The story is set in 2032, years after a deadly virus erased most of the world's population.
Eve is about to graduate from school, full of hopes for her future, she is told she will learn a trade and then have a great life in The City Of Sand, the new capital, when she finds out what really happens to the girls leaving school. They are used as birth machines. Held in a hospital, tied up to beds, their only purpose is to give bith to as many new citizens as possible.
Shocked to the core Eve flees, desperate to free her friends from their horrible destiny. There is said to be a a safe harbour and she tries to get there. On the way she meets Caleb, a young man. They had been taught at their all-girls-school that men are evil, they learned to interprete the big classic novels as lessons to why men are to be avoided. Now she learns bit by bit that there is another way to look at love and she starts to question everything she was taught at school.
The story is told in a fast and exciting way, there is no way to anticipate some of the twists and turns, which I enjoyed. The characters are interesting, even the antagonists aren't painted black & white. Eve and Caleb are a nice couple with some chemistry going on between them.
What I didn't like was the ending, it leaves all the big questions and destinies unanswered. I understand that it is a first part of a trilogy, but personally I enjoy the parts to have a bit more of a closure in the end.
Some bits weren't quite plausible. For example the king chose Eve to be the mother of his children as he is so beautiful and smart. Ok, but he still wants to go on with the plan after she ran away and has her hunted down. Would he want that kind of wild behavior and acting against the state/government in his own children? I would understand if she was hunted down to be punished, but to still be the mother of the king's children?
It is a mix between a dystopian novel and a post-apocalyptic one which works out nicely. The atmosphere is dark and sad, but the characters add a lot of passion and personality so there are a lot of light patches in the dark.
Although there were some doen-points I still enjoyed the book a lot, there was just something about the story and idea that appealed to me. Can't wait to get my hands on part 2 though.
Right after finishing the book I granted 5 stars after thinking about it and writing the review however I think 4 stars are more appropriate.