Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Book Review: The Declaration Series

Dystopian fiction has recently become much more popular. The rise of books like the Hunger Games has pushed forward fiction that first bought about the themes of a dystopian society.

A dystopian society is the opposite of utopian. A utopian society is perfect, flawless and ideal whereas dystopian is a degraded, oppressed and cruelly treated. It can be very difficult to create a believable dystopian world and many people do not enjoy reading a story where the world created is so oppressive.

I personally do. Although I was disappointed with the conclusion of The Hunger Games I decided to explore a few more dystopian series. One of which I have recently finished is The Declaration series by Gemma Malley.  The first of this series was published the year before the first Hunger Games.

The secret to eternal life has been discovered. The elusive formula has been created into a simple pill that will help you live forever. However, there are consequences. With nobody dying the world has become overcrowded as a result the powers that be created The Declaration. When you sign this you sign away your right to have children.

Would you sacrifice having children to be able to live forever? What would you do if you had to make that decision at 16. This is the society Anna has been born into. Her parents signed The Declaration, they signed it too young and in doing so when they chose to have Anna they broke the law. As a result Anna is deemed a Surplus. In Grange Hall she must work as hard as she can to prove she is valuable to make up for the crimes of her parents. Anna however, doesn't know the whole truth, she doesn't really understand what has happened until Peter. He brings a new revelation that changes Anna's whole life.

This cleverly devised story takes a while to build but once the momentum gets going it's very difficult to put down.  As with many dystopian stories the background context is pivotal. The civilization Malley has created is easy to understand and contains plausibility that you rarely find in dystopian fiction. The two main characters are well developed throughout the series. Unlike many other series this one does not fall flat at the end. A surprisingly satisfying read. A great young adult book and one I would recommend to those interested in reading beyond The Hunger Games!

A good series worth a read 

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