Author: Caragh O'Brien
In the Enclave, your scars set you apart, and the newly born will change the future.
Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia's mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty. A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.
I’ve read a lot of dystopian novels recently and they have all been really good. So, with the likes of The Hunger Games, Matched and Ashes, there’s a lot to live up to in this particular genre.
And how did Birthmarked measure up? I think it definitely proved itself more than worthy of being placed in a league with the aforementioned titles.
I was drawn into Gaia’s world right from the very start. We are thrown straight into her challenging life: delivering babies at sixteen years old, destined to a life stuck on the outside of the walls that enclose the Enclave where people live in luxury, and always suffering the stigma that comes with having a prominent scar on the side of her face. I was reminded a little bit of Katniss from the Hunger Games. Gaia has the same fiery determination to fight for what she believes in and a fierce loyalty towards her family.
This is what drives her to sneak into the Enclave and it is here, really, that things get interesting. Before long, Gaia realises that the Enclave in reality is different to the airbrushed image in her mind and her life is turned upside down during her short time there. She delivers a baby from a dead mother, gets thrown into prison, gets out of prison and discovers and learns so much along the way.
I think that the story really progressed at a nice pace, going into enough detail that you had a nice insight into life in this different society and could really believe in each of the characters, but not too much that you began to get bored. In fact, not once was I bored reading Birthmarked. I was gripped, virtually unable to stop reading, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit.
Amidst all the action did blossom a romance, which I think complemented the storyline very well. It grew slowly and sweetly, so that you often weren’t quite sure if it was there and intrigued me even more.
Overall, I really loved Birthmarked and definitely recommend it to everyone!