The Waning Age
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.

The Waning Age Details

TitleThe Waning Age
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherViking Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780451479853
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

The Waning Age Review

  • Miri ♪ Book Dragoness ♪
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to my librarian and Penguin Teen for this ARC. All opinions stated here are my own. I received this ARC to help decide whether my library should add it to their YA collection.My verdict: well...I'm not sure actually. Though my rating is pretty low (2.5 stars) I also want to acknowledge that this probably wasn't my cup of tea. Dystopia is a genre I normally don't read, after all, and I prefer fantasy. Still, I picked The Waning Age up in the hopes that I might enjoy as much as I did whi Thank you to my librarian and Penguin Teen for this ARC. All opinions stated here are my own. I received this ARC to help decide whether my library should add it to their YA collection.My verdict: well...I'm not sure actually. Though my rating is pretty low (2.5 stars) I also want to acknowledge that this probably wasn't my cup of tea. Dystopia is a genre I normally don't read, after all, and I prefer fantasy. Still, I picked The Waning Age up in the hopes that I might enjoy as much as I did while reading some of the more well-known dystopias, like Scythe which I thought was wonderful. Unfortunately, I couldn't, but again, it might not be a book suited for me!In this world (which is set in different universe, present day in San Francisco) adults have lost the ability to feel emotion. They begin to "wane", which means to lose their touch with emotions, in adolescence. By the time they're in high school, most of their emotions are locked away. Interesting premise isn't it? This book explored what happens when we're all desensitized. People can be much colder with fake sympathy, can do cruel, atrocious things without a single ounce of regret. It's horrible, isn't it? And I think The Waning Age did quite well.The main character, Natalia Pena, has a younger brother Calvino who is unusually empathetic. He's gone past the average age of waning without any signs. Then one day, a big company kidnaps him for more testing because his behavior is that abnormal. And Natalia goes off to hunt for him.Interesting premise! Characters motivated by sibling love! That ought to have hooked me already, but somehow I could never really connect to the characters. I'm sorry, I'm sure it's a problem with ME rather than YOU but I just couldn't. In the end, I was flipping pages quickly not because I HAD to know what happened but because the climax was action-packed and all.At one point, there was a teensy romance. I thought it was cute but then at one point it developed so quickly that I sat up and was like "Wait? What just happened?" I did like the way the romance was resolved in the end. That made a lot of sense. And I did also like the way S.E. Grove handled the relationship between Natalia and Calvino, and Natalia and her dead mother; it was very nuanced and complex.But overall, I was underwhelmed. The blurb promised "twists and turns" but the book never seemed to deliver. I was also waiting for this one terrible secret about waning that I expected but it never came either. I wanted my heartstrings to be wrecked but that didn't happen either. But don't let the fact that I couldn't enjoy it much deter you from reading it though! If you like dystopia, you should try reading it! You might end up liking it.My Blog 📚 My Instagram
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  • Kate Willis
    January 1, 1970
    Just a few more days! Time to start bothering my library soon. :D
  • Katherine Moore
    January 1, 1970
    It's present-day San Francisco, and ’The Waning Age’ is 10 years old. This means that at that age, it's expected that you will lose your ability to feel emotions. You will not only lose the ability to feel sadness, but also joy and everything in between.Natalia Peña is the main character in this engaging novel, written as dated entries in a journal, and she has already waned. But her younger brother Calvino, who she calls Cal, has not, and he doesn't seem to show any signs that he will. Since th It's present-day San Francisco, and ’The Waning Age’ is 10 years old. This means that at that age, it's expected that you will lose your ability to feel emotions. You will not only lose the ability to feel sadness, but also joy and everything in between.Natalia Peña is the main character in this engaging novel, written as dated entries in a journal, and she has already waned. But her younger brother Calvino, who she calls Cal, has not, and he doesn't seem to show any signs that he will. Since their mother died tragically they have been living with foster parents, and while they show close bonds, it's only Cal who shows what would be recognizable as normal human responses to events