Prized (The Birthmarked Trilogy-vol.2) – Caragh O’Brien

The setting is future Earth where we have so messed up our environment that giving birth to a healthy baby is increasingly against the odds.  Gaia’s struggles continue after escaping from one dystopian society to another.  This time around, she is in Sylum, where women are scarce and the number of female babies continues to spiral downward.  Fortunately, women are in tight control of the society where it is illegal to kiss during courtship.  If a society consisted of a grossly disproportionate ratio of men to women AND men were in control, it just would not bode well for the women.   How does Gaia  fit in with this very different society?  Well, she inadvertently stirs up trouble.

Gaia makes plenty of mistakes, but her heart is always in the right place.  This is understandable since she is only 16 and also because she finally has the attention of boys (she has a disfiguring burn on her face).  Of course she will be confused by all of the attention.  I like Gaia.  I like that she is rather naive and that the young heroine is learning the way of the world and doesn’t know everything at 16.  Prized is very well written and moves along at an excellent pace.   I keep thinking back to the society – the logic and reasoning behind it.  Intriguing.

Birthmarked is the first in the planned trilogy.  It does help to read the trilogy in order.

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