Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review: Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien

Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)
Publication date: October 2012
Pages: 295
Source: Library
For: Fun
Series: Birthmarked, Book 3

*Spoilers are inevitable for the first two Birthmarked books*
Gaia is determined to lead the people from Sylum back to the Enclave, in hopes of saving them from extinction. But the Enclave isn't ready to take Gaia or her new people back. They've started new experiments and the stakes are higher than ever.

Things I Liked:
While I still enjoyed the genetics discussions and the ethical implications of decisions people make, I was overall not enthralled with the book.  I did like the way Gaia had to struggle with what she wanted and what she thought was not right.  She was a realistic character, making some good and some bad choices and then dealing with the consequences.  I thought she was an interesting leader and her struggles with what a leader must do versus what she wanted to do kept me invested to the end.  The ending is also rather unflinching and not everything turns out well for the characters.  An interesting look at an unusual society.

Things I Didn't Like:
As I said, I was disappointed overall.  I found it really rambling and the back and forth of Gaia began to grate on my nerves.  She made many stupid mistakes, often by not thinking something through or by just making stupid choices (in my opinion).  The ending, while not attempting to avoid the unfortunate, did not please me.  I found that there were too many last minute things that fell into place or that conveniently just happened, despite opposition to them previously.  And on a more personal note, sometimes Gaia seemed so superior in her ideas about motherhood and women's choices that I wanted to smack her.  This is probably because I have experienced infertility for over five years and it is something that if you haven't experienced it, you really won't understand all of it.  But, that's me projecting my experiences on the book, so take that with a big handful of salt.

A bit like
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

s-factor: !@
some, not a lot

mrg-factor: X
mostly implied, nothing on page

v-factor: ->->
a bit of violence, not too graphic

Overall rating: **.5

Do you tend to rate some books based on your personal experiences or are you much more objective than I am? :)

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


  1. I was already getting irritated with Gaia in book two, so I decided not to finish the series. Now I feel better about it! :--)

  2. Yeah, definitely you wouldn't enjoy this one if you didn't like the second :)


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