No, this is not about the Declaration, as I often write about. It is a fabulous, haunting dystopian novel by Gemma Malley. It is possibly my favorite non-history book that I have read this summer.

Surplus Anna has always been that, surplus. It is her title, her schooling, her job, her life. In being a Surplus, Anna has a different life than any legal. She is going to die.

It is 2140 and since Anna was born, she is not allowed to take longevity drugs like the rest of the world. They’ll go on living forever while she will grow old and die. She’s alright with that, because she knows that she is illegal and her parents were wrong to have her. She is pure sin, as House Matron says. She was made to serve, to be useful. Anna is basically a slave and is training to be the best slave she can be.

House Matron sees that Anna is the best, so she puts her with the new ward Peter, who claims that there is life outside of Grange Hall. Anna has parents who lover her, and more importantly, there is a movement to get rid of The Declaration.

The law that says if you take longevity drugs, you can’t have kids. Only “opt-outs”, those who don’t take the drug, can have one child each. Unfortunately, Anna doesn’t think she has parents until Peter comes along. What if there is life outside Grange Hall for surpluses?

Although I can’t say much about the writing itself (it weaves between being thoughtful and verging on beautiful to rusty at times), the plot and questions raised are great. It differs from many science fiction novels for a few reasons. It appeals to a greater audience and isn’t very complicated in understanding the technology. Secondly, Anna’s story grips you because she is so submissive. Both of these factors make it a very enjoyable book.

There were a few plotlines that needed cleaning up, such as Mrs. Pincent and Longevity +, but I hope that they are coming in the sequel, The Resistance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come out in the UK until September and the US date is the same.

I really like the UK covers. They’re so much more fitting.