Amy's mother is a genetic scientist and her father is a high ranking military officer. They have been chosen to board Godspeed, a ship that is headed to a new planet, where they will be needed to set up the government and possibly terraform the planet. Amy is offered a spot on the ship as well, at her parents request, so they can stay as a family. The ship is scheduled to arrive in 300 years, so Amy, her family, and everyone else needed on the new planet will be deep frozen and awakened on the new planet.
Elder is the leader-to-be 250 years later. The current leader of the ship is Eldest, and Elder will take that title when he becomes leader. There is no one else on the ship who is Elder's age; every twenty years, the "season" arrives, and that's when people have babies. The descriptions in the book of the season are somewhat disturbing. Elder was born between the seasons, as every Eldest was, so that he is older than the people he leads. He does not know who his parents are.
The story of Amy and Elder come together when someone unplugs Amy so she wakes up 50 years early. Amy, naturally, is horrified because by the time her parents wake up, she'll be older than they are. Elder is fascinated by Amy; the ship has become monoethnic, so everyone has olive skin, dark eyes, and dark hair. Amy is pale, red haired, and green eyed. Things turn more sinister as, for some unknown reason, more people are unplugged. Some of them don't survive and drown in their little deep freezer chambers. Other are noticed in time, and they are returned to their frozen state before they wake up. Amy is the only one who gets out and lives. Amy and Elder grow closer as they work to figure out why people are getting unplugged, and as the story progresses, deep secrets are uncovered (cue dramatic music). The ending, however, was a disappointment. Amy and Ender achieve their goal and BAM! everything's better. Elder doesn't have to work at all to fix things, and people just accept his shocking truths. Given what the people had been through, I'm surprised they can think at all.
The book was a 3. I did not like the beginning when Amy first got into her chamber, and it wasn't very compelling. And I sat there wanting to bang my head against the wall while the characters remained blind to the obvious and kept suspecting the wrong people for a while. It was like bread. Bland and goodish, but leaves you wishing for something a little more.