The Waning Age
The Waning Age
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Annotation: In an alternate San Francisco where people start losing their emotions as teenagers, Natalia, a highly skilled martial artist, still loves her little brother fiercely; so when he's kidnapped, she'll do whatever it takes to get him back.
Catalog Number: #181029
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 333 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 0-451-47985-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-451-47985-3
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
In a world without emotions, Natalia will do anything to get her little brother back. As children go through the waning, their emotions begin to fade; when they reach adulthood, they are completely emotionless. Natalia is old enough to be deprived of all emotion, but when her brother, Cal, is taken from her by a corporation, she begins to feel. Grove (The Glass Sentence?, 2014) ventures into science fiction with this psychological story, which explores concepts of childhood wonder and innocence, the harsher world of adults, and the love that lies at the center. Natalia must overcome a series of obstacles to get Cal back, each dangerous and suspenseful: searching for Cal's father, staying a step ahead of a bounty on her head, and going against a corporation for custody. Natalia's journey is interwoven with texts and letters from Cal, which offers a commentary on where emotions come from and what their purpose is. A dazzling, emotional journey about a sister's love and the fight against an emotionless society.
Publishers Weekly
Emotions have dried up in this stripped-down sci-fi noir novel by Grove (the Mapmakers trilogy), in which people -wane--lose their ability to experience feelings-around age 10, a benchmark that keeps getting younger. Natalia Peña, 17, has been taking care of her younger brother, Cal, almost 11, since their mother died. Nat works as a maid at San Francisco-s Landmark Hotel, where she occasionally rubs elbows with the very rich, who can buy calibrated emotions, or -synaffs,- from manufacturing conglomerate RealCorp. Without feelings to guide them, the populace must follow strict rules to maintain law and order (-Know what harm is. And cause no harm. Know what need is. And help those in need-) to keep from becoming violence-seeking -Fish.- But Cal still responds to the world empathically and emotionally. When he is identified as a late waner and taken to RealCorp for testing, Nat determines to help her little brother, even without the ability to feel traditional love. Logic and reason are king in Grove-s rich near-future world, where a Raymond Chandler-style narrative meets questions of ethics and technology. This fast-paced novel provides readers with a deep range of emotions while highlighting the importance of empathy, attachment, and emotional intelligence. Ages 14-up. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, William Morris Endeavor. (Feb.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Set in an alternate San Francisco, Grove's (The Crimson Skew, 2016, etc.) latest posits a world where humans lose all emotions beginning at the age of 10. Understandably, Natalia Peña expects her 10-year-old brother, Cal, to undergo the waning process just like she did, but instead, his emotional capacity intensifies day after day. Cal's resistance to the fade eventually attracts the attention of RealCorp, a shadowy, mighty pharmaceutical corporation that manufactures synaffs—expensive drugs that incite feelings in users. When RealCorp kidnaps Cal for testing, Nat sets off on a single-minded pursuit to get her brother back. But what exactly is fueling her determination? Grove expertly builds a memorable, if eerily unflappable, heroine via a first-person narratorial voice that will keep readers engrossed until the bittersweet end. Chapters from Cal's limited point of view serve to fill in contextual and worldbuilding gaps left behind by Nat's adult-oriented narrative, revealing a world ruled by apathy and nostalgia for bygone eras. On her journey, Nat must contend with absent parents (deceased or otherwise) as well as the Fish, a drooglike group who've cast aside society's rules in favor of bleak violence. What's behind humanity's lack of emotions? Some potential answers (a decline in empathy coupled with unmonitored technological progress) seem terrifyingly plausible even in today's social climate. With few physical descriptions, diversity is indicated mostly through names, and Nat is cued as Latinx.A provoking, striking call to self-reflection. (Dystopian fiction. 14-adult)
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 9-12

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Sentence, a lightly speculative, relevant puzzle box with undertones of Never Let Me Go.

The time is now. The place is San Francisco. The world is filled with adults devoid of emotion and children on the cusp of losing their feelings--of "waning"--when they reach their teens.

Natalia Peña has already waned. So why does she love her little brother with such ferocity that, when he's kidnapped by a Big Brother-esque corporation, she'll do anything to get him back?

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Sentence comes this haunting story of one determined girl who will use her razor-sharp wits, her martial arts skills, and, ultimately, her heart to fight killers, predators, and the world's biggest company to rescue her brother--and to uncover the shocking truth about waning.


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