The gist: In the year 2036 plague has decimated the population, leaving children orphaned and the world in chaos. After being taken from her dying mother, Eve is taken to School at the age of five to live with other orphaned girls her age. She is taught the dangers of the outside world--wild dogs, disease, and the Dangers of Men--and given an education befitting that of a gently-reared Victorian lady. On the cusp of her graduation--as Valedictorian, natch--as she is preparing to go on to learn her Trade before moving to the City of Sand where the King of New America is building a city with walls big enough to keep out death itself, she learns the terrible truth about what awaits the girls after they graduate. With the help of a Teacher, she escapes and sets out for Califia--a safe haven for escaped girls just over the San Francisco bridge. The storyline is a cross between Wither and Delirium, and unfortunately shares many of their shortcomings. Though the writing itself was well-done and the premise interesting, the plot was plagued with inconsistencies and convenient coincidences.I found Eve to be unfailingly selfish, but beyond that her behavior was rarely consistent. She was either a prissy Mary Sue or recklessly endangering everyone around her. I liked Caleb a lot, but I never really felt we got to know him or his motivations. However, I do give credit to Carey for taking the time to actually build a relationship between Eve and Caleb instead of falling back on the love at first sight rote. For all of its shortcomings, it was an enjoyable read for the most part and I do think there is some potential here for an exciting series. Hopefully Eve will be a stronger character, and the plot holes will be tied up in the coming books.