Thursday, July 30, 2015

REVIEW: Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell

Expiration Day
What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows?
It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….

Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.

Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?

Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.

I was expecting so much more in this book. Granted, I didn't know much about it when I picked it up, but I knew it was a dystopian and the tagline promises a lot more than I ended up reading. This book was okay, but it's basically a coming-of-age with robots and not a whole lot happens.

This book begins in the year 2049 on Tania's eleventh birthday and follows her throughout her teenage years. Tania lives in a world where there are few human children left, because a majority of the population is unable to have children. Instead, they adopt robot children. They look human and act human, even think they're human, but each are owned by a government corporation called Oxted. And once they reach 18, Oxted takes them back.

This book is written in diary format, as Tania's diary. She starts it at age 11 and continues writting out the details of her life as the years go back. It's an interesting format and Tania's voice was very strong in the writing. She also wrote as if to a future race, which could be annoying, but I actually thought that made it more real. I would probably wonder that too, and who's to say it's not possibly? In fact, there are intervals throughout the book that are actually from a future race reading Tania's diary. This was interesting, but unnecessary to the story. It was also really confusing.

I like the idea behind the book behind the robot children, but this book was less high-stakes dystopian and more coming-of-age. I wasn't expecting that and while I did like the ideas the book had (sorry for being vague, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers), this book was extremely slow-paced. Not much happened at all, it was mostly details of Tania's life. Granted, she's in the future, but not a whole lot happens.

Tania, as a character, she's okay. I thought it was interesting seeing her grow and learn more about the world she was living in. She has her flaws, but she did feel real. I can't really say much about her without spoiling things, though.

As for romance, Tania kind of likes a guy throughout the book, but I really didn't feel anything from it. It was really meh.

Overall, I wasn't overly impressed by this book. It has a very interesting idea, but it wasn't what I was expecting. If you want to read a slow-paced coming-of-age in a futuristic society, then this is for you, but not enough happened to pique my interest.

I hereby give this book
2.5 Stars
Meaning: I almost liked it, but not quite

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