around him, so much so that a company called RealCorp takes Cal to do tests on him to find out why he isn't waning.They are also a major manufacturer of ’synaffs’ which are synthetic drops that basically only the wealthy can now afford in order to feel whatever emotion you choose. Ones that are bought on the street could be made of any unknown dangerous harmful chemicals causing the wrong emotional reactions. Most people instead choose to go through their lives feeling nothing, having forgotten what it felt like to have an emotion.At the center of this illuminating book, beyond the fight that Natalia goes through to get her brother back from RealCorp, is a look at what humans are without their ability to feel. The absolute best sci-fi writing can feel so frighteningly real and believable, and this conversation about what humans are without - most importantly - being empathetic towards each other, touches on a nerve.As someone who has always been emotional, having dealt with depression and anxiety and being the sort of person who has even lamented about how much easier life would be if I wasn't so empathetic (in contrast to others around me), this was eye-opening. What has supposedly separated us from other beings is our ability to have emotions, to be ’sentient’, so what are we when we can't feel?This is at the core of the characters in the book called Fish: they make me think of those who can commit baseless crimes without remorse or motive, they're basically psychopaths.Questions came up in my head about how is this different from the thinking of someone who shows no emotion toward the victim and can commit serial murders.What's the difference between thinking and feeling? How do we express emotion without feeling it? How do we have relationships without showing emotions? Is our own society going in the direction of where people aren't able to show or feel emotions? How have technology and social media contributed to this?All of these questions come up and it really had me thinking!I personally feel like one of the most essential problems today is that most people lack the ability to be empathetic towards each other. ’The Waning Age’ really made me sad (*emotion!) at the prospect of emotions disappearing altogether, good and bad, and how that would obliterate compassion completely.Author S.E. Grove has managed to write a YA sci-fi novel that not only recognizes the bond between brother and sister, but she has also done some brilliant world-building, with just the right amount of action, and has brought some big ideas to the table. I will be thinking about this one for a long time, and I have already told a few other sci-fi authors about it. 'The Waning Age' is more profound than initial impressions would let on. And I have to say, this would make an excellent movie!RELEASE DATE: February 5th, 2019 (add it to your TBR now!!)
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds interesting, I also happen to have a younger brother Calvin so reading the name Calvino definitely made me think of him
  • KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books
    January 1, 1970
    Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.DNF Happiness and tranquility weren’t cheap five hundred years ago either. Bought with the blood and sweat of serfs, with the bondage of entire peoples, with the darkness of mines and the poison of mercury. Different form of payment now, same high cost. What an intriguing concept, to have to purchase emotions or live without them. The writing and the plot had me interested at the beginning, but as soon as Cal’s involuntary testing wa Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.DNF Happiness and tranquility weren’t cheap five hundred years ago either. Bought with the blood and sweat of serfs, with the bondage of entire peoples, with the darkness of mines and the poison of mercury. Different form of payment now, same high cost. What an intriguing concept, to have to purchase emotions or live without them. The writing and the plot had me interested at the beginning, but as soon as Cal’s involuntary testing was completed, I found myself skimming so many pages because not enough plot was happening. We were drifting aimlessly through the philosophy of human emotions. This is a YA book...so...I somehow expected action to take over instead of paragraphs of scientific study and internal debating??I couldn’t keep going. Not while I’m falling asleep. I wish this was executed to hold more intrigue than to feel like a Twitter thread.
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  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    January 1, 1970
    What, and I mean this next part, the f*ck.This book made little to no sense.
  • Forever Young Adult
    January 1, 1970
    Graded By: BrianCover Story: YawnDrinking Buddy: Warm WaterTestosterone Estrogen Level: Typical YA DystopiaTalky Talk: EmotionlessBonus Factors: The Joy of Sects, WeBromance Status: A Book That I Have ReadRead the full book report here.
