Burn Mark (Burn Mark #1) Featured
An Intriguing Look at Witches
Burn Mark by Laura Powell was a really interesting take on witchcraft that really delved into a completely new territory. It was an enticing story, but for me, got a bit drawn out which took away from the book overall.
So I loved the premise of Burn Mark. I mean come on, witchcraft practices in a modern day Britain? You can't get much cooler than that! I loved seeing the intricate system put in place for witchcraft and how everything was carried out and enforced. That being said, some of the elements of witchcraft were a bit confusing to me. Laura Powell's witches are very different from any others I have encountered so I had no knowledge of their craft which made some things confusing.
Burn Mark really doesn't pick up until about the last quarter of the book. The vast majority of the book was very interesting, but it was very slow paced. I didn't have any "OMG I have to know what is happening" moments. The last quarter of the book presents a situation where the stakes are very high and it was really intriguing. I loved the ending - I am really curious after that if there will be a sequel, as I would just love to hear more of Glory and Lucas's story.
There characters were a mix - most really grew on me as the book went on. When I was first reading, I thought a good portion of the characters were very flat. By the end of the book, most of my opinions had changed and I was completely invested in the characters stories.
Burn Mark by Laura Powell was a very slow paced read with an overarching intriguing story wrapped up in a new take on the mythology of witches.
.3Not the book for me
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish this book. The concept was intriguing, and I was really looking forward to diving into a book that focuses on witches. However, once I was 30% through and nothing had happened to really hook me, I gave up.
I think what really did me in was how many details there were as opposed to action. I felt like every crack inspired a flashback and every building required multiple pages of description. I got to the point where I skipped over whole pages trying to get to the point where the story really kicked off.
It might have gotten better had I stuck with it, but I would rather read a book that really hooks me than spend time trying to find the saving grace of a book that just doesn't work for me.
Fascinating Witchy Alternate Universe
First off, I totally dig stories set in alternative universes. There's something about it that calls to me. In Burn Mark, everything about the world is the same (facebook, cell phones, cars, politicians, etc), except that witches are truly known to exist and have been. Witchy powers, known as the fae, are persecuted, just like the suspicion of them was in history. Powerless people fear the fae, and hate what they fear. Set in Britain, Burn Mark portrays the life of a witch in a Britain controlled by the Inquisition. Witches are still burned, dunked and blamed for everything.
Our main characters are Lucas and Glory. Lucas is a son of a Head Inquisitor, raised in privilege and the product of a quality magic-less lineage. Surprise, surprise, he develops the fae, and, not only that, he's a very powerful witch. Through his view, the reader can see the very few options open to a witch, and the mercurial nature of the power, the fact that it does not merely pass from parent to child but can spark up at random. Glory, on the other hand, is a bit of a street rat. She comes from a long line of powerful witches and has been waiting impatiently for her fae to come. Through her, the reader views the life of an unregistered witch, living in a rather seedy criminal coven.
While I wasn't especially emotionally attached to Glory and Lucas, I still liked them and was rooting for them to uncover and destroy the corruption in the Inquisition. (Seriously, the Inquisition? Come on, guys. Almost any other word would make you sound less like prejudiced bastards, but whatever.) Though there is some romantic tension between Glory and Lucas, this stories focus is not on romance. Instead, Burn Mark focuses on the political and ethical questions inherent in a world populated by people with powers and a jealous majority without.
For some, this book was slow-moving and boring. I recommend it to readers that enjoy considering sociological questions. This one focuses on world building more than characterization. If the idea fascinates you, I definitely think you should check it out. If you're looking for a YA paranormal romance, Burn Mark is not the book you want.