Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien
Sixteen-year-old Gaia and her newborn sister, Maya, have escaped from the Enclave. When they are found in the Wastelands by Peter, Maya is barely alive. With his help, they arrive at their destination – Sylum – a place about which Gaia had only heard vague rumors.
Sylum is different than expected. For an unknown reason, the vast majority of the population is male, many who are infertile. The few hundred women there make up the ruling class of this city whose population is quickly dwindling. In order to survive – and to see her sister – Gaia must conform to Sylum’s oppressive rules. It isn’t just the laws of the land that are vastly unfamiliar to Gaia. For the first time, she is an object of affection. Even more surprising to Gaia is that she is desired by more than one man. When someone from her past arrives in Sylum, Gaia is even more torn by what she feels is the right thing to do and what the ruler of Sylum wants her to do.
Once the story got going, I was sucked in. I couldn’t wait to get back to reading. In fact, I stayed up much too late finishing the book and now wish the third book was available.
Gaia isn’t perfect. It is more than just her scar. She has personality flaws that make her human, and I adore her more for it.
At times the story seemed rushed or that the timing was off.
Leon’s behavior. I wanted to smack him.
The ending. It didn’t seem plausible. I could go into it more, but then I would give it away!
I didn’t recall much from the previous book other than the very basics: Gaia was scarred on her face, she was a midwife like her mother and she escaped the dystopian city that she had lived in (or rather, just outside of) all of her life. Because of this, it took a while for me to get into the book.
Sequel to Birthmarked.