WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T GET OLD.
In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan's home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.
Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre's handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease - a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn's secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry's grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy...one that none of them even knew existed.
I liked this book. Ever since reading the ending of 1984 as a kid, I've been enamored with the idea of psychological fears as an official punishment. Think--no riots in jails, upon finishing a sentence criminals are weakened (although the whole unpredictability thing of PTSD would be tricky to get around) and best of all, government ordered nightmares fit right in with the state of the union these days.
My husband and I were actually talking about life imitating art and the influences of Orwell and Hemingway. This is no time for an English lecture, but essentially we came to the conclusion that while we're well on the way to thought police, there haven't been any publicized or officiated methods of punishment involving personal fears or nightmares.
This book is not necessarily about the authority's punishment systems, but it was a very important and (for me) very interesting part of the novel. As for the story itself, the beginning was a bit cloudy but once I got into the book I was hooked all the way through. The characters are kind of fledglings, like this story was dreamed up (ha ha) as a multi-book series. The plot felt like it was just getting started, too, but the writing itself is enough to make me interested in the next book.
Recommendation? Get it, for sure. It's on Kindle unlimited for free, and the prices for regular kindle (2.99) as well as paperback (about 7 bucks before shipping) aren't bad, and this is one you'll want to circulate among your friends.