Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and overthrowing Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her greatest challenge yet--to lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge. But in Gaia's absence, the Enclave has become even more ruthless, picking girls from outside the wall to serve in an experimental baby factory. Babies with the right genes are now a priceless commodity with the potential to reshape life inside the wall and redefine humanity. The key to it all comes back to one fearless, young midwife. When negotiations devolve into terrorist threats, Gaia finds herself at the crux of an insupportable decision.

As a leader, a woman, and an idealist in love, Gaia must decide if she can sacrifice what--or whom--she values most.

293 pages, Hardcover

First published October 2, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Caragh M. O'Brien

21 books2,207 followers
Caragh M. O'Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS series, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O'Brien earned her BA from Williams College and her MA from Johns Hopkins University. Once a high school English teacher, she resigned to write young adult novels. For more information, visit http://www.caraghobrien.com.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
4,114 (27%)
4 stars
5,126 (34%)
3 stars
4,182 (27%)
2 stars
1,281 (8%)
1 star
308 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,359 reviews
Profile Image for Kandise.
178 reviews57 followers
October 28, 2012
I didn't think it was possible to start a trilogy off strong and end in third place. Gold, Silver and then the Bronze medal. However I can't say that I wouldn't read the next installment, if there was a possibility of one because I have this morbid curiosity to see if Gaia could become more of a dumb-ass. A naive dumb-ass that makes the worse goddamned decisions.

Now I have to admit, Prized wasn't a strong installment but again I was curious, I wanted to find out what happened after she lost her dignity and then regained it at the very end, a strong end to a mediocre read. She became the matrarc and she was going to lead her new people to prosperity and a new life...

This installment really bunched my panties and resurfaced some medical problems I had been facing with prior YA reads, such as ERS (eye rolling syndrome) which started flaring up, at one point it actually got so bad that my body would cease up and my eyes would roll and become stuck in my skull...I just had to wait it out, I didn't have enough cupcakes to help me through it. Then there was my wrist twitch issue that was once dormant, the urge to flick my damn Nook across the room...oh and last but not least my rage. My raaaaaaagggge! that after reading time and time again about how Gaia would go back to the Enclave with this naive and infuriating notion that nothing bad would happen to her if...if people were watching...if she was the matrarc...if she caused a scene...so stupid. She consistently downplayed the ruthlessness of the Proctorant, then had the audacity to be disappointed when she was back in a cell and being tortured, to be upset that this time it didn't work out.

I was just so goddamned pissed that this Gaia was only a shell of the protagonist that she was in the first installment and that it just kept going downhill.

Was I supposed to feel sorry for her at the end? Cause I didn't. I whispered to myself in public and when I was in comfort of my own home, I would shout 'Well that's what happens when you're a fucking idiot, that's what happens when you dont fucking learn to fight fire with fire, you stupid, stupid girl!'
Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
256 reviews156 followers
April 18, 2017
Tras desafiar al despiadado Enclave, sobrevivir a las tierras baldías y tumbar al rígido matriarcado de Sailum, Gaia Stone se enfrenta al mayor desafío de su vida: conducir a los habitantes de Sailum hasta el Enclave y convencer al Protectorado de que les conceda refugio contra los páramos. Este es el mejor libro de la saga. Las últimas 100 páginas son mas emocionantes que cualquiera de los últimos libros que he leído y tiene un gran final, aunque un poco triste.
Profile Image for Star.
92 reviews34 followers
December 5, 2016
As an ending to such a high powered trilogy it was awfully tame. It felt rushed and very "happily ever after, gallop dramatically into the sunset.... because I really am not sure where else to go with this...". I also disagreed with who the author chose to kill off since it seemed to be based on who supposedly would never get over Gaia and was therefore expendable. Lame death justification. I also dislike it when the villains are neatly dispatched in crossfire or just put in prison. Its too manufactured. They should face living with no power and with the people they abused holding the new governmental reins...I mean wheres the poetic justice? *sigh* Gaia should have also let the Chardos find girlfriends, her behavior was ridiculous, selfish and petty since she had already chosen Leon and that's what they came for. She actually robbed Peter of whatever short-lived happiness he could have had by acting like a jealous girlfriend AFTER she rejected him. I was really and truly disappointed in her, I thought she had grown. I mean really? I list this book as a disappointment (and after I defended the series too :/) although there was moderate character development and I did enjoy her brothers.
Profile Image for Eve.
337 reviews463 followers
October 25, 2012
Oh my gooooodnesss!! That was quite the ending.

Jeez. What can I say? I went into this book with high expectations, and I was not disappointed. Not even a little bit. This was fantabulous.

