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 outher 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 Terrorscapea nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliantsand 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?
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Shannon Duffy is a middle grade and young adult author. Born and raised in the scenic province of Newfoundland, she currently lives in beautiful Ontario. She also spends as much time as possible in Florida, which is her home away from home. If she's not hanging out with her family, she's writing or reading, working out, shopping, or trolling a beach somewhere tropical. Visit her at http://www.shannonduffylit.com.
Read an Excerpt
By Shannon Duffy, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Shannon Duffy
All rights reserved.
My nails bite into the edge of the sofa. I know my parents are stealing glances at me from the couch beside me, but I pretend not to notice, not to flinch. I keep my eyes locked onto the port screen.
There was a massive power shortage in Tower province last night — one that allowed a convict to escape from Olympus Jail. Normally, a jailbreak would be bad enough, but this wasn't just any convict. This was Darian One Sterling.
A murderer. And my childhood friend.
The newscaster scowls as Darian's picture flashes in an emergency announcement.
"Desiree," Dad says. He opens and closes his mouth, then shakes his head. I can tell my parents are worried I'll pity Darian because of our childhood friendship. But I don't. Going against The Protectorate wasn't just a violation. It was plain dumb. The Protectorate provides the citizens of Tower with everything we could need.
Darian's infraction, breaking into a head Protectorate office and stealing government files, is a serious crime. It would have led to at least five years in jail. But when his parents attempted to turn him in, Darian murdered them in cold blood. That's a crime punishable with life in the Terrorscape, where you experience the worst nightmares imaginable.
"He used to be such a good boy," Mom mumbles.
I know what she's thinking. She says it all the time about the convicts. The Protectorate guarantees, within a 99 percent accuracy rate, that every citizen will feel like he or she is a valuable part of society. Anyone who doesn't is just trouble.
Dad leans in toward the port screen, gazing at Darian's jail photo. Darian's dark hair has been buzzed short, and his crystal-blue eyes pierce the screen. "He isn't good anymore," Dad says, stealing another glance at me as if for a reaction.
I blow my hair out of my eyes with a huff, then turn to face Dad. "They'll find him," I say. "It's just a matter of time." Mom squints, studying my features. "Can you turn it off, please," I say, then yawn dramatically. "I'm going to bed." I smile and kiss them both on the cheek before I leave the room.
I don't really have to fake sleepiness because I'm actually exhausted. When the power outage occurred last night, the Dreamscape shut down. The whole province of Tower woke up in the middle of the night, so I didn't get my usual eight hours of sleep.
Without the Dreamscape, we can't sleep.
My parents remind me all the time about stories their parents told them, of how things were in the Manic Age. The time before our bodies were upgraded to sync with the amazing invention called the Dreamscape. Thirty-eight years ago, people actually had to fall asleep on their own and, sometimes, they would toss and turn for hours. My grandparents said when sleep, in its mercy, did come, it often brought with it horrible images I've heard people used to call nightmares.
The thought sends a chill rushing through my veins. In all my sixteen years of life, I've never experienced a single nightmare. The Protectorate manages our dreams — and our lives — to perfection.
Until last night when the power went out.
One power outage isn't really cause for concern, I remind myself.
I head across our flat toward my bedroom, my shoes clicking against the steel floor. Here in Emerson district, as in all of the six districts of Tower, The Protectorate ensures all homes are made with the finest steel walls and floors, and equipped with air- purifying systems. Viruses and ailments can't spread as easily in such an environment. Just another way they protect us — and another reason why Darian is so painfully ungrateful.
I scurry toward my large, steel bedroom door and press my face against its cool surface a moment. Darian got what he deserved. He's not the Darian of my childhood — the one who played jacks with me on the sidewalk, despite being a year older. Nor is he the Darian who stood up for me when Asher bullied me and called me Carrot Top until I cried. I'd tried telling Asher my hair was auburn and not like a carrot at all, but that just made him laugh harder. Darian shoved him down, threw sand in his face, and told him to leave me alone. At the time, I thought it was heroic, but now I realize it was a sign of the violence brewing inside him.
