Saturday, 15 September 2012

Burn Mark by Laura Powell

About the book
Burn Mark is a YA novel by British author Laura Powell. It was published by Bloomsbury on 7th June and the book is 416 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.

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 . . .

What I thought
I was so, so excited to read this book when it arrived. The idea of witches in a modern day London sounded excellent and something that was really new and different. The world Laura Powell has created is full of gangster style characters, witches and a whole different way of living. The world was quite political with the likes of the Inquisition, who generally rule what witches can and cannot do and that includes the whole burning at the stake thing. While this book is set in a modern world, it does also explain what happened in the past in regards to this and how the Inquisition have tried to make things more humane (if burning anyone can ever be humane).

While I did find this new world really interesting, reading about it was quite hard going. The first section of the book is quite drawn out, explaining who is who and how everything works. Burn Mark had an extremely slow start for me and it was really hard for me to get into the story. It is also told in a third person narrative which I find quite hard to get on with at the best of times. I found myself getting quite confused about who everyone was as the story kept jumping from one person to another in the middle of chapters. However, the idea was still interesting and I liked how witches were underprivileged and of a lower class compared to the Inquisition who are basically witch hunters.

Glory was a hard character to connect with. From the very beginning, it was clear that she wanted power for herself and was quite selfish. At each opportunity that she had, Glory didn’t change and I could see that she didn’t really want to either. As a witch, I think she should have been more concerned about the bigger picture in regards to witches in general and her covern, rather than what the outcome for her would be.

Lucas on the other hand, I quite liked. To begin with he seems like quite a stuck-up character due to the family that he comes from but that isn’t so. He’s very selfless who wants to do something good with his newfound gift and really just wants to be accepted by his family. I enjoyed Lucas’ whole attitude to life and found him to be a complete contrast to Glory which was definitely a good thing. When you only like one of the main characters it makes it pretty difficult to really get into a book.

I’m unsure whether or not this is a first in a series or a standalone as there is no information as of yet about more books. If this is the first in a series, it does a really good job of throwing in a load of information about the world so that it doesn’t need to be done again in a second book. However, if it is a standalone then I feel like almost half the book was overfilled with unnecessary information.

I was hoping to love this book but I didn’t. It was ok but not for me. 

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