I love Caragh O'Brien! Once things got started, I could barely put this book down. As far as post-apocalyptic series go, this is by far the best in thI love Caragh O'Brien! Once things got started, I could barely put this book down. As far as post-apocalyptic series go, this is by far the best in the YA realm. Unlike the Hunger Games, it has more than just a single, limited plot line, and unlike the Matched series it's actually going somewhere.
I think what I love most about the Birthmarked books is the amazingly composed characters. Gaia isn't your typical YA heroine. She actually makes decisions and *gasp!* thinks for herself. I also love Leon. He isn't your typical hero. I almost began to hate him when he first returned to the plot in this book thinking, where is the quiet, sweet, rugged and mysterious Leon from book #1?? Then as things progessed I realized he's just a believable guy; Caragh wrote him realistically. All these other fantasy, Teen Fic books are full of dreamy, can-do-no-wrong hunks that are perfect in every way. Leon loses his temper, overreacts and acts jealous in not always a positive way. But at the core he's a good guy, and by the end of the novel I liked him even more for that.
The plot was also wonderful. Unpredictable, original and full of surprises. I found the sub-culture of Sylum so interesting and fun to read about. The love 'square' Gaia found herself in was particularly amusing. As far as some of the scientific technicalities regarding the male/female ratio there, I'm willing to let all of that go in light of the fantastic writing, because it really didn't make a whole lot of sense. I'm no science buff, but I think there would be a lot more messed up internally if an individually with no Y chromosome looked like a man. I don't know though, call me ignorant.
I can't wait for the last book to come out so I can absolutely devour it! It couldn't come soon enough!...more
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The plot was amazing: so original and unpredictable. As a YA novel, it exceeded my expectatiThis is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The plot was amazing: so original and unpredictable. As a YA novel, it exceeded my expectations. So far is it from the average teen fiction; it has everything you could want: adventure, romance, humor and a little science fiction. The book was so beautifully written and O'Brien created so many believable, interesting characters. I absolutely cannot wait until the next book is released. To think I almost returned this book to the library unread! I highly recommend that you read this novel. You won't be disappointed....more