In 2080, British society is divided, with progressive Central England prospering at the expense of the neglected Periphery. The school population is controlled through covert medication and ‘scintillation’ programmes. Central Area babies are either gifted, so scintillate, attending grammar academies, or fail to scintillate, in which case the family must relocate to the Periphery.
Morally driven, and determined to end state-imposed scintillation, Zade demonstrates ingenuity and resilience, sleeping in disused underground stations, and pursuing her goals with tenacious resolve.
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