The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.
Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a
long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
This book begins with a sad letter from a desperate mother to her daughter, Eve. The letter is informative for the reader, telling of a terrible plague that will soon claim the mother's life and the mother's unshakable hope for her daughter's future.
Flash forward to present day, much older, Eve; Eve is one of the brightest, prettiest, and inquisitive girls in her "School." The School contains girls who are supposedly there for intellectual purposes...although the knowledge they are
given, especially regarding the male gender, is often far from the truth. The School twists how the male gender is in everyday life, describing men as dangerous sex fiends who are evil and do nothing but harm the female populace. The reader will later learn that this false information is taught to the girls
in the hopes that they will be led like sheep to the slaughter when it comes to birthing children...they will be cowed into submission.
Eve wants more from life, she expects to be a muralist. She finds out, by accident, that the so-called graduates from her School are held and forced into multiple pregnancies. She is lucky enough to run into a teacher who forces her to leave
the School's grounds and run towards Califia, a place that will be safe for Eve.
Nothing ever goes as planned, Eve wanders around with no real clue as to where she should start for a few days before running into Arden, a girl she knew from the School who had apparently ran away as well. Arden and Eve do not particularly get along in the beginning of the novel, though their attitudes will change when push comes to shove and they end up as
friends. Arden and Eve continue on together until they run into Caleb, a boy who Eve at first fears. He takes them back to a place filled with boys of all ages after they discover that the King himself is searching for Eve, the reason which Eve later finds out that she was to be his brood mare. A series of events has Eve on the run again...can she make it to California?
Caleb is charismatic, protective, and rugged. He becomes a very important person to Eve. Eve is brave, inquisitive, smart, and caring. She ends up acting as a mother figure to several of the smaller boys she meets via Caleb. Arden is a tough cookie, but even she learns the value of a friend and reciprocates. The other secondary characters in the novel vary widely, the reader will like some and hate others.
The plot is phenomenal, a plague killing off the majority of the world's population. Dystopian novels are becoming more
and more popular, but this one stands out from the rest. The events are exciting and fast-paced, the characters will seem very real to the reader, and the ending is a huge cliff-hanger that leads up to the next book in this trilogy! This book is recommended to teens/young adults who enjoy dystopian
novels mixed with romance and action.