Mundie Moms

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien Blog Tour: Book Review, Author Interview, Giveaway

By: Caragh M. O'Brien
Published by: Roaring Brook
To Be Released on: October 2nd, 2012
Source: book from publisher to review
4.5 stars: I Really Enjoyed It
Pre-Order from: MacMillan | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Birthmarked Series: Book #3

After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever.  She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland.  In Gaia's absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher.  Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what--or whom--she loves most? - quoted from Goodreads

What a perfect way to ending to a great series. One of the strong themes in this series is choices. Each of the characters have choices to make, and often times many of those choices involve sacrifices. The thing I've enjoyed the most about Caragh's Birthmarked series is the way her characters have continued to grow. The choices they've made have shaped them into the people they become and are in Promised, and play huge roles in the choices they make and the consequences that have followed them through out this series. There's a lot of things that have happened through out the course of this series, and I like how each of their choices and various consequences both good and bad played out through each book. As a reader I loved how various events that played out in Birthmarked and Prized are tied to things that happen in Promised. I really enjoyed how each book played off of the previous one. I feel sometimes in series that gets lost with each book, but not in Caragh's case. 

Unlike the first two books in the series, Promised is more about Gaia's incredible transformation into a leader and a warrior for the rights of her people. I feel like she's the character who's grown the most in this series, as she should have been. Where Birthmarked introduced me to her character, Prized allowed me to see her relationships with others, which was fitting for that book as those relationships play key roles in this book. Promised gave me a strong leader in Gaia, and made her more relatable to me in many ways. She's a flawed character who sacrifices a lot for those she loves, and those she leads. Those I didn't agree with every choice she made, I understood why she made them. In a very relatable and realistic way, Gaia makes choices that sometimes have promising effects and other choices that lead to disastrous consequences. I felt that everything that she does was fitting for a world were survival was crucial, and war felt like a real possibility.

In this mix of everything that's going Gaia not only learns to trust herself, but her heart more as well. I seriously couldn't fall in love with Leon any more than I did in this book. The relationship between Gaia and Leon has been one of my favorites, and I loved the role it took and the stronger it became in Promised. It's one of those beautiful, broken, wonderful relationships that has come at a price for both them, but yet they both embrace what the other offers them. I don't even know how to explain what I really love about their relationship other than the fact it's so well written, and I loved every moment of these two together! That ending... sigh. It wraps up the series perfectly, while also leaving a few things unanswered, which for this series works great. It allows me as the reader to feel completely satisfied with how everything ends, and gives me hope for the future of the characters involved in Gaia and Leon's lives. I highly recommend picking up this heart pounding, sigh worthy, action packed book. 

You can read my reviews for Birthmarked and Prized here. 

I'm thrilled to be the second stop on MacTeen Books's blog tour for Caragh M. O'Brien's Promised blog tour. Today Caragh has stopped by to answer a few of my questions about her upcoming release, as well as a giveaway courtesy of MacTeens.

 Hi Caragh! Welcome to Mundie Moms. I'm so thrilled to have you back to talk about Promised. As a reader I have really enjoyed the direction this series has gone. Are you pleased with the way the series has gone, or have you been surprised with the various turns of events that have taken place?

Katie, it’s great to be back with you on Mundie Moms for another blog tour! I feel like I’m picking up a familiar conversation with you, and that’s so nice.

I’m definitely pleased by how Gaia’s story has evolved, but that’s because of the surprises along the way.  Gaia’s adventures in the second book, Prized, upped the stakes in unexpected ways, which I felt was important to push her toward becoming a leader. Now with Promised, she’s ready to come back and tackle the Enclave.  Or at least, she’s as ready as she can be. The third book throws her some dark situations and painful decisions, too.

It's also interesting to see how the various characters change and grow over the course of a series. Which of your characters has surprised you the most in terms of how much they've changed and the path they've gone on?

I like how you mentioning characters growing, because it feels to me like that’s what happens to them, and it’s not a smooth transition.  Leon, for instance, seems to change quite a bit in the first book, from polite and morally dead to curious and selfless, but he’s really becoming who he was meant to be all along.  It makes sense for him to continue an awakening in later books, with bigger problems and risks.  I think of his character deepening, and he’s definitely surprised me.  He’s not necessarily better or worse, but more himself, if that makes sense.  I’ve been thinking about Leon a lot lately because his story “Ruled” recently came out, and I realize how much I like making him miserable.

Readers often times have a favorite character they feel drawn to in a series. As an author, do you tend to love your characters all equally, or are there ones you favor over the others with each book?

