Saturday, August 2, 2014

(Review) Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell

Title: Expiration Day
Author: William Campbell Powell
Pages: 336
Published: May 12, 2014
Publisher: Tor Books
Review Copy: Yes

Why did I want this book?
I discovered this book on Goodreads and it looked really interesting. Therefore I asked William for a review copy.
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, Sian, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Sian has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Sian 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.

The cover is awesome. One look and you know, it's sci-fi. But I have to say, that Tor Books always has great ones. Buy a book from this publisher and it comes with a nice cover image.

The title tells you a little bit of what to expect, because life in the future might end earlier than you think. But honestly, I expected a fast-paced read after reading the title.

Writing style:
Our protagonist Tania tells her story in first person through her diary. Everything is told in retrospective, because humankind became extinct. An alien explorer comes to earth to do some research and finds her diary. I really liked this perspective because it was unusual and new to me.
I already mentioned, that I expected a fast-paced book after reading the title. But Tanias story turned out different. It is very quiet and beautiful. I enjoyed this a great deal!
There where some lengths in the middle, but the story was so great, that I didn't mind them.

Tania lives in a future where very few children are born. To prevent societal rebellion and to cover the problem up, childless couples can adopt a robot child. They look and act like humans so no one except the government and there parents can tell who is real and who isn't. Most often not even the robots know, that they aren't human. Tania has a lot of questions. She wants to know whats real and even more important: What does it mean to be human? Where does it start and end, when robots have there own will? Of course there is a boy in her life too. His name is John. But is John a human? Step by step Tania has to lern that not everything seems the way it is and more and more questions pop up in her head.

It is a quiet book with a very surprising ending!

Stuck in my Head:
“We have a State, in the best Stalinist sense of the word. For the good of humanity, every Mother was kept prisoner, albeit in luxury. For the good of humanity, every child was taken away from its Mother and fostered. For the good of humanity, no man could knowingly father a child. For the good of humanity, robots were given to comfort those who wanted children.” (p. 213)
What I didn't like:
The book has some lengths in the middle when Tania has gigs with her band.

Quick and dirty:
A beautiful book, that shows you that sci-fi can be gentle and touching. Definitely a story you shouldn't miss!

Thank you to ...
... William Campbell Powellwho gave me this review copy in exchange of a honest review!

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