  • sally
    January 1, 1970
    Fun neo noir/hard boiled detective novel with philosophical undertones.
  • Sarah Dawson
    January 1, 1970
    A very interesting and difficult to write concept. I particularly liked Cal's explanations
  • Carli
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐/5. I loved this author’s Mapmakers Trilogy (it is seriously one of me all-time favorites), and I was excited to see something new from her. This one was just okay though. It’s a future where people start “waning”, i.e., losing emotions, at the age of ten. But Natalia’s brother isn’t waning. She isn’t worried, as the age can vary by about a year, until he is taken to a pharmaceutical corporation for testing and never returns. She gets caught up in trying to infiltrate the company and take it ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. I loved this author’s Mapmakers Trilogy (it is seriously one of me all-time favorites), and I was excited to see something new from her. This one was just okay though. It’s a future where people start “waning”, i.e., losing emotions, at the age of ten. But Natalia’s brother isn’t waning. She isn’t worried, as the age can vary by about a year, until he is taken to a pharmaceutical corporation for testing and never returns. She gets caught up in trying to infiltrate the company and take it down to save her brother. I think the author kind of tried to do too much with this premise, which sounded very cool. A few secondary characters didn’t need to be there and muddled the story, in my opinion. I would recommend this for grades 8+.
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  • Kryssi D'Eredita
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 it contradicted itself constantly
  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    a story about people without emotions is a bit difficult to relate to. oddly I thought there would be some interesting philosophy or scientific discussion to the lack of emotions, but both the definitions of how people can still laugh and form personal connections without emotions as well as the lengthy science dissertations left me with more questions than answers.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    I think this book just lost me. It also didn’t seem like the story built up to a climatic ending. It seemed muted or tonal maybe. The storyline seemed like it was going to hold my interest but halfway through I found myself looking at the page numbers and wondering how much longer can the story go on.
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  • Sami
    January 1, 1970
    A Black Mirror-esque standalone with terrific worldbuilding, The Waning Age will appeal to anyone with a taste for the unusual. Nat, a maid in a futuristic city, cares for her younger brother diligently and devotedly, despite the fact that her "waning" means she is devoid of emotion. When her brother is abducted, Nat is confused by the determination that arises in her but there's only one solution: to get him back.
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  • Teenreadsdotcom
    January 1, 1970
    In the present day of S.E. Grove’s THE WANING AGE, people no longer feel anything. Due to unknown reasons and phenomenon, people lose all of their emotions starting around their teens in a process called “waning.” Society is now made up of adults without any emotion or feelings whatsoever, and kids who are just waiting for their own waning to occur. The only means in which one can experience emotion are synaffs, synthetic drugs that replicate the feelings of emotions, ranging from blissful highs In the present day of S.E. Grove’s THE WANING AGE, people no longer feel anything. Due to unknown reasons and phenomenon, people lose all of their emotions starting around their teens in a process called “waning.” Society is now made up of adults without any emotion or feelings whatsoever, and kids who are just waiting for their own waning to occur. The only means in which one can experience emotion are synaffs, synthetic drugs that replicate the feelings of emotions, ranging from blissful highs to intense fear.In San Francisco, Natalia Peña works at a hotel as a housekeeper, while at home she takes care of her little brother, Calviño, a bright kid who’s unusually strong with his emotions despite being of the right age for waning. When Calviño undergoes a series of unusual tests at school that result in him essentially being kidnapped by RealCorp, a monopolistic corporation that manufactures synaffs, Natalia is desperate to get him back. However, to go up against one of the world’s largest companies is no easy feat. Relying on the help of a few friends and foes, and along with her own set of martial arts skills and keen eye, Natalia sets off to take back her brother from RealCorp, and uncover the mysteries behind her own family past and the origins of waning.Historical fiction author S.E. Grove is no stranger to alternate reality universes, as seen in her previous work in The Mapmakers Trilogy with its emphasis on a different late 19th century world populated by familiar yet different societies and cultures. In THE WANING AGE, looking more towards the future than the past, S.E. Grove asks what the implications are of living in a world where all of our feelings, good or bad, are gone, and what we are willing to do or sacrifice for the people we deem important.With this book, there were a lot of things Grove did exceptionally well. The world-building is fantastic. The way she describes the state of society and regular encounters through the lenses of an ordinary citizen in this extraordinary world pulled me into the reading and engaged me with a sense of excitement and curiosity. With