Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3191
Fascinating Witchy Alternate Universe
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
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.
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