Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review: Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: November 2011
Pages: 368
Source: e-book from NetGalley
For: Review
Series: Birthmarked trilogy, Book 2

*Spoilers for Birthmarked very likely*
Set to wandering in a wasteland with few supplies and her infant sister, Gaia's plight seems hopeless. Until she is picked up by an outrider and taken to Sylum, a very different kind of society from the one she left behind. Women are outnumbered two to one and hold all the power too. But in order to see her sister, Gaia must obey the strict society rules and change the way she thinks of the world. Will she be able to give up all she believes and wants or will she find a way to reconcile the two worlds?

Things I Liked:
I was really surprised with the direction this book went.  This is definitely not a sequel that just rehashes the first book, or bridges to another book.  This is almost a stand alone story.  I really enjoyed how it was completely its own book, didn't depend (much) on the first book, and was still interesting.  What made the book for me, though, was Gaia.  She was a flawed, realistic, confused, but still strong person - especially in the way she dealt with the Matrarc.  I kept wanting to read so I could figure her out, since she made both mistakes and hard choices.  She was complex and had a lot of emotions and different motivations warring in her.  Her choices eventually led to the (somewhat predictable) ending, but were still hard to make and interesting in the consequences.  A strong book with a compelling main character.

Things I Didn't Like:
It actually kind of dragged for a while.  The middle felt so slow I often set the book aside.  And I wasn't too impressed with the way Sylum was set up, how they were kept there, and what Gaia found out about them.  It felt only quasi-scientific and just didn't really make sense when I sat and thought about it.  And yes, the love square was rather annoying.  But didn't bug me too much, even if she should have figured out what she wanted way before she finally did.  Definitely its the character development that made this one good to me, not so much the world building or romance.

Obviously, start with Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Reminded me a bit of the society in The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (though, obviously without the zombies) and Wither by Lauren DeStefano

s-factor: ! 
maybe a few

mrg-factor: X 
some kissing, mostly it was birthing scenes that might be a bit graphic

v-factor: -> 
again, it was more for the births, though there is some minor fighting

Overall rating: **** 

What stood out to you in this one?

Looking for more dystopian goodness?  Be sure to stop at Presenting Lenore's Dystopian February celebration.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. You liked this one a lot better than I did. I found it disappointing and annoying. Glad you had a better experience with it!

    1. I've seen lots of people who didn't like it! I guess I was more in the mood for it :)

  2. Ugh, I'm sorry but after my disappointment with the first one I just can't read this one. I'm glad you like and enjoy them, though.

    1. Definitely don't read it, you won't like it at all since you hated the first :)

  3. I haven't read the first book in this series yet but it does sound like a great series.

    thanks for the great review!

  4. I enjoyed the first book, and have recently gotten Prized from my school's library when it came in today. Nearly done with reading chapter one, though so far the story hasn't yet made much of an impact. Not quite likeing Sylum so far; though, like I said only on chapter one. I will continue reading and see how things turn out, and may look into finding that book by Carrie Ryan you mentioned.

    1. Sylum is definitely not a very likable place. I really like Carrie Ryan's book, so I hope you do pick it up!

  5. I adored Birthmarked, and when I found out that Prized was in my school library, I immediately checked it out. I only managed to get to chapter 8 I believe before I got too frustrated to continue. I loved Gaia and Leon in the first book, but in Prized it just seemed to fall flat on its face. I feel so horrible, not giving it more of a chance, but I just can't continue it. :(

    1. Don't worry about giving up! There are too many great books out there you might like to sepnd time on one you don't.


Love it when you comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © melissa of One Librarian's Book Reviews 2008-2015