her careful attention to detail and tidbits of daily life, this strange society comes alive. I could easily visualize what is what, going on where, why the people dress or act the way they are, the environment of a place and more. I also found most of the characters are well-written and sound realistic for the setting of the book. Calviño, with his own experiences throughout the novel and dominant beliefs juxtaposed with that of the main story and the other characters, is intriguing and isn’t like other “damsel in distress” tropes that are common in these types of books.Equally intriguing is how the absence of emotion and its effects on people are portrayed. Without emotion, people rely on different beliefs and values to guide them and their actions. I found what people choose and why to be a really captivating part of this book. Some rely on books and history to guide them (and their fashion choices), while others use their moral compass. Lastly, the themes of the novel regarding love, family and hope and how Grove explores these ideas in-depth are noteworthy. I found myself thinking about them when I flipped that last page over.However, THE WANING AGE does have its fair share of issues. The writing at times seems a bit off and awkward, like it doesn’t really fit in with the tone of a situation. The metaphors and descriptions Grove uses to characterize something like Natalia’s internal monologue occasionally took me out of the novel and took away from my enjoyment of reading. Also, Natalia herself feels a bit like a “Mary Sue” character. The fact that she’s a brilliant fighter who’s also really smart and cunning seems to take away from the intensity of certain situations. Again, she’s not entirely perfect, but the fact that she seems to be good at nearly everything she does takes way from immersion a bit.Overall, THE WANING AGE is a strong novel, perfect for readers looking for a strong action and suspense book without romance. And, with a length of 333 pages, it’s a medium length novel that will keep you reading on. If you delve into this book, I can promise you won’t be disappointed.
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  • Renn
    January 1, 1970
    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 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)
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  • McKayla Moors
    January 1, 1970
    I was skeptical of The Waning Age going into it. The premise, that around the onset of puberty people lose the ability to feel emotions, was certainly interesting, and a somewhat on-the-nose commentary of the desensitization that comes with age, though it did raise an immediate concern: how to do you write a good novel with compelling characters if the characters cannot feel human emotions?Well, it turns out, you can't. To be clear, this book is not a bad book. It was definitely enjoyable. But i I was skeptical of The Waning Age going into it. The premise, that around the onset of puberty people lose the ability to feel emotions, was certainly interesting, and a somewhat on-the-nose commentary of the desensitization that comes with age, though it did raise an immediate concern: how to do you write a good novel with compelling characters if the characters cannot feel human emotions?Well, it turns out, you can't. To be clear, this book is not a bad book. It was definitely enjoyable. But it is impossible, as a human with emotions, to write humans without emotions and have them grow. The book attempts to explain away the things that don't make sense (e.g., emotionless people still laugh at clever jokes because the joke is an intellectual thing, not an emotional one), but most of these workarounds fall flat. They just don't make sense. All of the characters of this book demonstrate emotions frequently, and it was somewhat frustrating to be told that adults cannot feel emotions while being shown a myriad of examples contradicting that claim. (The argument could be made that the ending of the book reveals why the "emotionless" characters of this world aren't actually emotionless, but but the time I got to the end of the book, the explanation felt somewhat hollow, or unearned.)But there were certainly many elements of this book that I enjoyed immensely. I really liked Natalia, the main character, and absolutely adored her little brother, Cal. The world-building was truly excellent, and I found the commentary about capitalism and the scarcity of resources to be poignant and well-done. The interstitial chapters featuring Cal's "essays" were particularly enjoyable; even though I didn't always agree with the claims being made in those essays, Cal's eloquent way of describing his conceptualization of emotions and waning was truly fascinating. The plot, though fairly straightforward, was tense, and I kept turning the page to find out what came next. I disagree with the blurb on the back that claimed the book was full of twists and turns; there was only one plot "twist" to speak of, and it wasn't by any means mind-blowing. Still, at no point was I checked-out or uninterested; I was anxious for Cal, and wanted desperately to know what happened to him. The Waning Age isn't terribly long, just over 300 pages, so as a fun weekend read, I definitely recommend it. But if you're looking for a roller coaster ride of twists and heart-stopping suspense, you might find the book to be a disappointment. There are some who are going to love this book, and others who are going to dislike it far more than I did. Saying "it depends on your taste" feels like a cop-out, but in this situation, it feels true. Give it a shot! Even if it doesn't blow your mind, you'll more likely than not still end up having a good time.
