Series: Birthmarked #2
Hardback: 368 Pages
Publication: November 8, 2011 by Roaring Brook Press
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?
O’Brien depicts Gaia’s world with the same vivid imagery and gift for storytelling in Prized that had me gripped in Birthmarked, the first book in the series. Gaia has escaped the Enclave, but her adventure is far from over. Immediately afterwards, she is taken to a new society, one ruled by a woman minority.
Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about this at first. I got a little attached to Birthmarked, and Prized was less exciting for me. Then again, the new society Sylum is so very different from the Enclave, so although Prized takes place immediately after the events of Birthmarked, we can't expect everything to be the same. In the end, I do like how I got to see more of O’Brien’s writing and how she portrayed a whole new society for us. I like the plot twists and intense moments that had my eyes glued to my Kindle as I repeatedly clicked the buttons to turn the pages.
What really had me baffled and a tad bit more disappointed than I’m making this out to be (because I did like this overall) is how Gaia seemingly changes character all of a sudden. She goes from what I saw as a cool, independent young woman to a girl who gave in to everyone’s demands, and some of the other characters showed different sides as well. I’m hoping to see them progress more in the third installment.
Again, I liked this book overall. O’Brien has a wonderful, beautiful writing style that I love. If you’re looking for another kind of dystopian read, you should definitely check this book out. And if you liked Birthmarked, know that this may not be the book that you were expecting, but I hope that you’ll give it a try. It deserves it.
An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes