I reviewed Birthmarked earlier in the year and was looking forward to book 2 in the trilogy.
I'm happy to report that Prized is even more enjoyable than the first.
Gaia has escaped the Enclave with her baby sister and is wandering the Wastelands. They're discovered almost starving by an Outrider of Sylum. He carries them to safety.
But as Gaia recovers her strength she realises that Sylum is very different to the Enclave. It has many new rules and laws which she must adjust to quickly and perhaps she is no better off than she was in the Enclave.
The story is gripping and absorbing. Gaia struggles with her conscience and authority throughout. She is strong, stubborn, savvy and fiercely independent. All great survival skills, but traits that can get in the way of having caring, open relationships!
I liked that O'Brien didn't spend the first chapter rehashing Birthmarked - she just got straight into the story and you had to catch up quick. It was tightly constructed with no waffling. O'Brien has created a world that feels real, dynamic and totally believable.
Highly recommended for those who love their dystopian futures mixed with a little romance!