The bane of my life is the unfinished series. Fortunately, in this case I know the author personally, so can rest assured in the knowledge that a sequel is in the works.
The Dying of the Day is a new adult, dystopian/sci-fi novel, best described as the peculiar love child of Logan’s Run, Divergent and Trainspotting. Incorporating veins from several genres, this is a not a book which falls easily into a single category, but instead a precise execution of the author’s abstemious philosophy.
This is a book about freedom, set in the confines of a city that offers two kinds: the extremes of intoxication and death. Subduing its population with a whirlwind of recreational drugs and zero-consequence parties, Descada asks only one thing in return: the mandatory suicide of anyone who makes it to their 35th birthday.
Enter Genesis, a self-diagnosed delinquent, who lives on the lip of society, surrounded by those falling over the edge. This book is the story of a young woman growing up in a world that denies the value of maturity. The rules are very simple. Keep having fun, because fun equals happiness, and to be happy to is be free, isn’t it?
The plot is a pacey one, written in tight, stylised prose, and the ending, though somewhat predictable, offers scope for an intense and action-packed sequel.
For me, one of the highlights of this book is its portrayal of female friendship, chiefly its exploration of Genesis’ difficult relationship with her older best friend, Amara. An off-the-rails party addict, Amara embodies the slow decline into existential crisis faced by most of her society, and it is her toxic reliance on the system that provides one of the galvanising forces behind Genesis’ character development.
The book has several other strong characters, including the sweetly sinister Hallie, and secretive Skye, but Amara and Genesis were the winners for me, due to the realism of the conflict between their love for one another and their inability to understand each other’s true motivations.
In terms of faults, The Dying of the Day has few major issues. The pacing is swift, the characters for the most part well-rounded, and the writing unusually high in quality for a novel that lends itself to action scenes.
If I am to pick a problem, it would be the romantic subplot. This is fleeting, offering little distraction from the deeper messages, but this does have the effect of making the love interest something of a plot device. Overall, the novel also packs a lot into a small space. Some characters do, as a result, suffer from a lack of screen-time, but I think this is something that may be amended in the sequel, which I will be sure to review when the time comes!
To sum it up, The Dying of the Day is an interesting read. It doesn’t fit in, or try to, but its moments of true excellence make it unusual in a very good way.