I Promise to Love You, Despite Your Cover

Promised by Caragh M. O’Brien

First Look:

Like the rest of the series, it looks like a cheesy 90s romance cover.

Jacket Copy:

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?

Sequel?

It’s the 3rd in a trilogy.

Worth Reading?

Yeah!  I love O’Brien’s world-building, and Gaia is a smart, likable heroine.

Notable Things:

Dystopian Future!  I love these, when well done.  I always have room in my heart for one more dystopian government telling their people what to do, and the plucky underdogs who dare to dream of free choice.   Which is hilarious, considering that I probably would not last five days in a real dystopian situation like these books I love so well.

Local Setting!  It’s not one hundred percent clear where the Enclave, et al. would be on today’s maps, but it’s definitely close to Minnesota, since it includes the shores of “Unlake Superior”.

Elaboration:

As I said above, I love a good dystopia, and O’Brien’s world makes a lot of sense.  I like how one of the societies encountered is more patriarchal and one is matriarchal; neither is perfect, and Gaia finds she can’t live in either, as is. I had high hopes for this book, after the first two, and for the most part, it delivered.  Although reproductive rights/capabilities was a huge theme of the series, I was a little uncomfortable with certain things in this volume, specifically.  (highlight to read spoilers):  The “baby farm”, especially Gaia’s eggs being harvested without her consent, was really icky.  However, it fits thematically and tonally, I just really didn’t like it.  Women protagonists so often have sexual and/or reproductive advantage taken of them, it was just disappointing that it had to happen to such a strong character.  Also, I think that the person in charge of the final proofread quit halfway through.  I caught several homonym typos, including “teaming” for “teeming”, which is pretty silly-looking.

Disclosure:

Borrowed from library.

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