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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year


Prized (Birthmarked, #2)
by Caragh M. O’Brien

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime.  In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole? (goodreads.com)

I am sort of embarrassed to admit I started this book and thought “Who the hell is Gaia?” For some reason I thought the main character was named something completely different. Oops. I realize this is awfully shameful when I was SO EXCITED for this book to come out. I think I was having a senior moment as I wondered if the second book in the Birthmarked series was about a different character. *blush*

Once I convinced my brain that the person I was reading about was indeed the same one we both fell in love with last December when we read Birthmarked, I eagerly carried on with my book devouring.

First, let me say that I loved this book and I adore this series. For a creepy, weird dystopian world that I wouldn’t normally be able to read about? I can’t put these books down. They freak me out and entertain me at the same time. In Prized we are taken out of the Enclave, past the Wastelands into a community known as Sylum. Gaia thinks she’s come to a better place than the one she escaped from with her baby sister, Maya, but alas, it’s just as creepy and weird as where she started.

So I thought anyhow. Gaia seemed to think it was the bee’s knees and pretty much gave in to every stupid thing there.

Here’s what I didn’t like – Gaia. Turns out my original thought that I was reading about a completely different character wasn’t all that far off. The Gaia that I loved and I felt was strong and true in the first book, was a wimpy, wussy disappointing character in this book. I wanted to smack her so many times and tell her to OPEN HER BLOODY EYES! When she started having doubts about the way her world was being run in Birthmarked I was so proud of her. I loved that about her character, she questioned beliefs she’d had since birth. Only in Sylum she doesn’t seem to want to question anything. Sure, she seems to want to rebel when she first learns the rules, but I thought her decision to cave in and follow things as is was just so… weak. Her half-assed excuses to Leon about why they should just accept and live like everyone else in Sylum were just painful to read. She was such a strong character in the first book and I would have thought she’d have done anything to stay with Maya. I don’t even see her giving in as a way to make sure her sister was safe. I think she should have just taken Maya and run.

The world in which those in Sylum lived was almost as freaky as the one manufactured by the Enclave. Both places had a different kind of ick-factor. A different way of freaking me out. I do not want the planet to turn out anything like this in the future. Nope. No way. TOO FREAKING CREEPY. Gah.

I found the story to be a little too…preachy, I guess… about abortion. It was done in a round about way, and I KNOW that it actually fit the story but I think there was a little too much emphasis on how the person wanting one would be killing a life. I get that this is likely how Gaia would think and feel, but a tiny part of me wondered if this was some sort of subtle (if subtle was being hit by a brick to the head) way of tossing in the whole Pro Life/Pro Choice debate with an emphasis on LIFE. I do think the subject fit with the plot and the advancement of the character, but it was a little TOO brightly painted for me to think this was an impartial theme. Thankfully it wasn’t harped on too much throughout the story. At the same time, I felt awkward while reading it because I did feel like I was being preached at. Maybe it’s just me, but something about it was a little too much to handle in my eyes.

This series continues to wow me, even though I might not like characters or themes as much as I did in the previous book. That alone is exciting to me because I have no idea what to expect in the third book (which doesn’t seem to have a release date or YEAR yet! GAH!). I love that even though there were aspects that bugged me, I was still freaked out and amazed by the world that the author has created. This is one hella amazing dystopian and it always leaves me breathless. MORE MORE MORE I NEED MORE!!

A million more thanks go out to my Book Elf for sending me this book. *huggles*

Birthmarked trilogy

  1. Birthmarked
  2. Prized
  3. Promised

Buy your own copy! AmazonUS | AmazonCA

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