William Campbell Powell’s Expiration Day is a Hidden Gem Among YA Sci-Fi
Don’t forget to ENTER HERE for a chance to win your own copy of Expiration Day and an awesome Tor Teen bag! Three winners will be selected at the end of the book tour so check it out.
Expiration Day is a book I’m really excited to be on tour with because it does something new that I haven’t seen in YA fiction in a while. It’s a blend of dystopian future and expository writing in a surreal world that’s holding on to normality as long as it can. But as Tania realizes, the illusion can only last so long and sooner than later they will all have to deal with reality. At a time when these kind of stories can be a dime a dozen it’s great to see people bringing out the best in the genre and William Campbell Powell does just that.
What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows?
It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….
Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.
Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?
Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.
Expiration Day can be a hard book to review because there’s a lot going on and there are some pretty big twists that you just don’t want to give away. So I’ll my best to do the book justice while still letting you experience all it’s ups and downs for yourself. As the synopsis says, Tania is born into a world where the human race is starting to die out at an alarming rate. The only way to keep humanity from descending into chaos has been the teknoids. Human couples without children are leased to families so they can maintain that sort of illusion of a real life an family. But it only lasts until the teknoid is eighteen years old at which point it is recalled and that life ends.
The story is told from the point of view of Tania, a girl living in this harrowing future world. It’s not a first person POV sort of story but an expository novel told through her diary. Everything we learn about this world comes filtered through Tania’s inner voice and in a lot of ways it’s a great way to explore things. Because as Tania grows older – the book starts I think she is ten or eleven and follows along with her as she grows up – her opinions and views on the world around her change drastically.
It’s a sort of coming-of-age story with an incredible twist and certain revelations help Tania accept who she is in aways that most people never get a chance. She loves, creates, and lives life to the fullest in a world that is literally dying around her. There’s a perseverance in Tania’s character that you can appreciate. No matter how bad things get or how hard the truth hits in the end she keeps on going and makes the most of what she has while she has it. Honestly, it’s a welcome change in a genre that is so bogged down in fighting against dystopian regimes, blood thirsty rebels, and breaking the mold. Tania knows the world she lives in and what resistance she attempts isn’t violent or brash, it’s realistic and almost heartbreaking.
The book also brings about a welcome discussion on humanity and what it means to be a person. Tania’s father is a minister and in a world where man is essentially giving life to the children of the world there’s a very strong question about what it means to be human. It’s a heavy topic but done well in this book and exploring that topic through Tania’s eyes I think would really help younger readers really think about it.
Besides Tania there are other characters who we are introduced to and each one is very fleshed out and relatable. Unlike most YA books there is no real love triangle here. It’s all just basic, simple teenage relationships that come and go. It’s more about friendship and helping each other get by in such a crazy world than anything else and the author does a really great job of explaining some of this later on in the book. But I won’t spoil it.
Suffice it to say, Expiration Day is going to be one of those hidden gems, I think. It may not take off like the Hunger Games or Divergent but readers who pick it up will not be disapointed. In fact, they are going to be introduced to a refreshingly unique and unexpectedly moving book that too many others are likely going to miss out on. Don’t be one of those people. If you get the chance to read it – read it!
Don’t forget to ENTER HERE for a chance to win one of three copies of Expiration Day and a Tor Teen book bag of your very own.
About the Author
William Campbell Powell was born in 1958 in Sheffield, but grew up in and around Birmingham. He was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and gained a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge to study Natural Sciences. Leaving Clare College in 1980 with a BA in Computer Science, he entered the computer industry, which is where he has been ever since.
William has been writing since 2002, experimenting with various genres, but he is most at home with Science Fiction, Historical Fiction and fiction for Young Adults.
Launch Party Schedule
Did I mention that Expiration Day comes out TODAY!? I should have. Because this post is part of an awesome launch party that’s going to last out the next week or so and there are plenty more awesome things to check out from out other tour buddies.
April 21st Monday: Jean Book Nerd Interview & Tens List
April 22nd Tuesday: Nerdophiles Review & Guest Post
April 23rd Wednesday: Once Upon a Twilight Review & Spotlight
April 24th Thursday: Bittersweet Enchantment Review & Music Playlist
April 25th Friday:Bookish Review & Dream Cast
April 26th Saturday: The Reader Lines 5 Random Things & Spotlight
April 27th Sunday: Literary Meanderings Interview & Spotlight
April 28th Monday: Swoony Boys Podcast Review & Interview
April 29th Tuesday: TTC Books and More Books Review & Interview
April 30th Wednesday: Insane About Books Review & Spotlight