Prized | Caragh O’Brien

I reviewed Birthmarked earlier in the year and was looking forward to book two in the trilogy.
I’m happy to report that Prized is even more enjoyable than the first.

Gaia has escaped the Enclave with her baby sister and is wandering the Wastelands. They’re discovered almost starving by an Outrider of Sylum. He carries them to safety.
But as Gaia recovers her strength she realises that Sylum is very different to the Enclave. It has many new rules and laws which she must adjust to quickly and perhaps she is no better off than she was in the Enclave.

The story is gripping and absorbing. Gaia struggles with her conscience and authority throughout. She is strong, stubborn, savvy and fiercely independent. All great survival skills, but traits that can get in the way of having caring, open relationships!

I liked that O’Brien didn’t spend the first chapter rehashing Birthmarked – she just got straight into the story and you had to catch up quick. It was tightly constructed with no waffling. O’Brien has created a world that feels real, dynamic and totally believable.

Highly recommended for those who love their dystopian futures mixed with a little romance!

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives, only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code and the oppressive rules of Matrarc Olivia. Meanwhile, two brothers claim her attention as they attempt to understand the environmental trap that keeps the people of Sylum captive, and suddenly Gaia must contend with the exciting, uncomfortable, and altogether new feeling of being desired.

But when someone from her past shows up, Gaia discovers that survival alone is not enough and that justice requires sacrifice.

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