So, in a nutshell, Promised is about Gaia leading the people of Sylum back to the Enclave to persuade the (total jerk-face) Protectorat to grant them refuge. And water. Cause them people be thirsty. But of course, things get a little cray-cray, and so begins the emotional overload my poor little heart (and soul) had to endure. (Wasn't that an awesome explanation? Don't answer that. I know. I'm so talented.)

My goodness was this book amazing. It was suspenseful, exciting, heartbreaking, *romantic*, full of twists and turns that I TOTALLY wasn't expecting that I won't say because once I start I won't be able to stop , basically anything you could've ever wanted. And to top it all off, the characters are perfect. So, yeah.

Gaia wins the award for best main character ever. I loved reading about her and her (And Leon's) story these last couple books. And don't even get me *started* on sweet, swoony, Leon. That boy is dreamy. My heart broke for him so. many. times. But that ending. Oh my goodness gracious that ending. *le faints*

So, Gaia and Leon win the award for being perfect and stuff.

I loved the rest of the characters. (Minus the Protectorat and his evil minions) Will, Peter, Malachai, Maya, Myrna, *everyone* was great. The characters have such depth and they're all totally awesome in their different ways. O'Brien did a lovely job. LOVELY!

Those last couple chapters got me. I've tried so hard not to write about them but I think I'm losing. I think... Yup, I am:

What else can I say? This was a perfect ending to an amazing series. If O'Brien ever comes out with another series, I'm in. She's an incredible writer.

So, thats 'll I have to say for now!

Farewell, Birthmarked Trilogy! You shall be dearly missed! But will be remembered fondly. Thanks for for an incredible ending. *cue violins*

Alrighty then. Onto the next book. Which just so happens to be The Lost Freaking Prince by Julie Kagawa. Excited much? Uhh, HECK YES.



Profile Image for Kim.
4 reviews2 followers
February 12, 2013
It seems publishers are hungering for the next Hunger Games and, as such, are releasing YA dystopias faster than their authors can devise plots. As the third and final book in the Birthmarked series, Promised didn't live up to its promise, and instead sputtered to an unsatisfying conclusion.

Clearly, the book is not written for an adult audience. Still, young adult readers deserve an intelligent ending that wraps up the plot. Promised concluded with more questions than answers. Indeed, it raised some unbelievable questions. Like why would any intelligent physician consider removing someone's ovaries to create a slew of half-siblings? (In a small society, especially one in which inbreeding has caused significant problems, biological diversity is key.) And, if they really did want 50 half siblings, why not just keep the ovaries producing and harvest eggs several times a year? (The author takes a stab at answering this, but the reasoning is disappointingly shallow.) And, last but not least, how would it affect a 17-year-old girl to lose her ovaries? (Well, for starters, she'd be on hormone treatment for the rest of her life...)

Further, the book includes what could have been an interesting plot point with regard to surrogacy -- but instead of using this plot point to encourage kids to think seriously about a controversial subject (a la Suzanne Collins' inclusion of civilian bombs during war in Mockingjay) O'Brien paints the issue as "wrong" without offering any believable divergent viewpoints. This drastically underestimates the readers' intelligence. Young adults deserve better.

Frankly, Promised frustrated me. The plot is ill defined, the pacing off, and the characters little more than sketches. It's a disappointing end to what had appeared to be a promising series.

Profile Image for Mary Beth .
380 reviews1,614 followers
May 7, 2017

3.5 stars

This one was just O.K. for me. I did like it and enjoyed it. I just loved the first and second book better. This is the third book in the Birthmarked Series. This is a YA series. It is also a dystopian series.

Teen midwife and revolutionary Gaia has led her people from the false security of Sylum to the gates of the Enclave, determined to build a new city (and strangely confident that the baddies inside the Enclave walls will give her people water, despite her past history with them). But wait! The rich, powerful Enclave doesn’t want to share their (seemingly infinite) resources with anyone else, and so Gaia and love interest Leon, disowned son of the Proctectorat, decide to take the Enclave down. The faint feminism of the previous volumes here takes a conservative twist, with Gaia’s self-worth startlingly tied into her ability to reproduce; the emphasis on birth family as opposed to adoptive family as “real” may also distress some readers. Meanwhile, the plot hurtles forward with coincidence and convenience at the fore, and characters happily hang about at Peg’s Tavern even in the wake of a bloody revolution.

