Birthmarked‘s Gaia Stone is a sixteen-year-old midwife in Western Sector 3, outside the south wall of the Enclave. Her world is hardscrabble and poor, one where the first three babies each midwife delivers is brought to the Enclave, to live on the other side of the wall in a life of luxury and privilege. Or so they assume – nobody who’s gone into Enclave has ever come out…So. Not the best life ever, but it’s all she has, and she does the best she can with it. Then her parents are arrested. And Gaia starts questioning everything she’s ever known – about life, about the Enclave, even about the baby “tithes”. Questions that could get her dead, quick. And then Gaia decides to venture into Enclave to try and save her parents.What follows is innocence lost, hope crushed, and the truth tumbling out about Enclave. And when Gaia is resigned to dying herself, help comes from unexpected quarters.Birthmarked is taut and gripping, with a plot that resonates, a heroine who’s strong, and a storyline that keeps you enthralled. Prized is up next.drey’s rating: Excellent!