Prized by Caragh M OBrien
When Was It Released?: 8th November 2011
Where Did I Get It From?: Won from Goodreads
Who Published It?: Roaring Book Press
Number Of Pages: 368 pages
After reading Birthmarked I could not wait to pick up the second novel in the series; Prized. I was a little apprehensive, after loving Birthmarked so much, that Prized would not live up to my expectations. I find that often a second novel in a series is never as good as the first. Prized, however lived up to and may even, in my opinion have surpassed my love of Birthmarked. If you have not read Birthmarked, you may not want to read this review, as it may contain spoilers.
Gaia has managed to escape into the wasteland, after leaving The Enclave, and is left to try to care for her baby sister and look for a place that may only be a rumour. Gaia is captured and taken to Sylum, a society where women rule, men are drastically outnumbered and kissing is a crime. Gaia must conform to the strict rules of Sylum in order to see her sister but Gaia cannot deny her sense of justice and curiosity with the society.
Gaia’s character really grew between Birthmarked and Prized, with her character being strengthened, her resolve strengthen and her likeability increased. She asks way beyond her years due to the harsh times and ordeals that she has faced and I enjoyed seeing her grow and come of age. I loved the way her intense emotions are portrayed and dealt with throughout. The introduction of new male characters, in particular, Peter, were a refreshing change and added extra romance, depth and entertainment to the plot. I really enjoyed what is essentially a love square and how each character deals with this individually.
Overall I loved Prized; it was an enthralling, thought provoking and a magnificent story. This is a stand out dystopian series that anyone should read, no matter what your reading tastes. I was unable to put this book down and became so wrapped up and involved up in the characters that I was feeling everything along with them. I was really swept away by Prized and the Birthmarked series and would go as far as to say that this is one of my favourite series of this year. I am now on the edge of my seat waiting for the third novel in the Birthmarked series, which will be released next year.