Summary: 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 on 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.
I really wanted to like this book more than I did but for some reason I just couldn’t connect with it. The first few chapters were interesitng as we are introduced to main character quirky Jacob. He strikes me as a bit of a social misfit…super intelligent maybe with a touch of Asperger’s. He is born with a mark on his hand that is much more than just a birthmark. The plot picks up as he and three others take of in an unlicensed airplane headed for Tibet to find a magical flower. Here’s where I started to have a hard time. Evil antagonist Marrow is also on the trail for the flower and after the first couple of chapters dedicated to his point of view, I skipped right over his sections. Marrow’s plot line was too violent and graphic for me. As for setting, I was also expecting more of the traditional Tibet I have come to love through photography and lore, but that was gone, as the small village they visit has been technologically advanced.
I really enjoyed Sophie, the female protagonist and the idea of her old librarian grandfather Mr. Maddock. I found myself wishing more of the world building was done in Cob’s hometown with his childhood father-figure. All in all The Ancillary’s Mark didn’t come alive for me but it may for you!
Here are some other reader’s positive opinions of The Ancillary’s Mark on Goodreads.
The author Daniel A. Cohen is super nice and I’d like to give others the opportunity to read his book. So, I am giving away my author signed copy – it’s been read once with little wear. Simply comment below to enter. Giveaway ends January 29, 2011 and is open internationally.