Gaia’s my favorite character.  I admire her, and I also want to shake her sometimes.  I love how she tries so hard to do the right thing, and how she ends up hurting people despite that.  I don’t bother loving all my characters equally.  They matter to me enormously when they’re in a scene, and then I let them go.

Do you have a favorite line from your book that you can share with us?

Oh, my gosh. That’d be hard. I’d have to read the book again, wouldn’t I? Actually, no. I know. I like the very last line of Promised.  The book was going into first pass pages, I think, very late into the publishing process, after copy edits, and I was still weighing that last line and wondering if it sang the right way.  I was agonizing about it with my editor Nancy Mercado, and I said I was counting on the imagery to carry a lot of the mood, but I wasn’t sure it was working. I worried it was too contrived or too flat.  You know what Nan said? She said it was perfect. She said I could trust my readers to get what I meant, and I just loved that.  It’s totally true. I completely trust my readers to understand what I’m saying, like they’re my kindred spirit friends.  It was such a lovely moment for me to realize that.

Book wise, which book in your series did you enjoy writing the most, and which one was the most difficult one for you to write?

I liked writing Promised the most.  Birthmarked was just pure, devious fun. Then Prized involved this torturous, heart-wrenching process that forced me to grow as a person. It was worth it, but not comfortable. And then Promised brought all of that together again into a fascinating puzzle that ripped me up and spat me out again. Oh, my gosh. I sound like I’m wrestling in a pit with fanged beasts or something.  I guess that’s what writing feels like to me.  Does that answer your question?

If you were a character in your book, which character would you most likely be friends with?

I’d be friends with Gaia.  She has real friendships with all sorts of people, from Will and Norris to Josephine and Myrna.  I’d like to see if she laughs more when she isn’t so stressed.  I’m guessing she does.  

Thank you again Caragh for stopping by Mundie Moms today. Congratulations on your books upcoming release!

Thanks again for having me by, Katie! It’s hard for me to believe Promised will be out by this time next week. I’m definitely getting excited!

Visit Caragh M. O'Brien via: her Website | Twitter 

Don't Miss

Fierce Reads
—Caragh M. O’Brien is part of the Fall 2012 Fierce Reads campaign and she will be going on a multi-city and multi-author tour in October. Details can be found here.
A free Fall 2012 Fierce Reads chapter sampler for e-readers is available, which includes Promised

Promised Blog Tour Schedule

Monday 9/24           
Tuesday 9/25           
Wednesday 9/26    
Friday 9/28                
Saturday 9/29          
Monday 10/1           
Tuesday 10/2           
Wednesday 10/3    
Thursday 10/4         

The Giveaway:

Enter to win a Birthmarked prize pack! Thank you to Mac Teens, 1 lucky winner will win each book from Caragh's Birthmarked series, which includes Birthmarked, Prized and Promised. To enter, please fill out the form below.  Good luck :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. YES!!!!! I'm so bloody excited for this book. I love this series and need more :D

  2. I LOVE this series! I love this dystopian - it's perfectly unique, with great characters and an awesome plot:)

    Thank you so much:)

  3. So glad you guys are excited for this!

  4. Love this series! Can't wait to read this : )

  5. These books sound amazing. Looking forward to picking these up!

  6. I can't wait to read this book! It is one of my most anticipated of 2012!

  7. You all are so nice. Thanks again, Katie, for having me by!
    P.S. It's calling me Anonymous, but I'm really me. :)

  8. Don't know where I've been but this is new to me. Thank you.

  9. I cannot wait to see how Gaia's journey ends. (Hopefully with Leon!) I feel in love with Birthmarked on the first page and couldn't put it down. Thank you Caragh for such wonderful books that I love to pass along to my high school students.

  10. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  11. I haven't gotten to Prized yet, but it sounds like it definitely heats up.

  12. It would be really nice to win this whole set. What a generous giveaway, thanks!

  13. I haven't had a chance to read any of this series, but Promised sounds like a wonderfully strong ending to a well-developed story. Trilogies with 3 solid books are rare.

  14. I've really wanted to read this series since it started but for some reason was not able to get my hands on a copy of the books! Winning this giveaway would be mucho awesome! Thanks so much for the chance:)

  15. Thanks for the chance to win. I've been wanting to read this book.


  16. Thanks for the giveaway! This series is awesome! :)

  17. I wanna read them so bad they sound awesome!! 😃

  18. Thanks for the giveaway!! I really want to read this series!!

  19. I LOVE this series soooooo much!!!!! Thanks for the giveaway :D

  20. This is the best series! Thanks for the giveaway :)