(A huge thank you to the awesome bloggers at Bewitched Bookworms, from whom I won a free copy of this book as part of their “Enter the Fall Clearing” giveaway!)
Megan Rosenberg is used to new places and new schools, and to never feeling quite at home in either; but inexplicably, the small town in Ireland to which her father has just relocated her feels…right. It may have something to do with the weather, or the friends she’s finally able to make. Or it could have something to do with Adam DeRis.
Strange things always seem to be happening around Adam and his siblings, and the superstitious townsfolk are glad to pass on gossip about witches and druids. Soon, however, Megan discovers that the DeRis family is protecting a powerful secret, and that somehow she has a part to play in its protection. But will the forces that bind her and Adam together also be their undoing?
New ways to tell stories
I was interested in reading Carrier of the Mark because of the book’s (literal) story. Author Leigh Fallon published the novel on inkpop.com, a website where aspiring writers can post their material, critique others’ work, etc. Fallon’s novel ranked among the most popular stories on the website, where an editor from publishing giant HarperCollins saw it. And the rest is history.
I love the idea of a world where this story is commonplace, or at least more common. There are so many good writers out there who simply can’t get anyone to look at their stuff; sites like Inkpop are places to find great writing that you might not see on the shelf at Barnes and Noble.
Sites like this put more power into the readers’ hands. If enough people like a story, it gets pushed to the homepage, where editors and publishers can see them. More great writers will be recognized for their work, and more people are going to be able to get their stories published and promoted. How awesome is that?
Here’s that “but” you knew was coming
Sites like Inkpop are double-edged swords; on one hand, the content that most of the readers like the best will get voted to the top, and will have a better chance of being seen by publishers. On the other hand, the stuff that the readers on Inkpop love…the rest of the world might not.
And even though a large population likes the same kinds of stories that make it to Inkpop’s front page, it doesn’t follow that those stories are actually great works. The popular stories are popular, not necessarily great.
Case in point, Carrier of the Mark. I saw it mentioned by a blogger somewhere as “a Twilight rip-off.” I might not have noticed it if no one had mentioned it, but the similarities were pretty obvious. I was also reminded at several points of Garcia and Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures. The explanations of being “Marked” and being a “Carrier” are convoluted, and the novel seems to be suffering from “Parental Figure Conveniently Missing” syndrome.
Sure it’s well written, and I imagine is doing very well with the YA set. But is the fact that this story was the one most liked by people on Inkpop a sign of a new kind of democracy in publishing, or just a result of people’s obsession with swoony, angsty, Twilight-esque paranormal stories?
I’d love your opinions on this. Please share what you think!