Monday, May 5, 2014

Expiration Day

Title: Expiration Day

Author: William Campbell Powell [Website][Macmillan]

Publisher: Tor Teen

ISBN: 9780765338280

Length: 330 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I saw it on Wowbrary and thought it sounded interesting.


I guess I'll start with some odds and ends notes.  Such as:
~ This story is told in diary format.
~ It is a great example of the "is the narrator reliable?" question.
~ It's a sci-fi, futuristic, dystopian type YA book.
~ And it isn't set all that far in the future - only about 35-40 years - but much has changed.

I really liked Tania and was quickly caught up in her world as her experiences vary between the usual teen/coming-of-age situations (crushes and what does she want to accomplish in her life?) to the more moral/ethical/theoretical/etc. that came of the growing ratio of robots to flesh-and-blood people.

Themes such as: discrimination, censorship, and personal choice vs. societal need all play a role in the story.  And so many question come up, like:

 - What rights do robots have?
 - Should robot children be educated?
 - Should they be able to live beyond their designed purpose and of their choice?
 - How should you treat robots?
 - Are robots people?
 - What role does creativity play in humanity?
 - Are robots thoughts and feelings unique and original or are they manufactured and mimicry?
 - What role should your government play in your life?
 - Is keeping the peace an acceptable reason for deceiving yourself and others?

and so many more.

With all those questions I found myself continually analyzing my own thoughts both during and after reading the book.  It was one of those books that can just be hard to shut down even once it's over.  But it wasn't just a book to make you think.  Emotions are involved, too.  Because I was certainly crying through parts.  And most definitely held in a place of suspense and anxiety through others.

I had a bit of trouble with what happened to Tania's friend Siân.  But I can't say much about that without giving away too much.  The only other thing that bothered me was the "Finale."  I got the purpose of it, but it went too far and too fast.  But that was the last 2 1/2 pages and easily forgotten amidst all the questions brought up before that.  Anyway, I really enjoyed the book.

Added Bonus:

They've made a "Teknoid Generator" that you can play with.  Just be warned, the personality traits don't make any difference in the look.


A video of author Cory Doctorow speaking with William Cambell Powell, largely, though not entirely, about this book and YA books.  (Some of it is a little spoilerish in nature, but not drastically.)...

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