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  • Devon H
    January 1, 1970
    This book reminded me of the books I was drawn into as a kid, but more mature. I remember being enveloped in the concept of the book, and enthralled with the characters. This is a feeling I haven't felt often lately, but this book definitely fulfilled those needs. Grove is masterful in finding and drawing out emotions, drawing readers into the world of her characters.Natalia Pena and her brother Calvino live in modern day San Francisco. However, the world is not the same as we experience it; in This book reminded me of the books I was drawn into as a kid, but more mature. I remember being enveloped in the concept of the book, and enthralled with the characters. This is a feeling I haven't felt often lately, but this book definitely fulfilled those needs. Grove is masterful in finding and drawing out emotions, drawing readers into the world of her characters.Natalia Pena and her brother Calvino live in modern day San Francisco. However, the world is not the same as we experience it; in this parallel universe, adults no longer have emotions. This process is called waning and begins when kids turn 10, leaving them emotionless by the time they hit high school. The world has not always been this way, but humans began to evolve this way for unknown reasons.My main drawback to this story is that there wasn't more backstory as to why humans evolved away from emotions, but at the same time the reader can come up with lots of logical reasons why this is the case. This book truly inspired thought about where emotions stem from, and why they are important for humans evolutionarily. I can't imagine living in a world without emotions, where the only option is to take "drops" that are developed to give adults brief glimpses into emotional experiences.Natalia and Calvino are wonderful characters. Nat is filled with heart, despite her seeming lack of emotions. Her relationship with her brother is very touching and meaningful. She clearly is passionate about many of the people she interacts with, and the way she's able to calm others down was admirable. All of her interpersonal interactions felt genuine. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jenni Frencham
    January 1, 1970
    Grove, S.E. The Waning Age. Viking BYR, 2019.In present-day San Francisco but in a parallel universe, people start to "wane," that is, stop experiencing emotions, around the age of ten. Natalia works at a hotel as a maid and takes care of her little brother Calvino at night. Calvino is ten, but he shows no sign of waning. And when a legal loophole allows him to be taken by a corporation that produces artificial emotions for adults, Natalia will do everything she can to get her brother back.I lov Grove, S.E. The Waning Age. Viking BYR, 2019.In present-day San Francisco but in a parallel universe, people start to "wane," that is, stop experiencing emotions, around the age of ten. Natalia works at a hotel as a maid and takes care of her little brother Calvino at night. Calvino is ten, but he shows no sign of waning. And when a legal loophole allows him to be taken by a corporation that produces artificial emotions for adults, Natalia will do everything she can to get her brother back.I loved the premise of this story, and I love books by S.E. Grove, so I was surprisingly disappointed in this particular novel. There isn't much world-building to explain when "waning" happened and why the powers that be decided to replace regular high school with police officers giving kids martial arts training and lists of rules to follow (because people without emotions need more rules, apparently). The San Francisco setting is well done, complete with the fog, the crowded public transit, the oddly-behaving people on the street. There's plenty of action, and between action scenes there's time for world-building and character development; however, we don't get to learn much about this world, which is disappointing because I was genuinely curious. All in all, I think this book will be popular with teens in spite of its flaws.Recommended for: teensRed Flags: some violence, recreational drug useOverall Rating: 3/5 starsI received a complimentary copy of this book through Edelweiss for the purpose of review.
