Author: Caragh M O’Brien
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever. She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland. In Gaia’s absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher. Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what–or whom–she loves most?
The final in the ‘Birthmarked’ trilogy, PROMISED closed all the loops, dotted all the i’s and ended the story; well sort of. Without giving away too much, the first two books confirm that the reason the Enclave is dying out is because the gene pool is too small – lots of interbreeding has caused hemophilia to be rife and so fresh new blood is needed. Fine – just so happens that Gaia has rocked up with a whole heap of new blood. So what is one of the final solutions at the close of the book? Harvest the eggs of just one woman who is free of the hemophilia – implant them into hundreds of woman. This is going to stop inbreeding how exactly? You don’t need to be a geneticist to figure that one out!! As with ‘Prized’, PROMISED didn’t have the wow factor of the first book ‘Birthmarked.’ PROMISED is action packed I’ll give it that, in fact it is quite violent, be warned atrocities do occur! The story has many twists and turns as the baddies try to out bad each other and the reader loses track occasionally as to who is bad and who is not! PROMISED was on occasion quite depressing and even the happy moments are tinged with regrets. I cannot say that the series has ended on a high – I cannot say that it is a happy ever after – because while there is hope for the new future too many of the current mistakes are still there. Gaia did not come over as the kick ass leader that she was destined to be in the first two books. She is quite stupid on occasion and much of the bloodshed could have been avoided if she had listened to reason, in fact if she had even ASKED for advice before jumping in feet first. It may be OK behavior for a girl breaking free of society – but not for a woman who is responsible for thousands of people. Then there was the love interest – well again this is a sort of – she has the love of her life that she is promised in marriage to – but still keeps a couple more on a string and then gets upset when they show interest in other women!! Talk about wanting your cake and eating it too! I think this change in Gaia was the main reason for my disappointment in the final book, I really liked her in the first two books – but not in this one.
Rating: C – Above average. Was very readable and enjoyable.
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