Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien [Review]

Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1)3 out of 5 Robots!

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Series: Birthmarked #1
Genre: Dystopian YA
Release: March 30, 2010
Hardcover: 361 pages
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.
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.

Shannon's Thoughts:
I'll be the first to admit that I didn't really "get" this book.  I think my first problem I was the lack of world-building.  Birthmarked takes place far, far in the future.  The world as we know it does not exist so we are basically dealing with a completely new landscape.  I might as well have been reading a fantasy or sci-fi novel.  Which would have been fine, if the world-building was sufficient.  But I spent the first part of the book confused as I tried to understand what was happening and why.  I was just kind of thrown into the story and the setting and I found it hard to navigate. 

The other part that bothered me was the vast amount of time talking about doing, but not a lot of actual doing.  In the words of Elvis Priestly: "A little less conversation and a little more action, please".  I guess the talking part wouldn't have been so bad if it actually helped me to understand the story.  But mostly, I just got a little bored and kept getting really distracted.  There wasn't really anything drawing me into the story.

But, overall, it wasn't a bad book (I know it sounds like I'm saying it was).  There wasn't anything that upset me or really put me off.  I think I there wasn't anything holding me to the story.  Because so little is explained, I felt closed off from the story and by the end I was a little apathetic. 

Other books in this series in the order that they should be read:
1. Birthmarked
1.5 Tortured
2. Prized
2.5 Ruled
3. Promised

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