Gaia Stone is 16 and has just helped to bring the first baby into the world, now she's finally a real midwife just like her mom. Gaia is used to living in a world were water and electricity are a luxury and were babies from the poor parts are brought to the Enclave, a place were people live in luxury.
Gaia believes in the system because it's all she has ever known. But when her parents are captured and brought into the Enclave with seemingly no reason Gaia begins to doubt that the system is perfect. A dangerous journey begins when Gaia decides to free her parents from the Enclave and when she realizes what's really happening inside of the place she has never visited before.
When I first read about this book in 2010 I wasn't very interested in reading the book. But after I saw the wonderful UK cover a few months ago and read the two sentences on it I knew that I had to get and read the book. And I wasn't disappointed by the story, to the contrary I enjoyed "Birthmarked" a lot and I'm excited to read the next book in the series.
Caragh O'Brien has a very engaging writing style that made reading about the world she developed very enjoyable and that made understanding it very easy. I think that the mix of entertaining story parts and serious ones was perfect. The book made me think a lot about wasting resources and about a world that seems perfect on the outside but that is in reality cruel. I also liked that the author didn't create a black/white world and that there was not one side that was all evil, I could even understand some of the things done by the Enclave that at first glance seemed horrible. But of course there were some power-mad, bad people inside of the Enclave and I'm very interested to see what will happen to the whole system and society.
I loved reading about Gaia, she was a very strong and likable main character. I loved discovering the world through her eyes and the way she changed throughout the book was impressive. The changes very believable and made sense after everything that Gaia discovered. She is the kind of heroine I want to read more about.
There is sort of a love story in the book and I liked that it was not the main focus because this would't have fit to the rest. I'm sure that there will be more of the romance in the next book of the series.
I love the style of this cover and the two sentences fit perfectly to the book - all in all this cover is brilliant.
"Birthmarked" is a fascinating book that captured my interest from beginning to end. The captivating setting and the strong characters made reading every page of the book interesting and I hope that the next book in the series will be as good.