Nafiza's Reviews > Prized

Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
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's review
Apr 13, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: read-2011, source-net-galley
Read from September 12 to 15, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Hear that? The silence? The long-drawn wondering silence that is tinged with wonderment. That was my reaction after I finished the book.

In case you didn't read my review of the first book, let me tell you that I loved it. I liked the characterization, the world building, the terrifying possibility of the eventual extinction of the human race. I also loved Leon and Gaia. The way they complemented each other, their complex relationship. I loved Birthmarked 1 enough that I was more than keen to read the second book in what I hope is a trilogy.

I was disappointed. I was massively disappointed. I was so disappointed it hurt. Well okay, it didn't but somewhere in me there lives a tiny bibliophile and every time she reads a disappointing book, she dies a little death.

If you remember the end of the first book, Gaia flees to the wild lands to escape from the Government kind of people, you know, the one with the guns and the water? Yeah, them. She leaves Leon behind and takes her baby sister. She ends up somewhere in the wilds and is taken captive by a man who delivers her to a community where women rule.

Hehe. When I say women rule, I mean, men are treated like second class citizens. And women rule because there are so few of them. And you see, since there are so few women, all the women who are present and who do not choose otherwise, have to have ten or eleven children. Because otherwise the population is going to die out.

And women rule. Look, I'm sorry, okay? When women rule, I doubt they'd agree to have eleven children no matter how much the population is on the verge of extinction. Giving birth, as I've been told by various women, is difficult. And that might be an understatement. But anyway. Yeah. Women give birth and there's this matriarch who takes Gaia's sister because Gaia's deemed unfit to care for her sister since she you know, took her away from her home and traveled with her for so many miles. Almost killing her and all.

Okay. My problems with this book are plentiful. First, there is barely a plot. Okay, fine, there is no real plot. There is a semblance of one but a real plot? Nope.

Second. You know how I whine about hating love triangles? Well, this book had... um, defied shape making because there were three boys who were madly in love with Gaia. The author tries, bless her, she tries to make it seem logical and to a certain point, I suppose it is. Since there is a shortage of women, and Gaia is so bloody awesome, obviously she'll be the choiciest meat on the market. And I could have handled that. However, the manner in which Gaia behaved with all three of her harem members, in a word, disgusted me. Yes, I don't usually evince such strong sentiment against main characters but bloody hell. She's smooching one, cooing at another and making eyes at the third one. And Leon? He has a love/hate thing going on with Gaia. As in he loves her but hates that he loves her and she doesn't help by smooching the other two (who happen to be brothers, must do awesome things to their relationship, huh?).

Gaia's development into the person she was in Prized made me hate the novel. Also, (view spoiler)

And even though she smooches Leon (after they somehow make up? I don't know, I must have been rolling my eyes and missed that part), she lets him know that she hasn't chosen him yet. She wants to keep her options open and smooch him when she feels like it. It doesn't matter how he feels about it because clearly his feelings don't matter. She's the only one whose feelings matter. Ugh.

Oh and finally, I hate this whole "I'm so good, I'll forgive the wicked character" trope that's going on. I hate it. For once, I'd like to see the villain being hated till the very end. Die Voldemort, die! How would you feel if Harry was to go, "I forgive you, Voldie! You were just misunderstood and unloved! That's why you became this bastard with a snake and all bald without a nose! Come, let's hug and make up!" See my point?

Anyway, I didn't enjoy the book. O'Brian writes fine, she's great at creating tense atmosphere and smexy scenes but her plot, dudes. Her plot and her characterization of Gaia. Ergh. I sound really bitter but I had many hopes for this book and well, I AM bitter. I'm not reading the third one. It's going to have more romantic gymnastics and I don't see the point of it. Unless someone can convince me otherwise, that is. :(
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Reading Progress

09/13/2011 page 33
9.0% "Hmm....."
71.0% "Just when I'm ready to hate this, the author gives me a smexy scene."
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Stacey (prettybooks) Oh no! You didn't like it as much the first? I'm planning to read Birthmarked and Prized in November.

Nafiza I really liked the first one but the second one makes Gaia so annoying. As if love triangles weren't bad enough, there's a love square and it becomes all a tad wearying.

Stacey (prettybooks) I just finished reading Prized and I was unsure at first because it's so different from Birthmarked, but I did actually really like it. I think it was still more of an autocracy even though the synopsis says that women rule, because it's really just one woman, so I didn't really see anything wrong with that. But I do agree with you about the love square. They were all really nice guys (except when Leon was being an asshole) but it was really unnecessary.

Nafiza More than Leon, I couldn't stand Gaia. She just drove me nuts in this book.

Heather *live on coffee and flowers* Wtf? How can she be torn between Leon and someone else? I haven't read this one yet, but the first one doesn't seem to set itself up well for a triangle (or square).

Nafiza Dude, it's like a totally new book with characters who only share the names. I did not like this one at all.

Betty I couldn't agree more. This review revealed all the same flaws that I spotted. Loved "Birthmarked", but had to trudge through the mire of "Prized" only to be disappointed in plot, characterizations, and themes.

Nafiza I have hopes for her new series!

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