Profile Image for Emerald.
14 reviews1 follower
July 18, 2014
Well, despite really liking books 1 and 2, I won't recommend "Promised" to readers, unless they HAVE to finish out the series. I had a total disconnect from all the characters and no longer cared if any of them lived or died. I was not invested in this book. Gaia was so unbelievably stupid in Promised, that I put the book down several times and vacillated between picking it up again or not. I did managed to finish the book.

Considering how incredibly complex the socio-economic situation was in the 3 "settlements," and how fascinating that aspect of the book could have, and should have, been, there was not enough development on how everyone would be able to come together as one society and resolve the issues of each society. Precious time was wasted on Gaia and her random, stupid activities that didn't benefit anyone.

The last part of the book was completely unbelievable. "SPOILER ALERT" Why would you electrocute someone whose eggs were so incredibly precious that you wanted to steal them at the risk of killing said person? Wouldn't you be concerned that some of the eggs wouldn't be as viable? Having Leon watch Gaia be cut open and her ovaries removed would have accomplished the same thing. Also, it would not have been physically possible for Gaia to run around after a surgery like that - she would've ripped stitches or caused internal bleeding or other damage. There were too many impossibilities for a "normal human" that I couldn't get over in this book.

I'm glad that the series is over. But, I can't in good conscience actually recommend "Promised" to any friends.
Profile Image for Clare.
1,460 reviews307 followers
Shelved as 'on-hold'
December 8, 2014
My hopes for Promised:
- That Gaia remembers her parents' wisdom. More dad flash-backs please!
- That Gaia looks beyond her feelings to learn what is right.
- That Gaia is willing to make hard choices for what is right, and so rediscover hope which is born in sacrifice, instead of the confusion which comes from compromise.
- That Leon and Gaia get their love back on track, stop squabbling and playing up each other's emotions based on their own moods, really listen to each other and help each other to do what is right.
- That all the guys stop acting as though Gaia is the newest beauty queen (could do without the love triangles/squares/pentagons etc.)

Maybe it's a tall order, but the first book got it so right.
Profile Image for Sarah.
227 reviews10 followers
October 12, 2012
Gaia leads the people of Symlum to a new life near the Enclave. She asked the Protectorat(Leon's father) to provide a water system for her people in exchange she'll agree to give him samples of all her people DNA. But the Protectorat didn't keep his promise(surprise!)and so in begins.

I dislike long reviews so in short, throughout the book Gaia'character fails in every way possible as a leader. Now I'm not a strategy expert but some of Gaia's mistake could have been prevented by using common sense. She had "tools"(help)to use at her disposal but didn't know how. Her "air" of authority was grating on my nerve and over done, at times when it was most needed she didn't have it.

I'm so glad this serie is over with and this last book was... a chore, difficult to read only because of Gaia.
Profile Image for Nana .
1,201 reviews36 followers
December 22, 2020
Prometidos es la tercera y ultima parte de una trilogía que empecé este año, que si bien no es tan impactante, la historia tiene sus momentos y la he disfrutado, este estaba en mis pendientes por terminar desde hace tiempo, puede que la haya leído un poco por obligación ya que quiero finalizar series, trilogías y sagas que tengo comenzadas antes de que acabe el año, cosa que no creo que pueda hacer porque ya solo faltan menos de 2 semanas para que termine el 2020. El punto es que cuando inicie la lectura de este andaba un poco perdida en cuanto a la trama ya que los otros dos los leí hace meses y no recordaba ciertas cosas, pero de igual manera sentí que valió la pena llegar al final y conocer su desenlace.

Recuerdo que el 2do libro fue el que menos me gusto, y que se me hiso aburrido, talvez por ese tarde tanto en leer este, porque la trama de ese se alejo del primero y había mucho rollo con personajes nuevos que no me agrado mucho que digamos, y en este se puede ver que es una mezcla entre el primer y segundo libro, el Enclave y Sailum.

Gaia es una líder muy fuerte que vela por las suyos, y me gusto ver su evolución desde el primer libro hasta este, a ella si que la recordaba obvio pues es la protagonista contado el libro desde su punto de vista. Su romance con Leon es muy bonito, su forma de tratarla y apoyarla fue muy especial y me gusta mucho cuando me encuentro algo de romance en distopias, ya que siento que le da un toque mas de emoción y lo hace mas especial.

El final a estado a falta de un poco de desarrollo y algunas explicaciones si se hubieran dado mas especificas fuera mejor, aun así creo que es no estuvo tan mal. En conclusión esta es una trilogía distopica en un mundo muy cruel y original que creo la autora y que antes no había leído en otras y que disfrute con sus menos y sus mas.

