Author: Shannon Duffy
Page Count: Final Hardback 352 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
My Rating: ★★★★
Synopsis: 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?
I received an unsolicited ARC of Awakening from Entangled Teen. Going into the book, I knew little about it except it was a dystopian novel and there was a thing called The Terrorscape. Once I started reading the book, I got absorbed by the world Shannon Duffy created.
The concept behind this dystopian is very interesting. Basically in this new world, the leaders believe the root to the old world's problem, known as the Maniac Age, was happiness due to the instability of the future, jobs, love, and dreams. So The Protectorate has devised a system in which everyone is destined to have a specific job, specific mate, specific death date, and their dreams are made for them. They cannot go to sleep without a device known as The Dreamscape and nightmares are obsolete except in this place known as The Terrorscape, where criminals are induced with nightmares that appear to be real and can actually damage them.
The main character, Desiree was an alright character. I liked her, but I couldn't connect with her. In the beginning she seemed rather annoying, getting angry over little things like people saying her hair was red and not auburn. However she began to grow on my because it was evident she isn't like everyone else. Desiree isn't afraid to think about what life would be like if The Protectorate didn't control everything.
Darian on the other hand... hot damn I wish he was real. Darian is hot, snarky, and to top it all of he is a genius. He is a hacker and believes that the world deserves to control its own fate.
I absolutely loved the chemistry between Desiree and Darian. Their blossoming forbidden romance had my stomach making butterflies. Darian treated Desiree like an actual human being with free will, unlike Asher.
Speaking of Asher. I had a strange relationship with Asher. On the one hand Asher is a douche, but I can understand why he is a douche. He is being forced to love someone he doesn't love and although he wants to get to love her it is hard for him.
Now the plot overall was good, however not without flaws. Sometimes I feel like it deviated from the main point, drifting away from trying to be Awakened and bring down the Protectorate to the whole Darian and Desiree romance. While I did enjoy their romance, sometimes I wish there was more emphasis on the actual system in place in this new world and them focusing on taking it down. There were a couple of twists I saw coming, there were some I didn't, which made it all the more enjoyable.
I think the best part of the book was The Terrorscape. This nightmare state was terrying and the events that occurred within it were so well written. You could feel the panic of the characters and it felt like Shannon Duffy was creating a tangible nightmare. I kind of wish we had been exposed to The Terrorscape some more just because the writing within those scenes were so good. I could feel my pulse racing with each nightmare.
"We need to make mistakes in order to learn from them. And we need to go through bad times to appreciate the good ones."
Overall this book was really enjoyable and I can't wait to see where the story goes.