Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

Title:  Prized
Author:  Caragh M. O'Brien
Series:  Birthmarked trilogy #2
Genre:  YA dystopian
Pages:  400

Rating:  A-

Synopsis from  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?

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Well, I finally did it.  I made myself pick up Prized, the second book of the Birthmarked trilogy, after putting it off forever.  I'm so glad I read it, but now I'm almost done with this trilogy, and I don't want it to be over.

First, the romance!  I'm so head-over-heels in love with Leon!  I don't know how Gaia could have resisted him.  I mean, he crossed a wasteland and endured prison to be with her.  Seriously, Gaia, what more could you want from the man?  In the beginning of the book, I admit Leon wasn't the nicest guy, but I honestly couldn't blame him, since he was just reacting to how Gaia had handled their situation.  And he wasn't too thrilled with the whole love-square going on.  Brothers Will and Peter both want Gaia, and they're both pretty awesome too.  But I'd still pick Leon.

I also thought the new setting/Dystopian society of Sylum was really interesting.  A society ruled by women in a population that's mostly male, that's dying off due to the sheer lack of females.  The hierarchies of this new society were a big contrast from the Enclave of the first book, and those differences created some good storylines and conflict, especially between Gaia and the ruling Matrarc.

One of the things I didn't particularly enjoy in the book was Gaia's wavering on her principles (even if I don't agree with them).  Eventually she figures out how to be strong and to stand up for what she believes in, but not before having the fight kicked out of her for a while.

Now I need to start the final book, Promised, and I'm dreading it, simply because it's the final book.  I'm hoping it's as good as, if not better than, Prized, because I really loved this book.  A-

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