edit: Rezension deutsch ---> Caragh M. O’Brien – Die Stadt der verschwundenen Kinder (Birthmarked #1)
it's almost three months since i finished this book o.O still i try to put my thoughts together...
birthmarked is another dystopian story that sucked me right in. we meet gaia, 16 years old midwife, who lives in a strange society. it's split up in two worlds - the one inside the wall (the enclave) and the one outside the wall (which is depending on the enclave). inside you have all you need, all you want. outside you have... yeah, well, a whole lot of nothing (what's a bit exaggerated, but that's me ^^). so it's no wonder mothers would feel honored to have their babies advanced. yepp: advanced. each midwife has to bring the first three babies of each month to the great wall, where they disappear, never to be seen again, behind the huge gates. sounds horrifying, right? yet scarcely anybody is rebelling, everyone seems to be okay with this. even gaia. after all the babies, provided they are perfectly healthy and unscathed, will have a better life. that's what gaia knows, was her parents taught her. so i can fully understand her, erm, doing.
but things starting to change, gaia learns that there is more, that the enclave is full of shit, that she needs to fight, more or less. resistance is not futile (sorry, borg queen).
what follows is a comparatively quiet told story with scary wtf-moments. sometimes the book puts you on the edge of your seat, sometimes it's unwinding and almost peaceful without being boring. someone who's searching for a book full of action is better of with another one.
whew, what else to say... i liked gaia, she's such a likable girl. she's strong and clever. it's a good thing she's no stunning beauty, for she's defaced with a scar. females in books described as plain and ordinary frequently are beautiful nevertheless. not gaia. i loved that she's an imperfect girl in a most imperfect world.
the book doesn't reveal much about what happened with the world. repeated mentions of unlake superior, scorching sun, and sweltering heat point towards a climatic disaster. (i vaguely remember something along these lines was mentioned somewhere in the book, but i'm not sure.)
the writing is good, i would assess it as average. the ending, well, is very very very open. i don't like cliffy endings, so i was not quite happy. apart from this birthmarked is a great book.