In the society of Claysoot, there are no men. But there are women and boys. The boys just seem to disappear every time they reach their eighteenth birthday. A nervous and lonely Gray Weathersby is forced to say goodbye to his brother, Blaine, who has reached that point and now must be teleported to the other side of the Wall, where every vile possibility imagined could be behind it. Then, Blaine says something rather interesting before he takes off. Meanwhile, the deceased mother of the Weathersby's apparently did a special experiment with this system and Blaine knows something about Gray's life. Even weirder, is when he goes to look into clues from libraries, he hears a conversation going on by technology, and he hears a man's voice. Even though Gray has a girlfriend named Emma, a loyal optimist, he feels there's nothing really left for him and he should try things out on the other side of the Wall, even though people's bodies come back in bloodstains every time.
Now, I liked this book for a few different reasons. I felt the interest when I found out that Gray's mother's experiment was by mixing birth records so that Gray is seen as an eighteen year old, but is really younger, to see if this execution is by birth records or natural aging. Gray learns about more than just cars and showers; the sort of stuff some Africans don't ever see. Gray is then sucked into a society where there is a war between a corrupt society and an independent group hiding miles beyond, foraging. Why the war? More than just a water shortage. Also, in this society, there are special divisions that we don't yet explore but learn about. Let me put it this way. Imagine Lindsay or wherever you live was highlighted on the map, showing a certain quality over or under the others.
A love relationship develops, and it's a bit unnecessary when Gray ends up getting mad. There are several hikes in this story that may end up eating you tired, imagining how long it must take to walk, but when everyone is in you're shoes and you have to survive, in books like these, it's usually and is here, entertaining enough. It didn't make me gripped to read it till the very end, but I'd happily read the next book, Frozen, without hesitation. That's something. Good work, Erin Bowman.