Saturday, December 22, 2012


Book Review:  Prized

Author:  Caragh M. O'Brien
Published:  2011
Series:  Birthmarked #2

Prized is the second book in the Birthmarked trilogy.  I was curious to see how Gaia faired given Birthmarked ended with Gaia traveling solo into the barren wasteland.

The Setting 
Gaia is recued in the wasteland by a citizen of Sylum and taken to live in their community.  While Gaia discovers her own grandmother was once a Matrarc in Sylum, things quickly
become apparent to Gaia that Sylum has some major issues.  Sylum is run exclusively by women and that is partly due to the fact that women are quickly becoming extinct in their community.  For every 10 children that are born in Sylum only about 1 is a girl.  Another disturbing problem is a mysterious acclimation sickness that prevents anyone from leaving Sylum.  Gaia’s sister Maya is taken from Gaia to live with a more “suitable” family.  Gaia is heartbroken to not get her sister back and soon is more troubled to learn that Leon is very much alive yet locked up in the Sylum prison.  Gaia must submit to the current leader known as the Matrarc to try and free Leon and earn rights to visit her sister.  With the help of some newly met friends, Gaia must try to overthrow the current Sylum government and find an antidote to the acclimation sickness so the oppressed people of Sylum can leave and prosper elsewhere. 

What I LIKED about this book
This was definitely a fast-paced, page-turning book.  Once again I loved the setting O’Brien created and found the genetic mysteries intriguing.

What I DISLIKED about this book 
A love square.  Oh how I loathe love triangles, let alone love squares.  I think Twilight and Hunger Games were enough love triangles for a lifetime.  I almost put this book down because I was so disappointed in the conniving, flirtatious Gaia.  But I’m glad I kept going.  Another thing I disliked was Leon’s character.  His character almost changed completely from Birthmarked and suddenly he was a brooding, stubborn girl.  Overlooking some major character flaws, I sometimes found Leon unbelievably sweet; doing anything for Gaia including taking care of Maya and Maya’s wet nurse (he even cooks!). 

Parting Thoughts 
Overall I thought this was a strong second book in the Birthmarked series, 4.5 out of 5 stars.  It will appeal to fans of dystopian and romance novels.  I thought this book was a page-turner even more so than the first and I am excited to read Promised.  Hopefully Gaia and Leon will stop bickering like school children and finally find a place to live free of tyrant rule.  Hopefully…the trilogy’s I have read so far have typically finished with the 3rd book being a hot mess!  Fingers crossed…

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