Veronica Roth is a perfect example of a new generation of science fiction writers, who grew up “in a world,” so to speak, where science fiction has always been popular fiction. This has not always been the case. Having wowed the world with her dystopian Divergent quartet (three novels plus a collection of short stories), she’s returned to craft a new universe in Carve the Mark. This time, she leaves the Earth behind to find star-crossed lovers in an interplanetary war.
The setup starts on the planet Thuvhe, where Akos and his family are headed for a sort of celebration. Cue in “the current,” which runs through all living things, and is handily visible so as to make them more, well – readable. The connection provided by the current is unsurprisingly a two-edged blade, especially in the hands of Cyra. Her power is a kind of “counter-empathy,” and it is as political as it is personal.
Roth introduces us to her new world in medias-res – world-building is left to readers, who will enjoy putting together the puzzle pieces as the characters are built, layer-by-layer. Roth lets the readers join her characters as they discover their own world anew. Readers looking for a new take on space opera need look no farther. Think of Carve the Mark as space opera’s grandchild. EE “Doc” Smith would be proud!
Readers who want to meet Veronica Roth as she tours need but follow this link to a list of her appearances. She’s coming to my area via Bookshop Santa Cruz – if you’re looking for a place to get [this and all of her] books signed, BSC is a great choice.
Here’s a link to my brief interview with Veronica Roth; I hope to have more for you next week! Or you can listen below!