DNF Review: Burn Mark by Laura Powell

Saturday, June 23, 2012
Title: Burn Mark
Author: Laura Powell
Genre: young-adult, supernatural fiction
Series: N/A
Pages: 420 (Nook ARC edition)
Published: June 19 2012
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 2/5

Glory is from a family of witches and lives beyond the law. She is desperate to develop her powers and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition—the witches’ mortal enemy—and his privileged life is very different to the forbidden world that he lives alongside.

And then on the same day, it hits them both. Glory and Lucas develop the Fae—the mark of the witch. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not . . 

How do you take a novel with gangster East End witch covens, a modern-day Inquisition, and an alternate world where magic is the norm, if mistrusted, and make it boring? Well, you don't have to sit and think about it, Burn Mark is here to tell you how: 

[Step Zero: Use clever synopsis and awesome cover to lure in potential readers]
Step One. Add in four-hundred plus pages of nearly stagnant plotlines,
Step Two: Season in an excruciatingly slow pace
Step Three: Mix in the dense exposition on absolutely every aspect of anything
Step Four: Garnish with several transparent plot twists
Step Five: Wait and see how many finish the damn, long thing
I was very eager to get this book once I read the synopsis and saw that evocative cover (nice job, marketing department!) but this was a disappointment for me. I struggled to get to the 300 page marker, and then I just didn't have the energy to see it to the final fruition when I already knew how everything would play out. The kernels of ingenuity here are not enough to suffer through how very, very bored I was while trying to invest in this world, these characters, this story. Burn Mark actually reminded me a bit of Holly Black's CurseWorkers novels with the resemblance of whole "government control/mistrust the criminal magicals" plotline, but this version sadly lacked the vivacity and vitality of that other young-adult series.

The author clearly took a lot of care and time crafting her magicked version of modern-London and that is appreciated as most fantasy novels either thrive or die on such detail; the fault lies not in the inception but in the flawed execution of those ideas. The author just needs a bit more restraint, or some editing: details are important but they shouldn't override every additional element of the novel.  The multitude of ideas here are certainly intriguing and original (territorial gangster witch covens? Yes, please! A mark for witches? Modernised British  Inquisition?) but each not explored enough independently. Sadly, unlike other dense worldbuilding novels centered around Britain's supernatural forces, Burn Mark mires you down in minute detail, instead of using the exposition to further illustrate a believable world. It's just too much. Especially for a first novel in a series - some of the history and background could have been  postponed and been enfolded within subsequent novels.

I wish I'd liked this. I also mostly wish I had more to say about it. I didn't hate it, contrary to this review, I was disappointed and just bored. I did appreciate the heroine's focus on her goals, instead of on getting her a man (in fact, the near lack of a romance earned this a whole additional star) but it's just not enough. Glory and Lucas have the outlines of becoming very-well realized characters, but I won't be pursuing this series to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.