A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother's footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be 'advanced' into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve.
Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
Praise for Birthmarked:
'Readers who enjoy adventures with a strong heroine standing up to authority against the odds will enjoy this compelling tale.' School Library Journal
'Reminiscent of both 1984 and a Brave New World, this gripping page-turner is a perfect intro to futuristic, dystopian fiction . . . Readers accompany the novel's inspiring heroine on an undertaking brimming with danger, intrigue, and romance.' Education.com
Also by Caragh M. O'Brien:
In her first YA novel, O'Brien creates a dystopian future in which to explore complex issues of morality and survival. In a world rocked by climate change, the Enclave is a much-needed bastion of civilization, and many of those who live outside its walls serve it in one fashion or another. As a midwife apprenticed to her mother, 16-year-old Gaia Stone is expected, like any other midwife, to bring the first three babies she delivers each month to the Enclave to satisfy its demands for new citizens. When her parents are taken for questioning by the Enclave, Gaia takes over for her mother, even though she's not entirely comfortable following orders unquestioningly anymore. Her quest to track down and save her parents leads her into the Enclave itself, where she befriends the handsome Captain Grey, a man with his own secrets, and discovers the unsettling truths behind the Enclave's need for children. Though predictable in places and unconvincing in others, this science fiction adventure is a brisk and sometimes provocative read, thanks to solid pacing, a resourceful heroine, and a few surprise twists. Ages 12 up.