June 30, 2016
Extinction Of All Children, by L.J. Epps
Emma Whisperer was born in 2080, in the small futuristic world of Craigluy. President Esther, in charge for the last twenty-two years, has divided their world into three territories, separated by classes—the rich, the working class, and the poor—because she believes the poor should not mingle with the others. And, the poor are no longer allowed to have children, since they do not have the means to take care of them. Any babies born, accidentally or willfully, are killed. Emma is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory; every baby born after her has died. Somehow, she survived this fate. During the president’s Monday night speech, she announces a party will be held to honor the last child in the territory, Emma Whisperer. Emma must read a speech, expressing how happy she is to be the last eighteen-year-old. Emma doesn’t like the rules; she doesn’t believe in them. So, she feels she must rebel against them. Her family doesn’t agree with her rebellion, since they are hiding a big secret. If this secret gets out, it will be disastrous, and deadly, for her family. During Emma’s journey, she meets—and becomes friends with—Eric. He is one of the guards for the president. She also befriends Samuel, another guard for the president, who is summoned to watch over her. As Emma meets new people, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Yet, she finds herself falling for a guy, something which has never happened before. After doing what she feels is right, Emma finds herself in imminent danger. In the end, she must make one gut-wrenching decision, a decision that may be disastrous for them all.
I saw L.J. Epps’ Extinction Of All Children on NetGalley and decided to check it out. Self-published novels are always hit-or-miss. I was pleased with this story.
The Good: Overall, the story was an interesting read. The formatting, editing, and proofreading were pretty good. I would say on par with traditional publishers. There was a marked improvement in the writing in both style and voice as the story progressed. Although the premise of the story is pretty far-fetched, it’s still a solid read.
The Bad: Similes, similes everywhere. I’m not a fan of the excessive use of similes. It’s like ordering a pizza, and the darn thing has a three-inch crust. I expect my toppings to cover as much of the pizza as it can. (See what I did there?) Fortunately, the similes were jam-packed at the beginning of the book and tapered off in the middle to be a rarity at the end. There was also some stilted language in the beginning. There seemed to be no contractions at the beginning, but like the similes, the language softened in the middle of the story.
The Ugly: Nothing super crazy jumped out at me with the exception of my oft complained about cliffhanger ending. It’s a tough one, though, the bulk of the story was about Emma Whisperer’s incarceration, and that much of the story was resolved, but there were so many threads left unanswered. I would definitely read a sequel to see those threads trimmed.
The Final Word: A solid 3.5-star read. The “bad” and “ugly” items kept this interesting story from making it to 4-star territory. I’d still recommend it and look forward to more from this author.
L.J. Epps enjoys reading fiction and nonfiction novels, as well as autobiographies and biographies. L.J. Epps also enjoys reading comics and anything else book related. L.J. Epps has wanted to write a novel for the last ten years but didn’t know if it was possible. L.J. Epps read many books on writing, and finally found the courage to write and self-publish. L.J. Epps spent four years working on a first novel and there are more books to come.