Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Awakening by Shannon Duffy

Awakening by Shannon Duffy
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Dystopian

Desiree Six (because she was born on a Friday) believes in everything the Protectorate stands for. She likes the safety and security of having her entire life planned out—her career, her mate, even the date of her death. She doesn't even think to question when Darian, her childhood friend and neighbor, is convicted of murdering his parents. They had seemed like such a loving family. But if he was convicted, then he must have done it.

Then Darian shows up in her room late one night. He has escaped from the Terrorscape—a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants—and needs Desiree's help. What he tells her rocks her world to its core and makes her doubt everything she's ever been told. With this new information, will Desiree and Darian be able to escape the Protectorate before it's too late?

When I first started reading this book, I immediately drew comparisons to two other series I've read, and no, I don't mean The Hunger Games or Divergent... two other pretty well-known series.  I'm not going to tell you which ones though because I realized about ten pages in that this was not a fair comparison at all, and that Shannon Duffy had created something completely different than what I thought it was going to be at first.

This book caught me right away.  The characters were immediately likeable and sympathetic.  I loved Desiree, despite the fact that, at first, she seems like just another sheep in this dystopian environment. But that's not fair to her.  I kept thinking, how would you be if indoctrinated all your life to believe in something?  You'd be skeptical of other views too.  And therein lies my sympathy for her.  Who want to believe that what they've always known to be true is nothing but a lie?  But she doesn't spend time whining about it.  She's a strong character who can think for herself.

And Darian.  He was like a perfect mixture of everything I love in a hero.  He had the fighting, protective nature of an alpha male, but all the sweet, kind and loving temper of a great Beta as well. He was strong, sweet, determined, kind, protective... name a bunch of cool adjectives.  That's him.

Where the author takes this story was so unique to dystopians I've read.  The idea of the Dreamscape was so clever, so believable, and the world building was perfect.  There were some amazing action sequences in the story that had me on the edge of my seat.  There was drama, romance, danger, some excellent science fiction elements that were all the more terrifying because I think they could definitely happen in our world, and it all takes place only a few years ahead of the time we live in now... not hundreds of years into the future.  It gave the danger a more immediate eeriness to it.

Shannon Duffy created a wonderful, frightening new world in this series.  Her writing was fast-paced, thoughtful, and exciting.  I am definitely looking forward to what happens next.

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