I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Extinction of All Children by L. J. Epps
A young adult, fantasy novel about a teenager who is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory. There will never be another child; every baby born after her has been taken away. Everyone wonders why she survived.
Emma Whisperer was born in 2080, in the small futuristic world of Craigluy. President Esther, in charge for the last twenty-two years, has divided their world into three territories, separated by classes—the rich, the working class, and the poor—because she believes the poor should not mingle with the others. And, the poor are no longer allowed to have children, since they do not have the means to take care of them.
Any babies born, accidentally or willfully, are killed. Emma is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory; every baby born after her has died. Somehow, she survived this fate.
During the president’s Monday night speech, she announces a party will be held to honor the last child in the territory, Emma Whisperer. Emma must read a speech, expressing how happy she is to be the last eighteen-year-old.
Emma doesn’t like the rules; she doesn’t believe in them. So, she feels she must rebel against them. Her family doesn’t agree with her rebellion, since they are hiding a big secret. If this secret gets out, it will be disastrous, and deadly, for her family.
During Emma’s journey, she meets—and becomes friends with—Eric. He is one of the guards for the president. She also befriends Samuel, another guard for the president, who is summoned to watch over her. As Emma meets new people, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Yet, she finds herself falling for a guy, something which has never happened before.
After doing what she feels is right, Emma finds herself in imminent danger. In the end, she must make one gut-wrenching decision, a decision that may be disastrous for them all.
As soon as I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I would enjoy it. The writing is a little rough and a lot of the comparisons are unconventional, but the overall plot and story itself, are very intriguing. Emma lives in a world that is divided into three territories. L, for Lower class, M, for middle, and U for Upper. She lives in the poorest class, territory L where it is illegal to have babies. Any citizen who impregnates or becomes pregnant is thrown into jail and the child, upon birth, is killed.
All this is courtesy of President Esther. After several successful terms of being president, the people voted for her to be president until she resigns or dies. This is when she decides to enact all of her laws regarding separation and murdering innocent babies.
Emma was the last baby allowed to grow to 18 years old. President Esther decides to throw a party in Emma’s honor and during her speech, she rebels against Esther and her ideas. Thus begins a rebellion.
As I mentioned, the writing isn’t perfect, but this story just completely intrigues me. I like Emma as a character. I feel a lot of female leads in series today are whiny and try to act tough, but fall short. I feel Emma is realistic and though she’s no kick-ass assassin, she holds her own pretty well. After speaking against President Esther and her policies, Emma is thrown in jail. The way the rest of the book progresses is quite unexpected. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopians and has an open mind. I’m continuing with the next two books in this trilogy and I’m excited to see how Emma’s story progresses.
Thanks for reading!