Sunday, December 4, 2011

Prized by Caragh O'Brien - Review

Birth Marked was one of my favorite reads of last year. The harsh environment of the Enclave stayed with me for a long time as did Gaia, the girl who stood against the authorities. Well, In Prized, she flees into the wasteland with her baby sister but without Leon, looking for the village rumor said her grandmother found. But she runs out of supplies and her sister is near death when she is captured and taken to Sylum, a community run by women with a very strict set of rules. Men, who outnumber the women, have little rights. And here fewer and fewer girls are being born here and no one knows why or what to do about it. They take her sister away and force her to submit if she wants to see her again. Yet whereas she was overlooked in the Enclave because of her scar here she is valued, vied for.

Gaia is such a wonderful heroine, strong, stubborn, with a profound sense of justice. You know she will do the right thing, whatever the consequences. This new society is so different and yet so perplexing to her: How can it be a crime for someone to kiss her if she agreed to it? How can it be OK for only some to have the vote? How can a woman be won as a prize? And, more importantly, if the rules are unfair, why is no one trying to change them?

I liked Prized just as much as Birth Marked, maybe even more. The world building is just as complex, and the storyline just as intense. And O'Brien, like Gaia, never takes the easy path. If this is the year of dystopian novels, this one stands out for me. Try it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds so interesting. why isn't it getting more press?