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  • Grace T
    January 1, 1970
    The worldbuilding really impressed me here. The author clearly took a lot of time to work out the repercussions of the "waning" premise and looked at how it would affect many different areas of life--religion, gang activity, the school system, relationships, the synthetic emotion drugs, everything, let alone the "science" behind it all. It was very believable.The characters were also rather impressive--many of the side characters were more complex or multi-faceted than you'd expect from a side c The worldbuilding really impressed me here. The author clearly took a lot of time to work out the repercussions of the "waning" premise and looked at how it would affect many different areas of life--religion, gang activity, the school system, relationships, the synthetic emotion drugs, everything, let alone the "science" behind it all. It was very believable.The characters were also rather impressive--many of the side characters were more complex or multi-faceted than you'd expect from a side character, not to mention how strong Natalia and Cal were written. Troy's arc went in a different direction than I expected, which was terribly refreshing, Dr. Glout was way nicer than you'd expect someone in his position to be, and I could keep going. The plot was also an interesting study in how to throw up solid roadblocks between a character and her goals. One event in particular that I won't mention because of spoilers was a gutsy move on the author's part that I wouldn't have wanted to contemplate if I'd been in their shoes. Natalia and Cal's ending was definitely hard-won.That's not all to say, however, that the book was perfect for me. There was a bit of cursing, an attempt at sexual harrassment (though not successful because Natalia is a gutsy young woman), and the foster parents for Nat and Cal are a lesbian couple. Overall this was a good story--just some of the trappings take my rating down.
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  • Rebekah
    January 1, 1970
    Hmmm. There were really cool and scary and believable ideas in this book. It was a good premise and sometimes it was carried out. In my opinion, this novel had a great dystopian world with a great dystopian problem. However, that is the point. This is a NOVEL. A story, with characters. This is where I ran into difficulties. I actually found the plot to be excellent. I devoured the book in a little more than an afternoon. The characters, on the other hand, were not as fully-fleshed as they could Hmmm. There were really cool and scary and believable ideas in this book. It was a good premise and sometimes it was carried out. In my opinion, this novel had a great dystopian world with a great dystopian problem. However, that is the point. This is a NOVEL. A story, with characters. This is where I ran into difficulties. I actually found the plot to be excellent. I devoured the book in a little more than an afternoon. The characters, on the other hand, were not as fully-fleshed as they could have been. I suppose that writing emotionless characters would be difficult, especially in first person (I'm not sure about the wisdom of that decision), but there often seemed to be a disconnect between what was happening and what Natalia was feeling, which again, would be natural, but it made a less impactful book. I have loved S. E. Grove's previous books. Her first trilogy is among my favourite books of all time. The qualities that I loved so much in Mapmakers-the depth of characters, the beauty and wonder of the world, the fullness of the story-they were not here in The Waning Age. What was here was some of the cynicism, the hard reality, that was wonderfully absent in the Mapmakers trilogy. The Waning Age is an original, inventive book, but for me, at least, it was not a beautiful book, nor a great one.
