Melissa (i swim for oceans)'s Reviews > The Ancillary's Mark

The Ancillary's Mark by Daniel A.  Cohen
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's review
Dec 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi-and-fantasy

Jacob Deer marches to the beat of his own drum, makes his own rules, and has a fascinating birthmark on his hand that bears an odd resemblance to the legendary Ancillary flower…a flower that gives the bearer access to unlimited potential. When his mentor tells Jacob about his true connection to the Ancillary flower, his future is set in motion as he travels to Tibet to find the truth of his destiny and the Ancillary flower, itself. Along with a beautiful girl named Sophia, his bodyguard named Diego, and a young Tibetan boy with an obsession with Superman, Jacob’s life is just beginning to get interesting – and dangerous.

Ok, remember when I discussed craptastic covers the other day (no offense, Dan!)? The Ancillary’s Mark is the epitome of this phenomenon. With a powerful premise, an intriguing cast of characters and a unique voice that manages to draw readers in and send them on a journey, The Ancillary’s Mark is FAR better than the cove implies. Daniel Cohen has created a masterful science-fiction tale that somehow manages to balance continuously changing perspectives through the story with a powerful myth of a legendary flower that fuels the story throughout.

The biggest strength of The Ancillary’s Mark was the characters. Jacob Deer has to be the most resonant and endearing MC that I’ve read of in a long time. I like his flaws, and I like that they are emphasized because they make him human and tangible. Even the secondary characters like Sophia and Diego are well-rounded and add to each element of the story. Plus, even with an unstoppable plot, the characters manage to successfully weave humour into every situation. I think that another strength was the balance of descriptions and dialogue within The Ancillary’s Mark. The descriptions are interspersed throughout, and each one is alive with detail – they never seem superfluous or redundant. Each one adds a little something to the story and brings it alive.

I couldn’t have been more surprised with just how great The Ancillary’s Mark was, and I urge you to look pas the cover. The singular qualm I had with the book was that it was too short. There were certain situations I wish would have been drawn out, but that’s personal preference. I give The Ancillary’s Mark a 4.5 out of 5, and I’d recommend it all fans of YA and even adult fiction, especially those who enjoy a good science-fiction story.

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