I am appalled to see the number of good reviews for this book. I can only come to the conclusion that people did not finish the 10 dollars they paid for, or I have been lucky enough to read fantastic books throughout my young life, and came across a mediocre one. In either case, I think this is possibly the worst book I have ever read. And yes, I have read the Twilight series, so that is certainly saying something.
I will now proceed to review this book with the intentions of not giving away any "spoilers," though I am not sure there are any significant events to give away regardless. The only reason I finished this book was to write this review, so hopefully it will sway people to read a book that will actually blow them away, such as "The Girl of Fire and Thorns," or if your heart is still set on a dystopian novel, "Divergent" or "Dilerium." Anything but this.
Where to begin? Let's start with the writing. It is mundane, it has no rhythm, and it has no distinct voice. Perhaps a gifted 14 year-old could write about the same material. Sentences that ended with the same word, close together, bothered me (ex, sentence one ends with the word, "floor." Sentence two also ends with the word, "floor.") The description could get mediocre at best, but as for the character's main thoughts or feelings during "intense" moments (more on that later) are a mystery to me. How does she feel? Why does she feel that way?
Another example of poor description can be found easily during a segment where Gaia is running away from "danger" through tunnels while carrying an infant in one arm. An infant, which you are supposed to take very good care of, which is fragile and small, which a midwife would certainly know and take severe detail of. And yet, throughout the hours that they are running, while we get description of the cave walls the character is running past and the occasional sound from the chasers, there is not a single mention of how hard it is to run with a delicate, fragile being in your arm. Though Gaia is not particularly athletic, as it has never been mentioned previously, we don't hear her heavy breathing, her tired limbs screaming in pain, her fear bursting through her chest, the panic or worry of jostling the young baby. No, we just read for two pages about how she runs, runs, runs. Brilliant.
Throughout the entire book, I kept thinking, "How convenient." People around to help her no matter what the cost, even though they don't know her, how convenient. That a child doesn't cry at peak moments where the character could get caught, how convenient. How a mid-wife manages, despite all odds, to save babies, even when, scientifically speaking, they are an abomination, how convenient (side-note: It is very, very easy to see that the author is pro-life while reading this book). Where there could have been a crisis or conflict, there was none. Gaia slid easily from one scene to the next, and where people could have turned her in for no doubt a good sum of money, against all odds and even though families' lives were put in danger in doing so, Gaia was spared from the government.
And spared from what, exactly? I have finished the book and still I do not see a single time Gaia's life or health was in danger. She goes on about how scary the government officials seem, and how she "cannot stay," but in fear of what? The government is not doing anything treacherous, in fact, they seem mild at least. Gaia, in my opinion, is making a big deal out of nothing, and where she could be helping the people of society, she instead decides to think of herself. What will the government do to her? It seems they will do nothing. No conflict.
And why won't they do anything to her? Why can't they harm her? The reason is ridiculously miniscule. Despite the fact that Gaia can be easily replaced by anyone else in society, the author takes care to make sure the Government won't lay a hand on her, even when they have several opportunities to. Gaia fears the government, even though they won't touch her, and even when she sees this, she fears them. There is nothing to fear, and yet Gaia makes a big deal out of nothing.
And on top of it all, there is no character development, and no emotion, even when the most important people in her life are hurt. She acts only too late, and there is hardly little or no regret in those actions. There is no self-analysis, no depth to the character - or any characters, for that matter. Everyone in this book cares for Gaia, and there is absolutely no seeable reason to.
And honestly, I should have been able to tell right away by the nondescriptive summary, or the fact that the main lead is a mid-wife. Boring, boring, boring.
This entire book was a steaming pile of crap. Go read something else worth your time, and save your ten dollars. I will not be reading the sequel.