P.D. Creo que ese va ser unos de mis propósitos de año nuevo en cuanto a lecturas, no dejar pasar mucho tiempo entre continuación a otra, jaja, porque si no me seguirá pasando que a veces las dejo abandonadas y algunas no porque sean malas si no que a veces solo es por falta de interés de darle prioridad antes de empezar otra serie nueva.
Profile Image for Magda Tatiana.
82 reviews27 followers
August 1, 2021
Esta trilogía, desde el comienzo, expone una discusión actual en un contexto apocalíptico y futurista: los derechos reproductivos, los derechos sobre el cuerpo y la eugenesia. (LA RESEÑA CONTIENE SPOILERS)

Estos tres temas, se van desarrollando a través de las tres entregas de manera pausada pero clara. En la primera entrega, se expone los problemas genéticos que ha producido la endogamia, sobre una comunidad (antagonista) y su búsqueda de variación genética en la comunidad marginada de las afueras, de donde proviene la protagonista. Lo que a primera vista , luce como un problema más, da paso a un dilema ético fundamental, el de intercambio de la vida, literalmente, por recursos. Es lo que se plantea también esta primera entrega. Los niños son entregados al enclave, con o sin consentimiento de la madre y el padre, para satisfacer la necesidad, demanda, de material genético, a cambio de los recursos que necesitan los de afuera para hacer posible su vida. De esta manera, también se nos presenta a las mujeres por su valor en términos de reproducción y este tema será tratado más a profundidad en el siguiente libro.

Siguiendo los hilos argumentativos del primer libro, en la segunda entrega se profundiza más en el valor de la reproducción tanto en mujeres como en hombres. Si en el primer libro el enclave era el epitome de la tecnología, este segundo libro se desarrolla en un ambiente más rural y la autora se esmera en presentar una organización social muy acorde a su contexto. En el asentamiento del páramo, tienen una crisis poblacional, debido a la falta de mujeres, una creciente población masculina, que además también presenta una porción elevada de esterilidad. De esta manera, la autora construye un sistema matriarcal, donde las mujeres valen por su valor reproductivo y los hombres, fértiles, compiten por su derecho a reproducirse. Aunque es un sistema matriarcal, y donde se le da mayor importancia a las escasas mujeres (oferta - demanda) estas, al igual que sus pares masculinos, están atrapadas en su rol social, sin muchos elementos u oportunidades para escoger su forma de vivir, pues el objetivo es la reproducción y que en un sin fin de intentos, producir LA HEREDERA.

Finalmente, en el tercer libro, se termina de desarrollar la idea de capitalismo salvaje, en función de la reproducción y la eugenesia, así como la contraparte a decidir como vivir y lo que se esta dispuesto a comerciar. De este modo, aparece el mecanismo de la modernidad, el enclave no va a arrebatar más niños, va a tener vientres en alquiler y niños y niñas diseñados por encargo, con los dilemas morales que esto acarrea.

La lectura de esta saga, es amena, con un buen ritmo y se sale del camino habitual del heroísmo, no es una historia vertiginosa, sino que trata de tener situaciones bastante verosímiles, enfocada menos en la acción y más en la denuncia y actuar político, en concordancia con el tono de la saga.
Profile Image for Worood.
14 reviews
November 26, 2013
First of all I want to say that I regret reading this book. I didn’t like the first two ones much and I had many and countless objections. Despite this I decided to give it a shot and continue reading because I couldn't ignore that the author had a quite good story. But she wasn't able to use it well.

When you read a book after about a year of reading the previous one ,you tend to forget the characters. That's obvious and common. And what's more common that while reading the new book the author would give you some flashbacks to refresh your memory. That's something the author didn't bother doing. But ok maybe I should've re-read the previous two books .And It would've been useful to tell somehow that it was a year later. Because that is something important to know.

And the most thing that annoyed me is GAIA and LEON! Ok we get it they love each other crazy and they couldn't live without each yada yada…..But it is very bothering to see that they only cared about each others' safety. Especially that the 17-years old is supposed to be the MATRARC. Which I find ironic. She is a teenager and she obviously operates depending on her feelings but she gets to still be the leader!

Not to mention the fact that she happens to be loved and respected by all. Despite everything she does! I just hate when the main character is just so perfect and awesome. Ignoring all the others who reasonably should take over!

Another thing, I hoped to know more about the other characters. The book was from the author's point of view so it would have been good to know about the others more. Not just stick to the girl and what she does and feels while the others just agreed on what she said or objected then agreed again. I didn't like that. Everyone is older than her. How come she is the person to always have the best decisions and make people convinced. Especially when the decisions are obviously wrong!

I have so many other objections but I will stop here and say some good things. Though they are hard to be found!
I liked that it didn't end perfectly, though it was confusing and not reasonable at some points. And....ok I couldn't find anything else.

