Tuesday, 7 April 2015


Title: Awakening
Author: Shannon Duffy
Genre: Futuristic, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: 7th April 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
A thrilling, futuristic sci-fi novel set in a unique and thought-provoking world, from author Shannon Duffy.

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?

Goodreads Link

I have actually read another book by this author and loved it so I have high expectations for this book. I do like the level of description and writing style of this author. Then the blurb certainly piques my interest.

I received a free ecopy of this book from the publishers Entangled Teen in exchange for my honest review. The cover is quite attention grabbing due to the bright orange colour used on it. There are two figures holding hands, they are silhouetted against a backdrop of a large lake and a city skyline. I think the byline of "Fear your dreams . . . .chase the truth" really fits the books content.
So would the cover make me pick this one up from a bookstore shelf? Yes it would. The cover kind of half sells the book to me and then upon reading the blurb, I really really want to read the book!
The two main characters in the book are Desiree and Darian, they have just "come of age" to begin the bonding process (ie engagement and then marriage). Everything about you as a person and your life, career, and even when you turn yourself in to be terminated (ie die) is all based on the day you were born. Even the day you was born is inserted into your name. Desiree's full name is Desiree Six Haven, Darian's full name is Darian One Sterling. The day you were born actually is the thing that determines everything about your life. I loved the dystopic/futuristic society of the Tower Province with all it's rules, regulations and the binding process. Depending on your view some of the rules appear archaic like the binding ones, whereas the cleaning and germ free aspects of the society are quite futuristic.
So back to the days of birth determining the rest of your life, if you are a "One" like Darian you are given just 25 years to live, (depending on your day of birth you are given a further 5 years to live, so Desiree is a six and will get to live until she is fifty, but both her parents were "fours" born on the fourth day so get to live until they are forty. Couples are born on the same day and die on the same day) until he is expected to turn himself in to be terminated. This is a measure that was introduced to prevent the over population that occurred in the "Manic Age". Couples are only allowed to have one child too. The citizen's are given their "careers" at the age of 15. 
All citizen's need to use a dreamscape, that literally lulls them into a relaxed state and gives them the dreams they are meant to have. Desiree's dream along with all the other pre-binding teens dreams are filled with happiness, sunshine and the face of her binding partner. The Protectorate have chosen her partner to be Asher, a boy she remembers from school, he bullied Desiree about the colour of her hair incessantly throughout her school years. So when she realises who her match is she is justifiably unhappy. 
The Tower Province is quite controlling and they manage to keep the citizens in line by the threat of the terrorscape. The terrorscape is a punishment, the time spent in the terrorscape depends on the crime you have committed.
Darian has been sent to Olympus Jail and is attached to the terrorscape every night. His sentence is for life, so he will undergo night terrors every single night of his remaining years of life. He is charged with the murder of his own parents. Desiree finds this hard to believe as Darian was her close friend at school, in fact he used to stick up for her when Asher was bullying her. Desiree would much rather see the face of Darian when she sleeps using the dreamscape than Asher's. Desiree actually begins to seriously doubt the rulers of the Tower Province as the boy she knew wouldn't harm anyone, but then the Protectorate is always right, aren't they? They do not make mistakes. The Protectorate does all these things to protect the citizens. If she voiced her doubt or said or did anything that could be construed and not believing or doubting Tower Province and the Protectorate she herself would be immediately labelled as "Non-compliant" and sentenced to time in Olympus Jail herself. However much Desiree tries to continue believing in the Tower Province system, she still has that niggling doubt, and that doubt begins to grow when she see's Darian who has managed to do the impossible and escape the Terrorscape. Darian confirms the doubts that Desiree has and tell's her that she once had a sister, and that there is a life outside of Tower Province. It's a life where people choose their own partners and die of old age rather than handing themselves in to be terminated.
So the above is just a little of what happens, there's lots of hints that the dreamscape and the Tower Province rules and regulations are not the only way to live. The people living this life free from Tower Province are called the "Awakened". The Awakened also help people leave the Tower Province as well as rescuing the "Unwanteds" (you'll learn who they are in the book)
This book is what I'd call fairly fast paced as there is always something happening. It has action, high emotions, mystery, betrayal and love. My favourite characters have to be Desiree and Darian. I think that Darian will certainly making it onto some of the "book boyfriend" lists! I also enjoy the writing style of Shannon Duffy and absolutely have to say this book would make a brilliant movie or TV Show (as long as they kept things true to the book, of course). 
The book ends perfectly but with a rather large question mark about something else also being suggested that Tower Province are doing too. It leaves you with an understanding that the revelations Darian and Desiree came upon are only the tip of the iceberg and hints that there is so much more to happen in the next book. So I'm already looking forward to the next book now.
So did I enjoy the book? I truly loved it. The irony of the governing body of the Tower Province being called the Protectorate and their motto being "Here to take care of you" Then there's the beautiful fluffy owl that the protectorate use as their logo. Would I recommend the book? Definitely a must read for dystopian, and sci-fi fantasy genre lovers. Would I want to read more in this series? Yes beyond any doubt I would read the next book straight away if it were available. Would I want to read more titles by author? I have already read and reviewed Spectral, and I do intend to read more titles by this fantastic author.

I also wanted to share the immediate thoughts that were racing through my mind as I finished reading the book at around midnight! I honestly did not want to put this e-book down at all. What a'twist" (I'm not sure if twist is the right word, it's more a shock discovery that Darian and Desiree have revealed to them at the very end of the book. It really sets off such a lot of questions in your head about the next book. This book is a great start, to a series that I can imagine being very addictive. Darian & Desiree thrown together and imprisoned together. The Protectorate try their best to break them. Help comes from an unlikely source. Can Darian & ,Desiree's love for each other give the! the strength to make it?

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