewhat familiar, story line. Reviewer: Ann McDuffie
This obsessive,Twilight-like romance and teen debut, first discovered on inkpop.com, misses the benefit of thorough editing in a rush to be published.
After years of moving since her mother died, Megan finally feels at home in her father's most recent relocation, this time to Ireland. Despite rumors that his family may be witches, she's instantly attracted to Adam DeRís. Megan soon discovers in a nonstop information dump (which leaves little room for authentic Irish dialogue or interesting action) that she, along with Adam and his two siblings, is Marked as one of the vessels of the four elements (earth, wind, fire and air). If she can invoke her powers, then she and the DeRíses can perform an alignment on the Summer Solstice and turn the world's chaos into harmony. But Megan is also the Carrier of the Mark and therefore responsible for producing children that will continue the Marked lineage. Because "physical union" between two Marked is forbidden, Megan must decide if she should accept her fate and forsake Adam's love or repress her Marked powers and let the world fall to ruin. Complicating the decision are the Knox, who want to seize the elemental powers and instate a fifth element, and possible corruption of a secret Order with ties to Trinity College in Dublin. Perhaps the planned sequel will be less complicated.
Misses the mark.(Paranormal romance. 13 & up)