NOTE: just a reminder that this is my opinion. I noticed that many liked and loved this book though I don't know why and I respect that. And please respect that I didn't like it. Not my type.
Profile Image for Sydney.
129 reviews66 followers
December 5, 2012
2.5 - 3 stars.

I enjoyed this book, but overall I think it's the weakest in the series. Still, the ties and emotional connections I had to the characters from the previous books makes me want to bump my rating to 3 stars.

Here is my criticism: Why oh why do authors think it will be boring if people have normal emotions? Fo reals. I understand the need for drama and foreshadowing and plot twists blah blah blah. But heavens above! I could not keep up Gaia's epiphanies or Leon's brooding love-sick control freak-ness. Gaia seemed to change direction in each chapter and I was so flustered by her mood swings I almost stopped reading. Now I understand men when they deal with PMSing women! For a character who was so steadfast and determined, solid and stubborn in the first two books, she sure does a lot of roller-coasting in this one. And I find it hard to believe that she would just get up after that tragedy happens, shrug and move on. I wish O'Brien would have spent more time focusing on her emotions during that realization. And Leon, oh brother. Just the same old same Cassandra Clare type love interest. All passionate brooding but nothing I could really sink my teeth into until the final chapter.

With my love loss for Gaia and Leon, it was hard to truly adore this book the way I did the others. I was infatuated with Gaia's bravery in book one and two but her heroism in these books stretched by WSOD a tad too far. I couldn't connect that way I wanted to. Thank goodness the story was technically well-written or I would have set this down. I would have also enjoyed a quick recap from the first books. I hadn't read the other two books in awhile and it took me a quarter of the book to play catch up before I remembered everything.

If you have read the first two books (and the bridge), you should definitely read the third to complete the series. The story itself is still captivating, even if its pushed to be unrealistic. Just go into with the notion that the characters are not the same they were when you met them.

Read all my reviews at www.rattlethestars.com!
Profile Image for Kellyflower.
180 reviews38 followers
October 31, 2012
I'm a little disappointed. This book seemed like it should have been bigger for what it explored. I was frustrated at the pace things were happening at because it just felt rushed.
The main reason why I liked Birthmarked & Prized was because of Leon, but in this book he seemed to be missing.It was all about Gaia 24/7. While the story progressed and the series came to an end I just feel like this book should have been expanded, maybe more on how the people from New Sylum felt. Why bring in new characters if your not gonna let them play some part in the book well except for I won't even go into the non-existence of any kind of scene between Leon & Gaia that made me feel all happy and hot faced. I mean I think readers deserve to read a little bit of a hot scene between them... maybe even a really good kiss that even we as readers could appreciate. (sigh)
Oh, and the ending
Photobucket Photobucket
Profile Image for Carla.
618 reviews98 followers
November 20, 2016
And here it is!
I have to say that I really enjoyed this series, the world building was so convincing even if my connection to Gaia and her actions wasn't that good. The characters fitted perfectly into the story. So all in all it was a nice time but I don't think it's a series I am going to reread...
Profile Image for K. D. Grace.
69 reviews1 follower
Currently reading
June 16, 2017
Why must you make me wait? I wanna cry. Patience is a virtue I severely lack. Release it soon. My heart is aching for more pages to turn and mentally devour.

Profile Image for Abbey.
13 reviews1 follower
October 10, 2012
I really enjoyed this book! I read the reveiws thinking that it was going to be terrible and it really wasn't at all....
I think the main reason behind the negative and critial reveiws is that the series went beyond the intended YA audience. I enjoyed Gaia much more in this book than the last two but perhaps that is because I am in my 20's and can relate to her situation more. I think she grew up significantly and perhaps outgrew the YA readers. Now I don't mean this critically at all! But it is just that she lost her air of innocence, is in a serious relationship now with Leon, and is the leader of New Sylum. She grew up, and she now is engaging with more adult decisions an themes (unfortunately being a grown up isn't all that fun all the time). If you think about it, the success of the Harry Potter franchise was rooted in the fact that HP readers literally grew up reading HP so could relate to what was happening in his life. On the flipside is the popular YA series Hunger Games (Which I did mostly enjoy) where the main character Katniss really fails to develop any adult reasoning or integrity and in the last book is moping around like a bratty teenager who you literally want to slap at times! It is unrealistic to imagine that Gaia would not mature after all she has been through and I felt that Caragh O'Brien made a good choice in doing so, even if she did loose her YA readers.

