Saturday, 15 May 2010

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Dystopia/Fantasy

The Declaration'The Declaration' is one of those rare books that has the capability to change how you see the world and many of the things that happen within it, not to mention your own sense of morality.
Set in the year, 2140, drugs have been invented to stop people growing old or sick, but at a very high price. If someone wishes to take the longevity drugs then they must forfeit the right to have children, anyone who breaks this law ends up in prison and their children classed as surplus.
Anna is one such surplus who is brought up in a surplus hall with the others like her, and brought up to believe that her parents were selfish in having her and that she doesn't deserve a life accept to help those who are 'legal'. That is until Peter enters her life and starts to tell her things that will change her view on everything...

If there was one thing that i really liked about this book, it was the authors ability to spark a moral debate within a wonderfully written and well scripted story. On one side you have the grownups who believe they have the right to live because they were there first and on other you have the people who want a short life but want to have children (these are very few in number).
From my own personal point of view i'm firmly on the pro-children side of the debate, and i found it quite sad that most of the population wanted to live forever, as the thought of doing that myself honestly terrifies me, something that became very clear whilst reading this.

With regards to the characters, i found Anna rather likable, though if i'm honest i was a bit irritated with her good-girl attitude while in the surplus halls, but then i reminded myself she'd been brainwashed and it wasn't her fault, and i loved the way her character developed into a more confident person.
In Peter's case, i admired his bravery, not many people would deliberately get arrested just to break someone else out, but that's exactly what he does. Once the two of them together, the story really takes off as they plan their escape and how to start new lives, and their relationship really progresses throughout the book.

In rating this book i have to give it a high rating it was a beautifully told story, with elements of love, loyalty, morality and a sense of realism that is usually hard to emulate in a fantasy novel. Brilliant Book!

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