Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell

4 stars

Reviewed by Camryn

I will confess that when I first saw this book I thought, "Ugh, another dystopian novel" and kept putting it off. I finally picked it up, got oh-so hooked, and finished it in a day. The writing style from the beginning is funny and witty and I found myself invested in the main character, Tania.

The main character Tania narrates the book to her diary as if she's writing for an alien in the future. She's pretty sure that she's one of the last real children on Earth, because people have mysteriously become infertile. Couples who want children but can't have them get creepily realistic robot children known as Tekniods. Tekniods are so real that people don't always realize they're fake - until they have to return to the factory around their 18th birthday. Understandably, this world has a high divorce rate right around the time people's children reach 18 and tragically 'die.' Tania was an easy character for me to identify with because of her, for lack of a better word, humanity. She really understood humans.

Ginger Mop, otherwise known as John, is another kid that Tania is pretty sure is real. He's a hacker, fighting back against the government who's hiding things from the people. He helps Tania learn to do that as well, and helps her find herself.

Siân, Tania's best friend, is a little obnoxious, but that may be because she's a suspected fake robot child. She has a heart though, and doesn't abandon Tania even after a major metaphorical bombshell is dropped. She had me happy crying before page fifty.

I'm giving this book 4 of 5 stars, which may very well be the best rating I've ever given a dystopian book. It was very original and I almost could be tempted to read it again.

A warning though, if you don't appreciate good Shakespearian and Mythology references this may not be the book for you. Prior knowledge is not essential, and Tania would make a good teacher.