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  • Hypable Books
    January 1, 1970
    Read our full review on Hypable!The Waning Age by S. E. Grove is a dystopian world you need to visit.In The Waning Age, emotions are a thing of the past; both the world’s and your own. Children are born with the ability to experience the full range of emotions, but around age 10, they start to “wane.” They lose their ability to feel natural emotions, and are forced to either pay for synthetic effects or lead an empty existence driven solely by logic and rules.The story takes place in a “parallel Read our full review on Hypable!The Waning Age by S. E. Grove is a dystopian world you need to visit.In The Waning Age, emotions are a thing of the past; both the world’s and your own. Children are born with the ability to experience the full range of emotions, but around age 10, they start to “wane.” They lose their ability to feel natural emotions, and are forced to either pay for synthetic effects or lead an empty existence driven solely by logic and rules.The story takes place in a “parallel present” San Francisco, where Natalia Peña, who completed the waning process years prior, is caring for her brother Calvino who, despite the odds, is still extremely emotional. In fact, he isn’t showing any signs of waning at all. That’s great, until RealCorp, the corporation behind synthetic effects and pretty much everything else in the society, takes notice.RealCorp kidnaps Cal for testing, which surprisingly sends Natalia reeling, considering she’s not supposed to be able to feel anything! Her journey to free Cal is filled with vicious enemies, unexpected allies, and shocking revelations.
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  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    This review is based on an Advance Readers' EditionThis dystopic novel explores a couple of lifeways navigating a society in which feelings wane around age 10. For those who can afford it, legal hallucinogenics are available to give specific feels, but there are the haves and have-nots, illegal trade of tainted meds, and rampant abuse (both in the drugs themselves and in the power to dose). There is a weak but annoyingly didactic inference that the waning was ultimately caused by screentime.A po This review is based on an Advance Readers' EditionThis dystopic novel explores a couple of lifeways navigating a society in which feelings wane around age 10. For those who can afford it, legal hallucinogenics are available to give specific feels, but there are the haves and have-nots, illegal trade of tainted meds, and rampant abuse (both in the drugs themselves and in the power to dose). There is a weak but annoyingly didactic inference that the waning was ultimately caused by screentime.A positive aspect of this book is that S.E. Grove writes some truly illustrative phrasing and surprising points throughout. I won't spoil them here, but they were absolute candy for the reader's delight.[SPOILER AHEAD]My biggest gripe comes with the promise on the back cover that there is a mystery around Natalia's love for her brother, but that isn't really touched on at all until the final pages in which the characters reveal that Natalia cried tears a few pages previous. For having mention on the back cover it ought to have been alluded to earlier.
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  • Vera_june
    January 1, 1970
    When sibling sacrifice like the Hunger Games meets a dysopian world like Equilibrium (the movie with Christan Bale--only you aren't killed for having emotions, but studied because the population lacks them without sedatives), you get a really good read called The Waning age. Ads for it popped up on my Facebook feed and Insta page so I finally decided to give it a shot. I really enjoyed following the main character, Nat. It gave a new perspective on emotions (or lack thereof) and how we're all co When sibling sacrifice like the Hunger Games meets a dysopian world like Equilibrium (the movie with Christan Bale--only you aren't killed for having emotions, but studied because the population lacks them without sedatives), you get a really good read called The Waning age. Ads for it popped up on my Facebook feed and Insta page so I finally decided to give it a shot. I really enjoyed following the main character, Nat. It gave a new perspective on emotions (or lack thereof) and how we're all connected in a way. For once its not a YA novel with a single guy to take charge and save the day. In fact it took a couple different people to step in and give Nat a nudge in the right direction. There wasn't a no-dont-its-too-dangerous vibe, but more of a "hell yeah, it's dangerous, so let me teach you how to survive it", from her small supportive village. I would love to see a movie adaptation of this book even though it was JUST published. I'll happily wait for that day should it ever come.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    A dystopia set in a parallel world in which by adolescence people lose the ability to experience emotion, wane, unless they use emotion-enhancing chemicals from which they can pick and choose. It's also a hard-boiled detective novel of the Dashiell Hammitt variety with Sam Spade portrayed by a teenage girl. Her brother, to whom she is irrevocably attached by something that one might suspect is love, is taken for research by a corporate pharmaceutical company that manufactures the emotion produci A dystopia set in a parallel world in which by adolescence people lose the ability to experience emotion, wane, unless they use emotion-enhancing chemicals from which they can pick and choose. It's also a hard-boiled detective novel of the Dashiell Hammitt variety with Sam Spade portrayed by a teenage girl. Her brother, to whom she is irrevocably attached by something that one might suspect is love, is taken for research by a corporate pharmaceutical company that manufactures the emotion producing drugs because he doesn't seem to be waning. An interesting read that might make an interesting movie.
