Thursday, October 4, 2012

Promised by Caragh O'Brien

genre: young adult science fiction

Promised is the third book in the Birthmarked Triology (see here and here). Surely there will be some spoilers in this review, so go read those first, they're good!

Gaia and the refugees from Sylum arrive at Wharfton, on the edge of the Enclave, and there is never a dull moment as she tries to negotiate water rights and a place for her people to live in respectful peace.  At the Encalve, however, healthy babies are still a precious commodity and it doesn't take long before Gaia figures out how far the leadership will go to ensure that births continue.  It's a revolutionary story that will require Gaia to dig deep for every ounce of diplomacy if she ever wants her people to belong.

While, for me, this story wasn't as good as the previous two, I still feel like it wrapped up the trilogy well.  While it did move a little slow,O'Brien doesn't hesitate to really make her main characters struggle - some unfortunate things happen but it also makes the plot more believable, I think.  The fertility/genetics/reproductive science part of it adds a very different spin that I found intriguing but sometimes made me stretch my imagination a bit. I know why I didn't love it as much as the other - the love triangle is pretty much resolved by this point, and so there isn't that romantic drama and tension that I really liked about the other two.  That doesn't mean that the love story doesn't work well, it's just more familiar than exciting.

I'm glad I finished up this interesting series - a great addition to young adult frontier science fiction. 

note: if you're interested in the content of the books I read, please go to

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