Sunday, June 19, 2016

{Series Review} Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien


Titles: Birthmarked, Prized and Promised
Author: Caragh M. O’Brien
Published by Roaring Brook Press

This series is a hard one for me to rate.  While I really enjoyed reading these books, there were just too many problems that kept pulling down the plot and the characters.  I think the place where this series excels would be the writing and the plot idea.  I liked O’Brien’s descriptive writing and the flow of the words.  The entire time I was reading these books, I could see it all in my mind as if it was playing like a movie.  I felt like her writing in the second and third book was slightly different than in the first.  The first book seemed more detailed than the last two books.

I did really like the charcters in this book.  I really liked Gaia in the first book because I could really see her character development.  I thought it was interesting that Gaia really never questioned her life until her parents when her parents were taken.  I liked that triggered her to ask more questions and seek out answers.  I did become really annoyed with Gaia in the third book.  She was constantly making bad decisions that made it hard for me to feel sorry for her when bad things happened.  I also really liked the character development of Leon.  He was not my favorite in the first book, but her grew on me in the second and then became one of my favorite characters in the third.  There were a lot of great secondary characters in this series, but sometimes it felt a bit overwhelming.

I LOVED the idea for this book.  Involving genetics and evolution was really interesting and I could see that O’Brien researched a lot while writing this series.  Where this series falls flat is the inconsistency of the plot.  The first book was really good, but then the plot stemming from the first plot is almost not existence in the second book.  The second book almost feels like the beginning of a new series.  The plot in the second book resolves in the second book and then the plot from the first book is then continued into the third book.  It is almost hard to explain if you have not read the series, but it makes it feel very incoherent. 
The romance in this series was really lacking.  I liked the slow progression of the romance between Leon and Gaia in the first book and that there was no insta-love.  I thought the love square in the second book was really weird.  I did find myself a little torn between two of the love interests, but I think it was obvious who she was going to choose.  I think the third book was the best when it came to the romance and did find myself rooting for Gaia and Leon.

I think that the ending to this series was one of the strongest points of it.  It has some major twists and turns.  I also liked that all the loose ends were wrapped up, but the characters did not get their happily ever-afters.  The series left off with the characters struggling to put the pieces back together and to cope with the traumatic events that happened.  

Overall, I really don’t know if I would recommend this series or not.  The first book is really good, but the second book was just so different from it.  I would suggest that if the concept sounds interesting, to give it a try. 

Overall Rating

Favorite in the Series:

Least Favorite in the series:

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