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Guy Gavriel Kay
For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
Birthmarked - Caragh M. O'Brien When I started reading this book, I sure hadn't expected it to turn out the way it did and it was different in a very good way!

I mean, I've read plenty of dystopians before and some basic things are the same in most of them: lots have a girl protoganist, oppressive society, girl at first adhering to the rules, discovering life-changing things about evil-doing society and then trying to bring it down/getting arrested etcera. And there's usually a cute boy somewhere mixed in the plot. And while I love this theme, there has to be something extra for the book to stand out. And fortunately, this book did.

I loved Gaia! She's such a strong character and I love that she doesn't always make the right decision and isn't always on her very best behavior. She learns not to take everything at face value and learns the shock of betrayal. At first I was a bit surprised at her skill as a midwive, until I realised she'd been training for 5 years under her mother and well, you're bound to pick up stuff. I loved how much Gaia cared about her family and her friends.

I really enjoyed the writing and how easy everything flowed. There's a real build-up of tension and I was really glad I had the sequel lined up at that ending, cause seriously, CLIFFHANGER!

And yes, there was also the cute boy. And he WAS a cute boy! I mean, he's got the whole rebel thing down in the end and he's all troubled boyness *sigh*. He didn't always get it right, but I really liked him.
I also thought it was interesting that Gaia is very obviously scarred and doesn't have a whole following of drooling boys and I'd already guessed at the truth behind her scar, cause the events didn't really add up.

I would have liked to know more about how the dystopian society got to be that way. I mean, what happened to the world to cause it? Maybe we'll find out as the series continues.

My rating: 4 stars