Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 304 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Birthmarked series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3/5 stars
This was the final book in the Birthmarked series. It was a decent conclusion to the series. There aren’t a lot of surprises here, things play out pretty much how you would expect them to.
Gaia is now the leader of her people. Her and Leon are leading the people of Sylum back to the Enclave in an effort to persuade the Protectorate to grant Gaia’s people protection from the wasteland.
Gaia is still kind of a blah character for me. She just seems a bit too weak to be leading these people. That really comes across in this series as she looses control of Leon’s actions…which pretty much reinforces her weak leadership. I understand that Gaia always wants peace over violence. It just seems short-sighted of her to allow the death of many rather than command the death of a few to save many. She does grow some throughout the story, but she never really grew on me as a character.
Leon is more interesting than Gaia but just as pig-headed in his own way. He constantly undermines Gaia’s leadership and him and Gaia constantly lie to each other. I have never been impressed with their relationship.
The characters surrounding Gaia are much more intriguing than she is, but we never get much of a chance to know them.
As you might be able to tell I just had a lot of trouble caring about this characters; this isn’t new for me…I didn’t like them much in the previous two books either. So if you thought the first two books were mediocre this is more of the same. If you loved the first two books you should be pleased with this book as well.
This book is mostly politics and intrigue. Gaia has to cut a deal with the Protectorate and then make sure he follows up on his part of the bargain. Some of the ideas in this book are fascinating; the idea of a genetic anomaly taking out humanity is an interesting one and I did enjoy how it was explored in this series. That’s pretty much what keep me reading this series.
The book is decently written and well paced. It is also completely predictable. I could have told you everything that was going to happen in this book before I read it; I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t any surprising twists and turns.
Overall this is a solid dystopian read, but not my personal favorite. The idea behind the story was intriguing, but I struggled with the way Gaia and Leon constantly were unsupportive of each other and made bad decisions for their people. The story was very predictable as well. If you have enjoyed the first two books in the series I think you will enjoy this one. If not, well this is pretty much more of the same. I personally would recommend Veronica Roth’s Divergent series or Ally Condie’s Matched series over this series.