Title: The Declaration
Author: Gemma Malley
Published: October 2007 by Bloomsbury
Source: Local library
Other info: Book 2 is called The Resistance and book 3 is called the Legacy. Gemma Malley has also written the Returners.Summary : In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young.
Children are all but extinct.
The world is a better place.
Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse – Surplus status.
Not everyone thinks Longevity is a good thing, but you better be clear what side you’re on. . . . Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you can’t decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death.
Review: In this future world, scientists have created a drug that can make you live for a very long time. And most people do. Governments have seen the problem with this-people live forever, have children that live forever, the Earth becomes ridiculously overpopulated. Solution:anyone who takes these Longevity drugs must sign the declaration to not have any children. If you take Longevity and have children, they are Surplus and should not exist.
Anna is one such Surplus. She lives at Grange Hall, being taught to be a Valuable Asset, Useful, a servant to the Legals. And she's happy like this. Then Peter shows up, who tells her that she's not a Surplus, that she's Legal, that she should be free. Anna doesn't believe a word of it. Until she overhears her House Mistress talking about her, saying that she's no use at all. Anna begins questioning the rules she's lived by, and then she attempts to go off with Peter to find out the truth.
The world building was good, but slightly boring. It all came as one big block of text, somewhere near the beginning. And when I say a block of text, I mean it. There's five whole pages broken up only by occasional indents. No dialogue, just a full history. And while being very informative, just being told about it isn't very interesting.
The opening was good. It starts with Anna's diary entry, the only way that Anna is breaking the rules at all. These diary entries are the main way that you see Anna really develop a more open mind, one more suited to break rules. There wasn't really any character development from Peter, which is kind of disappointing but expected anyway-I couldn't see much room for development when we were first introduced to him.
I liked the overall plot and all the subplots going on. I liked the way they all tied up really neatly at the end. All the characters were worked into the subplots at some point, whether it be the one about life at Grange Hall, the circumstances surrounding Peter and the story of Anna's parentage.
I much prefered the narration from Anna's diary. I get that it couldn't always be in diary form, or various plot developments could not have happened, but the third person part was a bit bland and didn't really let you connect like you could when reading the diary entries.
The ending, as I said was tied up very neatly. Perhaps too neatly. I can't see any room for a sequel, but there is one. I want to read it.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to a book that's very strong and has something for almost everyone.