Book Review: The Million by Karl Schroeder

Cover of the book The Million by Karl Schroeder
The Million
by Karl Schroeder
Tor, 2018

This review was first published by Booklist on July 18, 2018.

Schroeder (Lockstep​, 2014) presents an engrossing and unique vision of the future. Most humans have moved off world, and the population of Earth is kept at one million. The Million is made up of families who are custodians of the land and resources, responsible for preserving historic skills and culture, and they’re all incredibly wealthy. Meanwhile, 10 billion people lay in cryogenic hibernation underground, waking for one month every 30 years to overrun the planet. Gavin is a young man who doesn’t belong: he is a visitor secretly adopted by one of the Million. When a rival dies, Gavin takes his place in the Academy, a training school for the elite police force charged with tracking down outcasts like him. What he discovers there is a conspiracy that could tear apart the very fabric of society. Schroeder develops a rich setting for such a short book, slightly strained but elegantly rendered, and it makes the juicy intrigue plausible. His characters are believable and the stakes are high. It’s an exciting start to what should be an addicting series.

This title has been recommended for young adult readers:

YA/General Interest: With young protagonists in a school setting dealing with the machinations of adults in authority, The Million ticks all the right boxes for older teen sf fans.

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