by Caragh O'Brien
Birthmarked Trilogy, book two
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole? (description from Amazon.com)
Hallelujah. A second book in a trilogy that tells its own complete story. :)
I was amazed at how different this book was from say Ally Condie's Crossed (see my review here) which although it also involved the main characters relocating to a new, dangerous environment, did not seem to actually have any purpose...it was a book that did not need to be written. Here, Gaia grows as a person. She defines her ideals. She faces a new hostile environment and she triumphs.
I was extremely excited to read about an entirely new and believable society. I thought that O'Brien did a marvelous job with the worldbuilding in Sylum and that the way that Gaia and Leon reacted to it was completely legitimate and realistic. Gaia and Leon, who have both been forced to grow up way too quickly, must still struggle with regular teen issues.
An excellent second book. I cannot wait to find out how the series will finally end!
Full disclosure: ARC originally received from Netgalley; Borrowed from my library