Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien

Prized, the second book in the Birthmarked trilogy, picks up where the first book left off.  If you haven't read the first book, I won't spoil anything for you, but this book is the next phase of Gaia's adventure.  I actually liked the second book better than the first one, probably because I was better prepared for O'Brien's writing style.  There are so many dystopians out there where the action happens at a breakneck speed.  The reader is madly flipping pages, dying to find out what happens behind the next plot twist.  While Prized (and Birthmarked, the first in the series) are not slow by any means, they're written differently than other dystopians that I've read.  It's hard to put my finger exactly on what it is about these books, but it almost feels like they're more about character development, and the plot and action are secondary.  The reader really comes to get to know the characters intimately and, although the story picks up in key moments, there's no mad dash towards a climactic ending.  Plus, Gaia is just such a unique, loveable and profound character.  It's really her that is the driving force behind this series and I will definitely be reading book three to find out how it all comes to a conclusion!


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