Book Review: Promised (Birthmarked #3) by Caragh M. O’Brien

1 Nov

PromisedGaia Stone escaped the enclave–only to head willingly back in. When she and the people of New Sylum arrive at Wharfton to settle, she doesn’t expect the changes that have happened in her absence, and not all of them are good. Her best friend, Emily, was taken into custody and now leads the Vessel Institute, a “baby factory” of surrogate mothers providing hemophilia-free babies to the wealthy elite. Meanwhile, the Protectorat refuses to provide the people of New Sylum with water unless Gaia does the unthinkable–and the people of New Sylum are becoming restless.

I read the first two books in this series several years ago and, to be honest, I probably should have reread them before reading this! My only read of Birthmarked happened back in 2011, as you can see by the old format of this review, and I didn’t even review Prized, which must mean I read it sometime in 2012 before I started getting more serious about this blog. So, apologies if I am misremembering things.

To be honest, I wasn’t hugely impressed with Promised. I remember quite liking Birthmarked, liking Prized a bit less, and Promised was just sort of strange to me.

First, the plot was a bit non-existent, or perhaps slow-moving and fast-moving all at once. See what I mean about strange? Everything in this book happened within days, and a rather large goal was accomplished, yet at the same time it seemed like nothing much happened at all. I was sort of just going with the flow for the entire read wondering if I was missing something.

This time around, the characters — particularly the rather forced love triangle — just got on my nerves. After reading my review of Birthmarked, it looks like Gaia has always been this way a little. I just don’t know how to read her, and she does some unpredictable things, but this time around I wasn’t charmed by that; it just made her seem inconsistent. I also felt as though she’d risen a bit to Mary Sue-dom; for some inexplicable reason, she has to be the one to fix everything, and she has to be the only one who can “save the population” because of her special blood, and she has this sob story at the end but it seems to barely bother her… I don’t know, I just didn’t like her.

What I thought would have been much more interesting were these women who joined the Vessel Institute and the children who were leaving the Enclave to find their birth families. It would have been interesting to see these people more directly involved in the downfall of the Enclave (much more than bombs!). Unfortunately, this one fell a bit flat for me.


One Response to “Book Review: Promised (Birthmarked #3) by Caragh M. O’Brien”


  1. 2014: A Year of Reading in Review | More Than One Page - December 31, 2014

    […] Promised (Birthmarked #3) by Caragh M. O’Brien *** […]

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