Saturday, December 11, 2010

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

genre: young adult

The night after sixteen year old Gaia's first delivery as a midwife, she returns home to find her parents missing - arrested - by soldiers from the Enclave. At a loss as to what information her parents might have, Gaia is determined to help them, but finds herself in a web of intrigue involving the "quota" of babies that must be handed over to those from within the Enclave every month. She is forced to decide quickly to either take her chances among those in the Enclave and rescue her parents or to live a life seeped in an injustice that she is only beginning to understand.

Un-put-down-able. Dystopian young adult fare that gives a new twist on the formula, with the advantaged living a privileged life behind walls, dependent upon the masses without. While occasionally the world O'Brien created had some holes in it that left me asking myself annoying questions (how they are able to have some technologies and not others, etc.), I was so engaged in the story that I let them slide. I loved the babies and birth thread of the plot, the twisted ethical logic of the "bad guys" and that it truly surprised me on more than one occasion (those made up for the few more predictable things). Gaia is a tough cookie with some deeper emotional issues and I liked all the people she was able to find to help her on her way.

Instead of being annoyed when it ended clearly unfinished, I'm just already looking forward to its sequel. It deserves 4.5 stars in my book.

book 36 for the Young Adult Challenge 2010

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...