There are certainly alot of adult themes in the book, hints and mentions of themes such as abortion, genetic screening, drug use, sex, childbirth, feminism, 'designer' babies, suicide, coercion, child abuse, incest.... Relatively heavy moral/ethical dilemmas that occur throughout that to me make it a good read, but that parents of young teens might want to be aware of. That said, they are presented in ways that are meant to be challenging and intellectually rigorous. I like that she held nothing back! The story would have lost its fibre had she done so.

I enjoyed that Caragh O'Brien obviously did extensive research in the area of genetics and reproduction. This is always fascinating and a theme that is often seen in adult dytopian fiction.
My only issue is that the novel is set 400 years from now, would it not be reasonable to expect that the Enclave would have kept records of advanced babies anyway because of the risk of inbreeding. That was the only flaw I found in the logic of this storyine. It is a future oriented text and it is unlikely that knowledge would have been 'lost' bacause of global warming.... But hey, that is what makes this a great story right? Any dysopian fiction needs to hold on to enough realism to make sense and I think this does.

Many people have complained that the book isn't long enough or tht there should have been a fourth book. I must admit that it was short, but it must be considered that Caragh O'Brien would have had a word target assigned to her by her publishers and there were only ever going to be three books funded for this series... And I personally feel she did a good job of making it all fit together... there weren't any loose ends flapping in the breeze so to speak. And imagination goes a long way.

I loved the character of Gaia. She has flaws! All to often fiction is saturated with characters that are irritatingly perfect heroes, whose 'destiny is written' so to speak. But Gaia is a character with no particular special skills other than being able to use her initative, she has an intact moral code and is intrinsically good! She still has typical conflicts that all of us face. I really liked that.
I also see that many people said that this lacked the excitement because of the loss of the 'love square' between her, Leon, Peter and Will. I personally found it satisfying that we got to enjoy a novel where her and Leon were together and there was still plenty of internal conflict. Like how she felt jealous of Peter and Will talking to Wharfton women - a natural human emotion! And how she still questioned Leon and his intentions after they were together. This happens: No relationship is plain sailing and there are certainly apprehensions about your partner that you go through at the start, mixed with happy feelings too. And that it alludes to them being involved sexually.. sometimes sexual tension between characters is annoying (a la Hunger Games) and detracts from the actual development of their relationship (all the while reminding you that the book is written for a younger audience so has to be candy coated and innocent) while not being overt as adult fiction is (Such as Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series - who didn't Mikael Blomkist sleep with btw?). The sex is portrayed as loving and meaningful which I think would be fine for a younger audience anyway. The story was true to itself - Such as the 'peaceful' walk into the Enclave. This was great - no guns blazing, macho action stuff. Sure, it may not have got the pulse racing but it was true to Gaia as a character.

Only random thing about this series was book 2.5 - Ruled. Utterly pointless no? What did that add to the series that it didn't already have? A bit of a Leon/Gaia fix I suspect... but weird.

All in all, great book. I have enjoyed this series and am sad there are no more! I will probably read it again to think more about the themes in it. I hope that more adults read this! To me this last book graduated more into adult dystopian. I read an interesting article one that YA and A dystopian differentiate by YA having happy endings and hopeful themes... and this has a mix. It is a bittersweet ending.

Look forward to reading more reveiws,
Lots of love
Profile Image for Donna.
3,879 reviews7 followers
October 25, 2015

3 stars. This is the third book in the Birthmarked trilogy. In spite of all my dislikes with this, I still liked the story line. It was intriguing. There were some creative twists that had me saying, "Nice."

The problems mostly dealt with the writing and with the constant stupidity of the characters. They didn't seem to progress much. They always did the same things they always did. The MC was self-absorbed in the first one, the second one and in this one. And she was still the same silly girl at the end, but really really lucky.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,055 reviews911 followers
April 7, 2016
Wow. I was afraid this was going to end badly.. I wasn't expecting the torture scenes either. This whole stealing ovaries so they can have babies who aren't sick is insane. A valid reason, but also crazy. I'm sad this is over but I'm also glad I binge read the entire thing in a span of a couple of days so I would have a series completed. Wonderful story full of science, action, mystery and indeed a love square to match, you'll love this one if you enjoy the dystopian genre.
52 reviews3 followers
March 18, 2020
Nun habe ich auch den dritten Teil der Gaia Stone Reihe beendet. Und auch dieser hat mir gefallen.
Aber irgendwie weiß ich gar nicht was ich so genau zu dem Buch sagen soll. Es ist nicht so, dass mich das Buch sprachlos gemacht hat, aber es hat mich auch nicht gelangweilt.
Das einzige was ich sagen kann ist, dass mir das Ende ein bisschen zu schnell ging. Da hätte man das ein oder andere finde ich noch einmal genauer beschreiben können.
Profile Image for Anne.
348 reviews47 followers
June 23, 2016
Actual rating 4.5