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  • Hope
    January 1, 1970
    Maaaaan, I wanted to like this book so much, but I was disappointed. The world building felt incomplete, there were too many characters and most of them were flat, and the plot was so boring that I stopped and started this book like three separate times. Also, I felt like the subplot with the Fish chasing after the MC was just kind of dropped.The concept of a society living without emotions has sooooo much potential. Maybe part of my problem was that I expected a novel and MC that was more simil Maaaaan, I wanted to like this book so much, but I was disappointed. The world building felt incomplete, there were too many characters and most of them were flat, and the plot was so boring that I stopped and started this book like three separate times. Also, I felt like the subplot with the Fish chasing after the MC was just kind of dropped.The concept of a society living without emotions has sooooo much potential. Maybe part of my problem was that I expected a novel and MC that was more similar to Never Let Me Go and Kathy, but this drew heavily on film noir tropes and had a lot of quick action (also the fighting scenes were kind of unbelievable, tbh).
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  • Caitie
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't even finish this, I basically skimmed the entire book. I enjoyed Grove's middle grade series from a few years back, but this.....was not for me. I just didn't care about what was happening (which is kind of ironic considering this a book about not having emotions). I think that the message is clear, that you can't not have emotions and feel things, but there was something about this that rubbed me the wrong way. Like I said, the plot was a good idea, but the execution didn't go over w I couldn't even finish this, I basically skimmed the entire book. I enjoyed Grove's middle grade series from a few years back, but this.....was not for me. I just didn't care about what was happening (which is kind of ironic considering this a book about not having emotions). I think that the message is clear, that you can't not have emotions and feel things, but there was something about this that rubbed me the wrong way. Like I said, the plot was a good idea, but the execution didn't go over well with me.
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  • Ashleigh P
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't love it but didn't hate it. I thought the idea was interesting and actually very probable. If we lived in an emotionless society I think it would be a lot like what she imagines. Natalia is a pretty level headed and somewhat fearless big sister who has an amazingly intelligent and emotionally aware little brother. I really enjoyed their journey and the other characters they meet along the way. The ending did make me tear up a bit. This ARC was loaned to me; I don't know that I would hav I didn't love it but didn't hate it. I thought the idea was interesting and actually very probable. If we lived in an emotionless society I think it would be a lot like what she imagines. Natalia is a pretty level headed and somewhat fearless big sister who has an amazingly intelligent and emotionally aware little brother. I really enjoyed their journey and the other characters they meet along the way. The ending did make me tear up a bit. This ARC was loaned to me; I don't know that I would have ever sought this title out myself, but it was worth the read.
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  • Susan Stewart
    January 1, 1970
    This book is slow to start and I almost put it down. I'm glad I didn't! After the author finishes the chapters setting up the story, the book takes off. Complex characters who are trying to figure out who they were and weren't, come together in a unique setting to sort it all out. The search for Cal, an 11-year-old boy who is kidnapped gives all the characters a common goal. I absolutely recommend this novel to anyone looking for a unique journey.
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Grove found a very interesting concept to work with. Despite being theoretically emotionless, her protagonists and supporting characters still have warmth and personality. It was less of a conspiracy thriller than I expected and more of a quest novel. The biggest negative, in my opinion, was that the ending was rather abrupt. There were threads in the novel that simply felt abandoned. Only time will tell if they were meant to leave room for a sequel.
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