Gemma Malley's story is very complex, yeah the plots simple - a drug has been created that means you can live for ever - no-one needs to die. But these drugs are only giving to the Legals and the Legals can't have children. They drain resources the Earth no longer has, so children are illegal, any born are Surpluses - they are collected, stolen from their parents, and sent to Surplus Halls where they are taught to be good citizens - but she manages to throw in so many curveballs that you'll have difficulties catching them all. There are a good deal of twists that threw me as I read it. And get this, I hated it to begin with - I found the first few chapters quite slow, a bit of a slog and I wasn't really interested. But when I realised it wasn't a fluffy read and I would have to pay attention to detail I started to revel in it. It was nice to read a book that had depths and a big background. If you liked Hunger Games this should be right up your street... These books scare me a little as the idea of governments or cities having so much power over people's life I find rather terrifying... I hope to not see Earth if it ever becomes like this!
Anna is an interesting character to watch develop as to begin with she starts of as a stoic, really brainwashed, girl who Knows Her Place and wishes to remedy her parents sins. However once she meets Peter you can witness her change to a brave, smart girl whose prepared to break the rules and begin to attempt to change the world and the corrupt societies of that day. When you begin to understand the extent of the brainwashing Anna has gone through and what they teach the Surpluses - that they are a waste and unwanted - you actually start to feel quite sick!
Peter is unbelievable... He has surrendered himself to The Surplus Halls just to find Anna, though I can't say why or I'll ruin the story!, and he puts up with the various tortures designed to break his spirit, still believing that parents do want their kids, that the Legals are in the wrong. Once you've realised the extent of the stuff Peter has to put up with you can really admire his commitment, belief, and passion for his cause. He is so sweet and patient with Anna as well!
Peter and Anna are the main characters in this book and they work and gel well together. Malley has created a partnership between the two that holds the plot up and you can become attached to them as they battle to save themselves against this crazy mad and cruel world.