Sunday, January 23, 2011

BR: The Ancillary's Mark

by Daniel A. Cohen

I got this book for review a while ago but life has been crazy hectic! I'm so glad when I finally found some time to sit down and read this one..

The legend of the Ancillary flower has existed for centuries. Foretold to bring out the limitless potential of its bearer, the flower and the legend have been forgotten by many. Recently, strange events in a shrouded Tibetan town have sparked rumors among those who still believe.

Jacob Deer is a quirky young man, bound for college, with an eccentric old librarian for a best friend, an obsession with sitting down in elevators, and a strange birthmark on his hand that's shaped mysteriously like the markings of the Ancillary's petals. When Jacob's mentor Mr. Maddock reveals to him his connection with the legendary Ancillary, it sets in motion a series of events that sends Jacob and friends across the world. Alongside an alluring young woman, a marine-reject, and a Tibetan kid obsessed with comic books, Jacob must face off against a vengeful maniac for the fate of the flower, the legend, and all mankind.

My Expectations: I wasn't really sure what to expect, the summary sounded pretty ambitious but I looked forward to good things.

Delivery: highs and lows, but I was surprised by how enjoyable it was!

Put-down-ability: 7/10

My Thoughts

As soon as we are introduced to Jacob, every vibe he gives off is positive. I mean colour coded bookmarks and sitting down in elevators pondering life? I knew I was gonna like this boy right away, and throughout the book I just liked him more. A few aspects of his character could probably have been more polished, for example, his quirks are thrown out there in a really deliberate manner rather than 'unveiled'.. also he kind of lacked faults. But I can probably brush that aside because he was admirable 90% of the time.

An aspect I couldn't for the life of me become a fan of was the romance, it was so freaking predictable! The moment the (one-dimensional) girl walks in I knew how things would unfold between them. My very last, and mostly minor problem was that I did find myself wary of the dialogue at times, especially during the beginning.

But let's put all that aside and focus on the part I absolutely loved: the plot! Wow, it was impressive to say the least, a great adventure from beginning to end that included everything I could ask for: crazy villains, awesome side-kicks and a quest-worthy prize. I can't compliment it enough, the twists and turns in the story is what kept me hooked and wanting to read more. I adored the Tibetan setting and the quirky characters there (Clark, you rock), but what I loved the most was the mystery of the Ancillary flower/mark. Loved the whole concept of it.

It kind of reminded me of The Da Vinci Code, with a riddle with so many hidden meanings that gradually become clear to both Jacob and the reader. I might also mention that from probably a quarter into the book, the plot never slows down, and hang on tight because the race to the finish line was exhilarating in the best sense.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: boys, YA adventure lovers, quests without the fantasy, people looking for a switch-up of genres
Acknowledgements: 3/5

7.8/10 - because I found I had both positive and negative reactions to this book. There were a few kinks that I found cliched, but there was also a great, fast-paced plot that made up for it. I found character development could have been better but overall, it was a well-written, enjoyable read.

source: author
publisher website

1 comment:

  1. Jacob had me a color coded bookmarks! LOL

    Kind of sounds like the romance was thrown in to appeal to a wider audience, as if the plot alone wouldn't carry it. I don't know for sure since I haven't read it, but seems kind of unnecessary, especially since you thought the plot was impressive.

    I will have to keep this one in mind. I remember it from a while back, but haven't seen any recent reviews for it, so thanks for yours.


for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*