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Birthmarked: Birthmarked Trilogy Series, Book 1 | [Caragh M. O'Brien]

Birthmarked: Birthmarked Trilogy Series, Book 1

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like 16-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia's mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia's choice is now simple: Enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
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Publisher's Summary

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like 16-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia's mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia's choice is now simple: Enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

©2011, 2012 Caragh O'Brien (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"[People] who enjoy adventures with a strong heroine standing up to authority against the odds will enjoy this compelling tale." (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (223 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (87)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.0 (196 )
5 star
 (71)
4 star
 (79)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.1 (192 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (75)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    Marie Medellin Sylmar, CA USA 03-12-13
    Marie Medellin Sylmar, CA USA 03-12-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    "Inner Beauty above Outter Beauty"

    I really liked this story. This is about a strong 16-year-old midwife who has thought everything she has been taught was right then realizes, maybe not. In her heart she feels she needs to right not only her wrongs but her communities wrongs for her family and community. While doing this she has her own personal stuggles because of an accident she endured when she was a toddler and has left her scared on one side of her face. With her insecurities and feelings of being an outcast she still finds strength to do what she feels is right and capture the eye of a forbiden interest and possible love because of her strength and beauty within. Narration was done very well. Carla Mercer-Meyer may not have distinguished her characters with the very different and distinct voice acting for each individual character i usually like, but she paced herself beautifully and distinguished each character with the feelings she put into her narration to convey what each character was going through at the time.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melanie SELMA, CA, United States 03-11-13
    melanie SELMA, CA, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "I was pleasantly surprised!"
    What did you love best about Birthmarked?

    This was an extremely creative read. The main character was pretty childish though she was practically a child anyway. She makes a lot of decisions that other people pay the price for and she does as well. Though she makes theses decisions based on her beliefs of what is right and wrong and no one can changer her mind.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gaia is the main character...I love how she knows who she is. She won't change for anyone!


    Have you listened to any of Carla Mercer-Meyer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listened to the entire Birthmarked series and they were equally great.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes...my husband as well.


    Any additional comments?

    Check it out!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shamatee Elizabethtown, PA, United States 09-29-13
    Shamatee Elizabethtown, PA, United States 09-29-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    4
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    "Great book, HORRIBLE READER!"
    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator was HORRIBLE! I don't think I could say it enough. The reader read everything completely wrong even when it said differently in the book. She would read a confrontation calmly when the book stated ".....blah blah blah, they argued." The book says that she becomes a strong woman and the narrator makes her sound like a weak little girl who has no clue what she is doing and is terrified like a 4 year old. When she is being interrogated, the narrator makes it sound like she is pleading by saying I'm sorry like a little girl when the book has her being strong and confident. This chick should never narrate a book again in her life.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story, HORRIBLE READER!!!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Jones Cordova, Tennessee 08-19-13
    Russell Jones Cordova, Tennessee 08-19-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    4
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    "First book always the best"

    This series is creative, though I would rate the second and third book lower than the first.
    Be warned this book leaves you on a cliffhanger for book two.

    I would definitely listen to the first Book again

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Linden, CA, United States 03-18-14
    Andrew Linden, CA, United States 03-18-14 Member Since 2012

    Parks Horseshoeing

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
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    80
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    "A Good Dystopian Book!"
    What did you love best about Birthmarked?

    I thought this book series had a strong story line and character connections seemed to flow well.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I thought it was very different and interesting as to how babies are are just as precious as water in a world that barely has any water.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me irritated at times because like most female characters created by female authors seem to always be self destructive/dumb. Which is the same in this book. The main character whom is a female does dumb things after dumb things to get herself deeper into trouble.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall I felt the author and narrator did a fantastic job! I do suggest this book to fellow Dystopian fans.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    calluna13 Indianapolis, IN USA 12-05-13
    calluna13 Indianapolis, IN USA 12-05-13 Member Since 2013

    I'm a foreigner on Earth just visiting for a lifetime. I may as well escape through books while I'm here.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    34
    7
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    0
    3
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    "Good story for teens more than adults"
    What made the experience of listening to Birthmarked the most enjoyable?

    The uniqueness of the futuristic storyline.


    What other book might you compare Birthmarked to and why?

    Delirium. Very similar writing styles, as well as age based genre equalities.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It was slow in parts, and the narrator's voice easily made me sleepy.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator is not great or terrible. She is just ok. She paused sometimes, which led me to believe she was ending a chapter, when really she was still in the middle of sentence. The book was still enjoyable, and her pronunciation was well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kayla United States 10-06-13
    Kayla United States 10-06-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    11
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    "Surprisingly Good"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    In a world of YA fiction where all dystopian novels are starting to sound alike, this one feels refreshingly different. It isn't just about a girl versus The System: it's about the value of life, the sacredness of family, the perception of beauty, and the awakening of courage. I like that what Leon most values about Gaia is that she does what she knows is right, regardless of the consequences. I can cheer on a character like that.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Leon because his story unfolded gradually.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Gaia saved a baby via emergency c-section on a dead mother. I found myself cheering on the baby to live!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Life First (the inscription from Gaia's locket)


    Any additional comments?

    I noticed the mixed reviews about this narrator, but I enjoyed her performance. My only criticism is that the pace felt unnecessarily slow with some unnatural pauses in sentences, but I appreciated that she wanted to take it easy, giving her listeners a chance to absorb details that could be confusing otherwise. If you like the narration of Kate Simses (Matched), you'll like Carla Mercer-Meyer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy United States 02-04-13
    Wendy United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    50
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    "Great book"

    I liked this book & look forward to finishing the series. I think this a great tweener series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Irvine, CA, United States 05-20-14
    Lauren Irvine, CA, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    41
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    "Not very interesting"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book wasn't terrible, but it wasn't enjoyable either. Alas I have stopped listening about two hours in cause I just didn't care about the characters or the story. The narrator had a boring mono tone voice for my taste.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Caragh M. O'Brien again?

    No, the story was boring and I was never involved with any of the characters.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Carla Mercer-Meyer?

    No, I don't like the sound of her voice, and she doesn't do different voices for the different characters. I found myself wondering off in thought instead of listening to her.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Kalamazoo, MI, United States 01-20-14
    Amber Kalamazoo, MI, United States 01-20-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So much promise"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The lead needs to grow up. I understand that her entire world has been torn upside down but from the start to the end she really never grows up. Instead she keeps having tantrums.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The voice actor needs more practice, a rich deep male voice reading this book would have been better.


    Could you see Birthmarked being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I could see this as a tv series, if the characters were allowed to grow and flesh out more.


    Any additional comments?

    It's good to see books placed in Michigan. So many writers seem to forget we exist.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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