Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
Series: Birthmarked #2
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Length: 12 hours and 1 minute
Narrator: Carla Mercer-Meyer
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Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole.
On the story...
Prized took me completely by surprise by taking a different route than what I expected. The Enclave and the issues within that community is almost completely forgotten and we stumble upon a new community with new genetic issues. I was a little disappointed with this turn of events because I was completely invested in the conflict that was previously introduced. Gaia struggles to make the right decisions and I found her mistakes refreshing. I was a little annoyed that the Love Triangle was extended to include a third guy (What do you call that? A Love Square? Lame.) It made me think that Gaia fell for anyone who gave her a little bit of attention. I didn't buy into her crushes because they seemed to occur to quick and I didn't feel any chemistry between Gaia and any of the love interests. I enjoyed this installment all the same.
On the narrator...
I like Ms. Mercer-Meyer but her voice makes Gaia seem a lot younger. I even started to consider whether this trilogy would be a good middle grade read. It could be. We'll see. I'll finish up the series on audio but I'm leaning toward recommending the physical book over the audio.
Felt like a detour rather than a second installment but found it enjoyable all the same. I like that this dystopia read excludes the blood and gore of the others.