1.)The protectorat wins all the awards for being the single most annoying fictional character in the universe and for just being a douche-bag

2.) A love Gaia she is seriously one of my favorite protagonist's. Unlike other female leads in YA fiction, shes not invincible and she has flaws just like everyone else (which makes her even more real)

3.) I lied. Mabrother Iris wins all the awards for being the single most annoying fictional character... whenever I think of his face I have the uncontrollable urge to slam my face against the wall

4.) Leon is awesome! You're argument is irrelevant ! Can we all have a silent moment for how BA his character is


6.) Seriously all the non-annoying characters - Will, Dinah, Josephine, Myrna, Jack, Angie and so forth were amazing !

7.) That ending. Oh. My. Gosh. I seriously couldn't even believe the novel would go so far that they would ACTUALLY proceed with the surgery and take Gaia's ovaries. I'm not even joking that is probably one of the most inhumane, harsh things you could do to any unwilling girl. All I could think was TECHNICALLY speaking Gaia is going to be a mother to around 50 children. That concept just can't go through my head. Like 50 children are all going to be half siblings but have different parents, I'm I the only one who finds this down right disturbing? Like what happens if they fall in love with their half sibling and they didn't know and you know love... once you get it theres no going back. Call me old fashioned but, just no. NO. They should give back her ovaries. AND ON TOP OF THAT HER AND THE PERSON SHE LOVES CAN'T HAVE ANY CHILDREN TOGETHER!LIKE THERE WAS 50 THOSE SELFISH MOFO'S COULDN'T LEAVE ONE BLAMAZYAKSJD OR WHATEVER ITS CALLED. Seriously lets all just have some empathy for a moment , if I was in her position I would feel down right horrible! No horrible is not even a strong enough word i can't even describe how I would feel

8)On the brighter side of life she has Maya and she'll no longer get her period so....

So basically this book was awesome and recommend it to all of you who liked the first two

Profile Image for Desi .
67 reviews
August 30, 2016


Prometidos es el libro que menos me ha gustado de la trilogía. Quizás me ha decepcionado un poco esta última parte, esperaba algo más. ¿El qué? No lo sé, pero esperaba que me hiciera sentir algo más.

Sí, ha estado bien. Prometidos cuenta quizás con un poco más de acción que los anteriores -no mucho más pero bueno..-.
Desde un principio se nota que la historia decae un poco y sabía que no me iba a gustar tanto como los dos primeros libros.

En mi opinión lo que arregla un poco el libro es la acción del final aunque creo que lo ha querido cerrar tan de golpe que no me ha trasmitido nada tampoco.

Cuando muere X persona -no digo nombre para no hacer spoiler-, la escena en la que se entera es tan fría que es como "ah pues eso, que ha muerto".
A ver, sinceramente, me esperaba que muriera alguien y no se por qué sabía que esa persona iba a ser la que ha muerto pero que vamos, yo me puedo hacer una idea pero luego al pasar ponerme triste y tal, pero con esta muerte no he sentido NA' DE NA'.
Y luego, cuando deciden casarse -no es spoiler- es un nos casamos mañana y au. Mmm.
No sé, no me ha convencido este libro. Yo qu sé, se suele sentir emoción en etas situaciones y más viniendo de una pareja que te encanta, pero nada.

Resumiendo, el libro en sí no me ha transmitido NA-DA. Y no sé si es el peor final que he leído, pero puedo decir que se encuentra entre ellos.
Con esto no digo que sea malísimo, está bien, pero otro final más "pasional" y que te hiciera sentir más hubiera estado mejor para esta historia.

Me ha gustado, no es uno de los peores libros que he leído, pero no me ha gustado lo suficiente como yo esperaba.

Ha bajado bastante la nota, los otros libros les he puesto 4.5 pero este le pongo 4 estrellas aunque en realidad sea un 3.5.
910 reviews256 followers
May 1, 2016
Despite remembering almost nothing about the previous books in the trilogy (and becoming increasingly doubtful as to whether I even read the second), this was pretty easy to pick up and enjoy. Unlike my apparent feelings about the first book, this final piece isn't amazing but it's certainly interesting. There's a little too much back-and-forth and so the pacing of the story is a little off, but still a pretty satisfying conclusion to what I'm sure was a great trilogy.

