It's Friday and that means it's time for some YA. Today I am looking at Shadow of the Mark by Leigh Fallon.
This sequel takes place soon after Carrier of the Mark. We find Megan going to her first day of Fifth Year in Ireland. Adam and twin sister Aine are there too, but older brother Rian is off studying with the Dublin order. On the first day of school we meet knew student, Chloe. She quickly joins in with Megan and her friends, although Adam feels that she is hiding something.
Adam and Megan are working on their feelings for each other, and still hiding the fact that Megan's kisses affect Adam in a negative way. Things get worse when Megan begins to find herself attracted to Rian, and Aine begins holding Megan's hand. The four Marked are practicing for the alignment of their elements;, air, water, fire and earth. But, when they practice, Megan feels great, while the other three feel drained and listless.
Life gets even more complex when the truth about Chloe is revealed and the destiny of the four Marked is brought into question.
(Mild Spoilers) I loved this book, until I got to the end. The entire build-up is great. We have all four of the marked developing their powers. There is a fun twist with Megan suddenly thinking about Rian romantically and fighting her feelings. Great tension there.
We have Chloe, the mystery girl. And Petra, Megan's dad's girlfriend, who in this sequel comes out in a whole new light with a mystery attached. As a reader it is nice trying to figure out these two character's back stories.
And of course, the main arc of whether Megan and Adam can ever be together when a prophecy says they will destroy the world. All great story fodder. The problem was that the end got confusing. We learn that Megan has a new role to take among the Marked. And when the final climax of the book hits, nothing really happens. It was very disappointing and didn't make sense. Previously the Order has done all it could to stop the arrival of the 5th Marked- spirit. But, when it happens, all we see is that it gets split in half. Nothing dramatic, no end-of-the-world scenario, nada. Life just goes on as usual, in fact, Megan gives everyone their powers back and they go home. Something is really missing with this ending. As such, I have a hard time giving this one a rating. I like the story arc that is happening, and there is still more to come, but I think this ending failed to do justice to the great writing before it. 3 stars.