CBR III Review #99: The Declaration by Gemma Malley
In The Declaration we are introduced to a society that has invented a drug that cures all diseases and ailments. People can now live forever. The only problem is once people decide to live forever people need to stop reproducing or there will not be enough resources for the population. In The Declaration it has been decided that people have two choices. They can either live forever and never have children or agree to never take the life saving drug in order to have one child. Legally a mother and father can decline to take the drug and have two children. If a child is born to parents who are still taking the drug the child is confiscated and placed in an orphanage where they are trained to become unpaid servants to the world’s rich and elite. These children are called surpluses. Anna is one of these children.
Anna has grown up without in a family. For as long as she remembers she has been living as a surplus with many other surplus children. They are being trained to become servants and Anna is one of the best. She has come to accept her existence and is trying to make it up to the world for ever being born. That is until a new surplus arrives and he claims to know Anna’s parents. The rest of the novel follows Anna’s journey between deciding if she should escape and met her parents or staying and work off her debt to society.
The Declaration had a lot of potential but a few of the characters came across as cartoons. I really did enjoy the discussion: “Is it ethic to live forever and deny the world new children and new ideas?”
In The Declaration, it also it shows how a lot of people just become complacent and bored with their lives. Apparently, being around for hundreds of years makes life less exciting.
If you happen to run across it I would recommend picking up the novel just so you can entertain the moral arguments the novel brings up.
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; First Edition edition (August 19, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1599902958
- ISBN-13: 978-1599902951
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars