Book Review: Promised (Birthmarked #3) by Caragh M. O'Brien

After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever.  She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland.  In Gaia's absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher.  Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what--or whom--she loves most?

Release Date: October 2, 1012
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher

I liked Birthmarked and was just in love with Prized.  Knowing that, Promised had a lot to live up to for me personally.  I thought it was just as good as Birthmarked, but Prized is still my favorite book in the trilogy.  Overall, the Birthmarked trilogy is one of my favorite dystopian series.  It has everything I love about dystopia, all in a unique setting with excellent writing.

The plot moves really quickly, which kept the pacing of the book exactly how I like it: practically at breakneck speed.  I finished Promised really quickly because I simply had to know how it all ended for Leon, Gaia and Mya.

There were a couple of things that bothered me about Promised.  Parts of the story started to feel repetitive to me.  For example, how Gaia kept going back through the wall into the Enclave when she really shouldn't.  That was another problem for me: Gaia kept making foolish decisions and putting herself in danger.  She didn't grow into the leader I thought she would, although she did set things right for the Enclave and the people of New Sylum in the end. 

My other main concern with Promised was with Gaia and Leon's relationship.  I hated that she sort of strung Leon along for so long.  The relationship felt one-sided, with more of the commitment coming from Leon.  I didn't understand her hesitance to fully commit to him, especially considering everything he had been through to be with her.  I didn't like Gaia's lingering feelings towards Peter and Will.  I wanted the love square to be dissolved more quickly than it was.  Although, I was happy with the resolution of the love story.

I could not believe how things ended with regards to Gaia and her ability to have children.  That really broke my heart for her.  Especially considering her career centers around childbirth!  I did like that the ending of the trilogy wasn't your typical rainbows and unicorns HEA, though.  I liked that there was some loss, which led to character growth.  I liked that things felt realistic, but not so bleak as, say, Mockingjay.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Birthmarked trilogy.  Caragh O'Brien's writing is outstanding, and I look forward to more of her work in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Your review of this book is the best and most succinct that I have read. I completely agree with you about Gaia's character and I was a bit mortified with Gaia's surgery-


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