No emotions? Guess again.


Natalia Peña and her younger brother Calvino are two newly orphaned children. They are being fostered by the parents of Nat's best friend Joey. In their world, everyone stops feeling emotions (a process referred to as "waning") at about age 10. Natalia lost her capacity for feelings long ago, and Cal should have, too. Nat knows her brother is special: he can still feel things even after he has passed the age, and he does not seem to be waning anytime soon. This unusual occurrence garners the attention of important people at RealCorp, a company that researches emotions and sells fake ones to those who can afford them.

Call is called in to be tested, and Nat tries to comfort him that it shouldn't be that bad. It gets harder to pretend that nothing’s wrong when Nat gets a call while at work saying that Cal has been taken for more unauthorized testing. Nat hurries to the school to see her brother and put an end to the testing. When she arrives, she is informed that he is not there, and has been taken to the RealCorp facility; At RealCorp, Nat is told that Cal is now legally under RealCorp's authority and she cannot see him. Somehow, some way, she has to save her brother. For someone with no emotion, what is this she feels?

BTSYA / Teen Reader (15):
The Waning Age is a very well-written book that gets you thinking about the importance of emotions in our everyday lives. It points out things we do not notice about emotions: instinct, rationality, and how they invluence our decisions. This makes for a wonderful plot.

Readers should know that it was a somewhat difficult theme to grasp at first, but it once the pieces fall into place, it is a good book. I recommend reading this book for children ages 13 and up.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers expecting your typical emotionless-world Dystopian story will be disappointed. Readers who love thought-provoking, realistic dystopia and are looking for something fresh. This is your book.

Content Awareness Factors:

None noted by reviewer.

Type of Book:
This is a dystopian novel set in a realistic San Francisco.
Educational Themes:

In this novel, RealCorp serves as an over-arching power that could represent both big business or government. Their control/influence on society can create some engaging conversation. How is what they do different from the ads and marketing that companies do today? How are (or aren't) those things kept in check in the real world.

The biggest question, though, is: if Natalie lacks emotional capacity, what is it she 'feels' for her brother?

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 14
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. Interesting to read, but not something you'd come back to.

Title The Waning Age
Author S. E. Grove
Publisher Viking Children's Books, a Penguin Random House Company © 2019
ISBN 9780451479853
Material Hard Cover
Cost $18.99
Genres Family, Emotions and Feelings, Fantasy
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