17 October 2012

Book Review: Birthmarked


Blurb on the Back: In the future, in a world destroyed by the harsh sun, there are those who live in luxury inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside, struggling to survive. Each month the people outside the wall must deliver a quota of babies to the enclave, to be raised by parents within and brainwashed to forget about the world outside.


It’s the way it’s always been, and the way Gaia thinks it should be…until her parents are arrested on suspicion of hiding a code; a code revealing the secrets of the “advanced” babies. Realising she is her parents’ only hope for survival, Gaia ventures inside the wall to rescue them. But she soon discovers that the Enclave is not as perfect as it appears; the gene pool has become too small and genetic irregularities are developing – something the brutal government wants to stop. At any cost. Can Gaia break the code and discover the truth, before it’s too late?


My Thoughts: I really need to start reading the blurbs before I buy books. This book was not at all what I was expecting; but in saying that, this book was a fantastic read. I literally didn’t want to stop reading it and I felt compelled to keep read as much as I could for as long as I could until I finished. Fortunately life intervened and I had to put the book down every so often, but generally the story line was so interesting that I didn’t want to stop reading.


I confess, I haven’t read The Hunger Games, but I saw the first movie and I feel like this book follows in that tradition. It’s futuristic world where things have gone wrong in history and now life is very different. When I started reading it, I don’t think it was made clear that it was set in the future, so it felt very ancient; a world that was back to basics and where people were living off the land. But when you keep reading, you realise that it is in the future, but things have changed. Obviously there are little things along the way that have survived throughout their history, but everything else has been destroyed.


I like the story because it isn’t a completely bizarre concept; the future is unknown, we don’t know what could happen in 5, 10, 20 years from now and a situation like the one in this book is entirely possible.


There were a few moments where they were explaining the science stuff (about DNA and Genetics) and I got impatient. I couldn’t help but think “Really?! You want to take time out to discuss this stuff?” but then I remember the lack of education and that sort of thing, so after I finished that part I realised it was important.


I really liked this story though. I really liked the futuristic perspective and looking back on one possibility of how the world could go wrong and screw everything up for humanity.


Unfortunately! The book is part of a trilogy, so now I really want to get my hands on the next two books! Like I said, it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting just from looking at the front cover, but it made it all the more better. If it ever had the potential to become a movie like The Hunger Games, I feel like Hollywood would screw it up. Without going into too much detail, Gaia has a very distinctive look about her and I feel they would get that wrong – but it all contributes to her, her strength and who she is.


I think this is probably one of the best books I’ve reviewed so far just because of how intense the story is and how caught up in it I go.

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