The fact that I can't actually remember the trilogy much probably doesn't bode too well, though.
Profile Image for Colleen.
94 reviews1 follower
October 20, 2012
Duh! What a let down. Torture, lies, surgery, in and on.... And Gaia still doesn't get it??!! This was so stupid I regret the money & time I invested. Boy, talk about falling apart after the first book.
Profile Image for Ky.
159 reviews
October 19, 2012



~*~ Edit ~*~

akhdglkjsf;klgaj;lgkhdlg I cried. It was beautiful and sad and I CAN'T FORM GOOD SENTENCES.
... that was bad.
Profile Image for Karen’s Library.
1,048 reviews159 followers
April 3, 2017
Overall I really enjoyed the Birthmarked Trilogy and felt that Gaia was a great heroine to root for!

Promised starts off with Gaia leading the people of Sylum across the wasteland and back to the Enclave.

Once they reach the Enclave, they try to form New Sylum on the outskirts and try to work with the Proctorate for much needed water. Unfortunately, the Protorate refuses to help. Gaia and Leon do whatever it takes to ensure the people of New Sylum survive.

This book was pretty much non-stop action and once again, I read it fairly quickly because I just had to know! Although heartbreaking in parts, I feel that it was a satisfying ending to the trilogy. The author included a few snippets of possible futures at the end of Promised and I highly enjoyed those and my heart feels much better now!
Profile Image for Myrza H Darmaditya.
196 reviews28 followers
May 15, 2015

This book guys! This one was absolutely stunning! I can't get enough of the idea of this series! I can't believe that this series already ended. That was such a bittersweet ending for me. I don't know but Caragh M. O'Brien successfully ruined me emotionally! I just can't understand that O'Brien will be so mean with Gaia's fate, that's so evil! UGH.

I feel like this book was a major turning for this series. Everything changed for better. You'll get a lot of action here and there will be a lot of unexpected things happened, brace yourself for it! I was very pleased with the story. There's so many things Gaia, Leon and their friends had to endured, that was so heartbreaking. But something isn't changed. I screamed a lot for Gaia's decision making. She's a bit immature here, but I found a lot of her good sides. She's ready to sacrifice, brave, good-hearted and always ready to help people. I was glad that I got to know another character better here.

This book is highly recommended. Like I say in my reviews for previous books in this series, this one has a really different theme if it compares to another YA Dystopian novels. Very enjoyable series!
Profile Image for Gracie.
39 reviews
Want to read
May 12, 2012
I really liked the other two books, and I want to know if this one lives up to the reputation. Hopefully it does! But damn, OCTOBER? I seriously need to get my hands on this book!
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,220 reviews1,651 followers
June 12, 2019
The conclusion to the Birthmarked trilogy left me somewhat underwhelmed. It's largely in line with expectations, but somehow the series manages to get even more baby-focused, and it's really not a good fit for me.

Promised gets off to a slow and rocky start. The Sylum folks are slowly making their way back to the Enclave where they hope to make new homes outside of the wall. There are several chapters of this, and they're not exciting, despite Leon and Gaia's engagement (shrug). They conveniently find Gaia's brother Jack, along with a new character, a little girl who will not matter to the story at all, and who thus should not be there.

Once they arrive in the Enclave, they shockingly do not experience a warm welcome. It feels simultaneously slow and like it goes far too quickly. Gaia makes a swift swing from wanting to argue peaceably with the Protectorat to going "eh, okay, blow them up", and I really didn't buy it at all. Nothing about Gaia's characterization up to that point explains why she capitulated so quickly and easily to Leon's less friendly negotiation tactics.

Also, weirdly enough, I found myself not feeling as mad at the Enclave about the titular new indignity. While Gaia was in Sylum, the Enclave ended the system of advancing babies and, instead, created what is, essentially a surrogacy program. They invited 40 girls, and some 10-15 agreed to birth a baby for other parents. Gaia's deeply upset by this because she doesn't think any woman should have to give up the baby she carries, which sure in most cases. But the thing is that these girls DID agree to give up the baby they carried, entirely voluntarily. They signed a contract willingly. There's no argument made that they were forced to do so. If you agree to be a surrogate, I don't think you can just decide to keep the baby, at least not with legal ramifications. Gaia's so infuriated, and I really couldn't understand why, which did not help, since it's one of the big moral motivators for her desire to take the Enclave down.

This series isn't bad, but, in the end, I didn't care about the characters enough and there's not quite enough detail to really explain everything. There are some interesting ideas here, and the series does strongly advocate for women making decisions about their own bodies (and men still having rights too). I guess I'm glad I finished, but I don't think it would have bothered me much if I hadn't.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,359 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.