Author: Caragh M. O'Brien
Release Date: November 2011
Published By: Roaring Brook Press
Goodreads Rating: 4.08 stars
Review: Sixteen-year-old Gaia wanders out into the deserted lands with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, but even she doesn't expect to be captured by the people of Sylum, a society ruled by women. If she wants to see her sister, she must submit to their dictatorial rules where even a kiss is a crime and where it's physically impossible to leave, but can she give up her sense of justice, curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so of course I leaped at the opportunity to review PRIZED. In terms of plot, I certainly don't regret it. The premise of the whole series is interesting enough to begin with, but the twists that occurred here put it in a whole class of its own. I found myself unable to put the book down, driven with an urge to find out what happens next, and marveling over the intricate details of the society painted.
What did bother me, though, was Gaia. Her character wasn't bad and I was still able to sympathize with her, but she made some decisions that had me wanting to take her by the shoulders and shake her. I won't say them here to avoid spoilers, but I know she's smarter than that, and that's one of the reasons her decisions bothered me so much.
Probably what annoyed me the most in this book, though, was the love square. In particular, I found myself actually hating Leon. Even if Gaia did some dumb actions, he blew them way out of proportion as if he had a right to be angry, and I couldn't believe that she accepted his apology so easily. It was hard to want them to be together when I mostly wanted him to fall off a cliff.
All in all, PRIZED was an excellent book but not as good as its prequel. The plot was fascinating with an intriguing society and enough suspense to keep the pages turning, but I was disappointed with the characters. Leon was far too cruel for me to enjoy the romance at all, and the number of suitors Gaia found herself with was just too high. Still, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the first book and wants to continue the story.
I received a free copy of this book for review. This in no way affected my review.