Wow, I actually uploaded my weekly review before Sunday! It’s a miracle. Thanks to the extended weekend this week, I was able to actually get some good reading time in. So, on to the review of Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien.
Birthmarked takes place in the year 2400 or so and focuses on one city and the town on its outskirts (It’s not clear if that is the only city left in the world, but there is a vast wasteland all around the city). The technical name for the city would be the Enclave (it’s also separated from the town by a huge wall around the city), and the town outside it would be Wharfton, which is split up into six “sectors.” There are no hospitals anywhere, so midwives deliver all the babies in Wharfton. Every month, each midwife (there are a couple per sector) has to take the first three babies she delivers and give them to the Enclave. The babies are taken away from their real parents, adopted by families inside the Enclave, and supposedly have a great life inside the Enclave. The Enclave seems perfect.
Gaia Stone, sixteen, is one such midwife in Wharfton, taking after her mother. She hates having to take babies away from their mothers, but she believes that it is for the good of the Enclave. Then one day, a panicked friend gives her a ribbon with a strange code sewn on it right before her parents are taken away for questioning. A soldier starts asking her about any records kept of the births her mother has overseen. Though she doesn’t know why it’s important, she keeps the ribbon secret and evades his questioning. Weeks pass, and her parents still haven’t come back from inside the Enclave. She sets out to break in and discover where they are, and is horrified by what she finds. Not only by what she finds out about her parents, but by what the happy façade of the Enclave hides. Things begin to spiral bigger than she had ever imagined.
Sooo, I’m sure you all know my shtick by now. This is a really good book, copy and paste admiration and whatnot here. I'm expecting a sequel. The only comment I have other than that is that the code stuff is sometimes a little confusing (and this is coming from a somewhat-math-whiz). Though, maybe I’m just a little slow today and it’s perfectly clear if you’re lucid. Hey, we don’t have school. My brain has no obligations to work. Okay, you can pick up Birthmarked (which you should) at Kettleson or Mt. Edgecumbe.