Hellloooo! Happy Hump Day everyone! We’re in the home stretch for the weekend now and let me just say, I need it. I need to read. Also sleep, but mostly read. Anyway, I’m coming at you with the first review of the month. If you’re not following my Instagram, check it out (@the_biblioqueen) because I’ll be posting a book/character aesthetic later on today!
In a parallel present San Francisco, Natalia Peña works as a hotel maid, practices martial arts, and cares for her eleven-year-old brother, Calvino. In this version of our world, all children start to “wane” when they reach Cal’s age; by their teen years, they’ve lost their ability to feel emotion. But Cal isn’t waning. When a mysterious corporation kidnaps him for testing, Natalia’s reaction surprises her: she’s crushed, and she’ll do anything to save her brother from their experiments. But the road to his rescue leads her into the path of a dashing but troubled billionaire’s son, a cadre of killers, and, eventually, the shocking truth about waning. Filled with twists and turns, The Waning Age is a powerful mirror that shows us the danger of becoming desensitized to violence and the remarkable, transformative power of love.
So, I want to start off by saying that S. E. Grove has come out with one of the most interesting middle grade trilogies I have ever read, which is saying a lot, so when I got the opportunity to read this ARC I was ecstatic. The concept of this novel is just as interesting as her previous series, plus there’s (kinda sorta) S C I E N C E. I can’t really explain why I really liked this concept of waning, but I think it’s because it deals with people becoming desensitized with not only violence but really everything around them. It had me like flipping through the pages as fast as I could.
I also really enjoyed the main character, Natalia (or Nat). I felt that, for someone who had already undergone the waning process she saw the world through an interesting lens. At one point she saves this elderly woman from a gang of “Fish” (individuals who used waning as an excuse to raise hell and cause trouble to the extreme). What got me was she did it without much emotion, but why would she do it if she didn’t feel something? I don’t know, up until the end that was how I felt about her. Her brother, Cal, is a a literal cinnamon roll and deserves all the love. He’s also a smart cookie and gives us as readers a different look at waning and what it could possibly mean.
Admittedly I felt as though there were some chapters that could’ve been cut in half, especially when one moment there was a bunch of action and then suddenly BAM! We hit this chapter where Nat’s motivation suddenly takes a turn? This may have just been me, but the writing seemed to like stop and go for me depending on the chapter.
Full disclosure (one of my favorite terms), I only received this ARC last week and haven’t completely finished it (I’m about 80% through) because of work/home stuff, but I’m genuinely enjoying the story. Yes there’s a bunch of stopping and going, but it’s not really taking me out of the story entirely. Granted, I suppose there’s still time for me to completely hate it, but for RIGHT NOW I’m really liking it! I’d say if you enjoyed the Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray (A Thousand Pieces of You, Ten Thousand Skies Above You, and A Million Worlds With You), Vicious by V.E. Schwab (I’d say this one because with no emotion I feel a lot of the characters are very morally gray), and sci-fi in general, I’d say check this one out! AND IF YOU HAVEN’T I’D definitely recommend S.E. Grove’s other series, The Mapmaker’s Trilogy, it’s interesting and epic.
P.S. Do you guys want me to update you with my like official/final rating when I’ve finished this? (Usually I don’t post reviews before I’m done, buuuut I was scheduled to post today soooo yeah. Also I don’t have a 3.5 star graphic, but as of RIGHT THIS SECOND that’s my rating lol)