by Caragh M. O'Brien Series: Birthmarked #3 Published by Roaring Brook Press
on October 2nd 2012 Pages:
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?
* Review and Summary may contain spoilers from previous books of the series. Read at your own risk *
Birthmarked was ground breaking. Taking readers into the depths of the Enclave. Revealing secrets that had lain buried for an untold number of years. Prized was surprising… in a good way. I appreciated O'Brien taking us outside of the Enclave and its walls. Allowing readers to get a better look at the outside world. So, like most final books in a trilogy, Promised had a lot riding on it
Maybe it has been a while since I last finished Prized, but the premise of Promised was a bit of a surprise. Going back to the Enclave? Really, Gaia? I gotta give it to you. You have some guts.
Like Birthmarked, the Enclave is again up to no good. Instead of advancing babies, they are now promoting a pilot program for surrogate mothers. Maybe it is just me, but I found the premise a little flat. Okay, so Gaia and the gang need to establish a settlement. And where better to do it than the Enclave due to resources. But again with the baby issues? Sure, it makes sense to a certain degree, but I would have loved another little twist or two.
I adore the progression of this series. But unlike Birthmarked and Prized, the romance, which is something I have come to expect, is sadly lacking for a majority of Promised. Did I want more love triangles / squares? Nope. But with Leon sadly missing from a better part of the book, the spark that the previous novels had was sadly missing.
The Birthmarked series sits happily on my top ten dystopian recommended list. And for good reason. This series is incredible. Powerful characters. Beautiful, lush world. Heart-wrenching romance. This series has it all. Promised is a great addition to the series. But it took longer than I wanted for the action and the spark that I have come to expect from this series to appear.