DNF @ 63%
I really, really, hate to do this, but I have to put this book down. I’ve been working on it since November 1st (so, just over a month), and I’m only at 63%, despite many other books having come and gone in the last month. I just can’t seem to get attached enough to the story or the characters to finish it.
The book alternates perspectives between Zivah, a young healer, and Dineas, a rebel soldier, both of whom have been cursed with the rose plague. The illness leaves its victims in one of two states: rosemarked – which leaves the individual with red scars, a dormant and contagious illness, and inescapable death within a few years – or umbermarked – which leaves them with brown scars, fully healed, non-contagious, and free to live out the rest of their happy little lives. Zivah is the former, Dineas is the latter, and together, they set out on a task to spy on the army that has invaded and conquered their homes.
There’s nothing wrong with the book – the writing is easy to read and finely done, the characters are decent, and the story is fairly interesting – but with all the YA fantasy that I read, occasionally I meet one that, while not a bad book, just isn’t bringing anything new to the table, and that is certainly the case for Rosemarked.
I only give star ratings to books that I’ve DNFed if I make it pretty far into them, and I feel like 63% is far enough. I don’t think I’ve ever given 3+ stars to a DNF title before – usually, it’s 2 stars or less – but I genuinely believe this book could be incredible for many people. I’m just probably not one of them! I am totally open to the idea of trying this author’s future endeavors, for what it’s worth.