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 the Terrorscape--a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants--and he 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 snatch up every Entangled Teen book that comes my way, but I knew when the publisher reached out personally and sent this ARC my way, it was going to be good, real good.
This is the first Shannon Duffy novel I've read and what a thrilling read. There was no disappointment here.
The Dystopian world the author created was unique, dark, suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat, staying up late into the night needing to know what happened to this cast of vivid characters woven together so beautifully.
Ms. Duffy instantly introduces the reader to the world, the Protectorate, an evil dictatorship, their means of control (Terrorscape) and the citizens enduring the reign of terror. Sadly, the citizens buy into this system, the Protectorate being all they've ever known.
It's when Desiree Six has a chance encounter with an escaped convict (Noncompliant) that she begins to question everything she's been taught to believe.
The relationship building between Desiree and Darian was so beautiful to read, so tender, so sweet, and full of raw emotion. I hate that Desiree's liberation came at such a heavy cost (no spoilers here, you'll have to experience those heart wrenching scenes all on your own)but how Darian managed to get through to her was pure literary beauty.
The secondary characters are just as important and what a surprise to see Desiree's childhood bully now Protectorate paired mate turn out not to be as bad as implied. It was thrilling to watch him blossom, to put aside everything he's known and risk everything he has to do the right thing.
The Protectorate is a crooked system and you truly don't find out just how malicious they are until the final pages, and wait until you get there....
After finishing Awakening, I remember sitting up in bed, digesting all the beautiful words fed to me, and I remember thinking with a chill, "I believe something like this could happen." It makes you lose sleep, makes you wonder, makes you remember. When a novel such as Awakening can evoke those kinds of profound thoughts, feelings and questions, you know you've stumbled across something special.
Awakening reminded me of two of my favorite novels, not in just the Dystopian genre, but period. Awakening put me in mind of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and Charlotte McConaghy's Fury. Both beautiful with their lyrical prose and profound and terrifying glimpses into a future that certainly could exist. I would now have to say that Awakening is among those favorites, one I will not forget.
Awakening is a terrifyingly beautifully brilliant take on YA Dystopian. I devoured each page and longed for more. This is by far one of the best books I've read all year. I patiently await the rest of this gripping story....
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