After defying the cold Enclave, surviving the barren wasteland, and toppling the strict social code and matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia now faces an even bigger challenge. She is leading the people of Sylum back to the Enclave. She hopes to persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge. Gaia is betting that hemophilia is still a problem much on the mind of the Enclave leaders and that large, new gene pool offered by the people of Sylum is a tempting bargaining chip. However, little does she know that in her absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, and more desperate. In the wake of these new programs which more openly treat the people outside the wall as guinea pigs, the wave of rebellion is at a crashing point. Gaia thinks she has seen and heard the worst of what the Enclave can do; she thinks she has anticipated their selfishness and spite. However, the Protectorat has a deal for Gaia she never expected.
I was really hoping that after the strange plot developments of Prized (book two) this third and final installment would take us back to the Enclave and leave the issues like hermaphrodites and weird population-control measures back in Sylum. In some ways it did, but in other ways things just got stranger. I finished this series disappointed. In all, I felt O’Brien’s message was clouded by strange plot developments that only got stranger.
Rated: Moderate. This book is moderate much in the same way Prized was: very little, if any, identifiably offensive content in the categories of violence, language and sexual content. Gaia and her boyfriend/fiancé kiss a few times and discuss that Gaia isn’t pregnant because they have “been careful.” The general themes of fertility, genetics and reproduction are continued. Really, the bulk of the reason for the “moderate” rating is the developments at the very end of the book. **SPOILER ALERT** Gaia has her ovaries forcibly and involuntarily removed by the Enclave. Her eggs are sold off to wealthy families within the Enclave before she has even come out of anesthesia. **END SPOILER ALERT** Again, that may not be offensive to all or maybe even most readers. But it is a subject that may be too intense or disturbing to some readers.