When a Pincent Pharmaceutical van is ambushed by the rebel group known as the Underground, its contents come as a huge surprise – not drugs, but corpses in a horrible state.
It appears that the pharmaceutical company’s top drug, Longevity – which is supposed to eradicate disease and ensure eternal life – isn’t living up to its promises. Now a virus is sweeping the country, killing hundreds in its wake, and Longevity is powerless to fight it.
But when the unscrupulous head of Pincent claims that the Underground is responsible for releasing the virus, it’s up to Peter, Anna, and their friends to alert the world to the terrifying truth behind Longevity before it’s too late.
Contains spoilers for earlier books in the trilogy.
The Declaration Trilogy reaches its conclusion in this book. Peter and Anna are in hiding with their daughter Molly and Anna’s little brother Ben. Jude and Pip are still working in London, with the Underground, to bring down Richard Pincent and Pincent Pharma and Peter is itching to get back in the fight. Out in the world there are people dying and Richard is being told by his scientists that there is now a virus that Longevity cannot fight. Richard becomes convinced he needs the original formula for Longevity that Albert Fern (its inventor) withheld from him.
As the death toll rises and people begin to suspect that all is not well Richard turns them against the Underground, the surplus children and the opt outs. Children begin disappearing from Surplus Halls, Peter and Anna are tracked down. Richard wants to discover what is so special about the ‘circle of life’. Eventually, through a thrilling sequence and a couple of great twists and turns things come together for a clever climax.
Yet again this was a story I couldn’t put down. I enjoyed the way the writing moved between the different groups of people and had some cameo’s from old friends from previous books. I also liked the prologue at the beginning giving us insight into how the drug had come to be developed, what had happened to Albert Fern and how Richard Pincent had wormed his way into this position at the head of the most powerful corporation on earth.
The ethical and moral questions keep coming and the questions continue to get you thinking. It all still feels very plausible as it is rooted in the reactions of people, fear of death, fear of living forever, the choices we make and their impact on our environment, the distribution of precious resources and the kind of world we want to leave for future generations. I particularly liked the little hint at the end that this could happen all over again, after all humans are well known for not learning from history and repeating their mistakes. It made you feel a little chill at how easily we could fall into a world just like this one.
Verdict: So this is a great conclusion to a brilliant series, highly recommended!
Reviewed by Helen