A spaceship is travelling the universe alone in the great dark space for more than 200 years. Inside, a new race of people has evolved from the original travellers, a race that lives organized and in harmony, never wonderind where they came from and where they are going. Their leader is the Eldest (the oldest man there) and next in line is the Elder, a boy of 16 being groomed to succeed him, being the oldest in his generation.
What the Elder didn't know until the beginning of this book, is that various scientists, along with a girl called Amy, lay frozen somewhere in the bowels of the ship, waiting their arrival to the new world to "wake up".
But now someone has begun to unceremoniously wake them up, and killing them in the process. Amy is discovered in time, and then the old world and the new one clash. Nothing will remain the same, not even she.
The story is told alternatively by Elder and Amy, always in the first person.
It is a well-written book, but what I really hated about it was how claustrophobic the description Amy gave while she was frozen. It was incredibly well described, so much so actually that it made me feel as if I was trapped there with her. I think the feeling will stay with me forever.
Apart from that, the book is amazing.
I liked how Amy challenged everything ethically and I loved how the author gently introduces a series of important subjects, like cloning, DNA evolving, mutations, rebelling against dictatorship, mating without romance, information to the masses and many many more. I appreciated the fact that she didn't shove her opinions down my throat but just presented the situation and let the characters (and the reader) form their own opinions. I hadn't ever read a book (a novel) discussing all of these matters and it really made me think, which is actually the purpose of any book, but only the good ones manage to do it.
The idea of humanity travelling towards a future and failing miserably to provide it with an improved version of itself is as old as the Pilgrims, and in this book it is portrayed realistically and hauntingly in a frightening version of the future.
There is also a theme of romance, or rather attraction in the book, which was a but refreshing amid all the revolution and struggle that was taking place. It wasn't a major theme but how could it be when there were so many major issues to be dealt with? The thing is, the characters as well as the small world of the spaceship remained with me long after I finished the book, and even for that alone I can say this was a really good book.
P.S. I love how his face looks in the cover, exactly how it is described in the book, like he belongs to a new race that has evolved from all the now existing ones in our world. I disagree with those who complain about it, because he isn't exactly African, or even African-American. He is from an altogether different race.