12 November 2012

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother’s footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be "advanced" into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve.

Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

I am ashamed that it took a Cybils nomination of the third book in this series to get me to go back and read the first one.  I am so glad I did though!  I immediately fell in love with Gaia and her crazy messed up world!  The first thing I noticed about this book is the language.  It is so beautiful!  It's not long or prosey, but it does have a lyrical feel to it, as if the book is really an old epic poem.  My next favorite was the character Gaia.  She is so realistically painted!  I loved her obsession with her burn, even though I saw the twist with it a mile away.  I also liked her determination and her caring and dedication to the women around her and the principles her mother instilled in her.  Grey is a great foil and the romance in the book is subtle verging on barely existing, which is nice because Gaia really doesn't have much time for romance with the breakneck plot that she's embroiled in.  That was the third thing I liked: the mystery.  This book has a great unknown and the pacing in revealing the details is genius.  I had to keep reading because we were always on the verge of discovering something new and very important!  Those discoveries always led to more questions than they answered, though, which keeps the plot rolling.  And this breakneck pace keeps the reader on the edge of their seat right up until the ending which, while not a cliffhanger, definitely leaves room for sequels and doesn't try to tie up the questions asked in a pretty bow.  I read the book in one setting and immediately ordered the next it was so good, I highly recommend you try this book.

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