With a sigh, I push the door open and head toward my bed. I pass my drawing easel with barely a glance. Not even the bluest shades of azure and cobalt mixed with swirls of ivory on my current seascape can pull me away tonight. Slipping out of my shoes, I plunk down on my mattress, too tired to bother changing. I lie on my back and slip under the crisp, cool white sheets.
Even if I did feel bad for Darian, I wouldn't admit it. Siding with anyone who violates The Protectorate would make me Noncompliant. That would make me almost as corrupt as him. To side with those who violate The Protectorate is strictly forbidden and punishable by a week in the Terrorscape. Like always, whenever someone is jailed, the first five minutes of their time in the Terrorscape is televised nightly for all to witness. The thought of it makes me shudder. And the shame it would bring on my family is the stuff I believe nightmares are truly made of.
No, I'm not Noncompliant.
My parents have nothing to worry about.
I take a deep breath as I stretch both my arms behind my head and reach for the Dreamscape, eager for sleep. Its accordion-style Syncro-Drifter hums as I pull it out from the headboard of my bed until the spherical surface attachment stops and hovers inches above my face.
With a yawn, I hold the inside of my right wrist against the red, blinking scanner on the side of the Syncro-Drifter's metal surface. It emits a tinkling sound, then flashes green as it syncs with the sensor beneath my skin.
"Relax, Desiree Six Haven," the Dreamscape's lilting voice says to me, chiming out its usual welcome. "The Dreamscape will begin its dream sequence in two minutes."
Already I feel its soothing rhythm pulsing through me.
Still, a slight ripple of anxiety twists my insides as the Dreamscape starts pulling me under. Tonight I'll dream the same thing I've dreamed about since I turned sixteen nine months ago.
The face of my future mate.
Guilt rips through me for letting myself be nervous. With all The Protectorate does for us I shouldn't be anxious. They've done everything in their power to relieve the population of painful emotions. If anything, I should feel more grateful.
Images twirl behind my closed lids. It's the beginning of every Dreamscape sequence. A set of hands, palms facing up, appears before me with the words "The Protectorate" floating above them.
"The Protectorate," a woman's voice whispers, misty and soothing, as if reading the words. "Here to keep you safe and guide you through life without worry. We are the helping hands of society. Come — rest your mind with us." The hands spread out, rise up slightly, then disappear.
In their place an image of a snowy owl — the logo of The Protectorate — appears, fluffs its white downy feathers, and releases a low hoot. All my life I've grown to expect the image of the beautiful creature and the lulling sound it makes before the dream sequence begins. It's always soothed me.
But tonight as I drift off to sleep, I remember that soon I'll see Asher, my childhood bully's face, in my dreams. Since he is my life-mate, we'll be bound together at the age of eighteen. Every night, at the end of every dream, he holds out our binding necklace to me, wearing the same familiar smirk I've grown to resent.
In some ways, I wish we'd known who our binding mate was going to be from birth. Maybe then Asher wouldn't have been so mean to me. But at least now I have just over one year to get used to the idea. I know this year of dreaming of my mate is The Protectorate's way to better prepare me for our binding. I also know this should be enough and that it should make me happy.
It doesn't.CHAPTER 2
"Good morning, Desiree Six Haven."
The Dreamscape shuts down, and I blink my eyes open. Every day since I turned fifteen, it wakes me at seven a.m. so I can be ready for nursing school at nine. Apparently, I was born a nurturer. On my fifth birthday, I received a cake, a card, and a pronouncement of my future vocation.
And unlike in the Manic Age when people wasted an extra three years in school, we get to skip ahead to prepare us for an early start as a contributing member of society.
But today there'll be no nursing school. Instead, I'll be attending the pre-binding formal for all the sixes born in my year of birth.
The white blinds stir, lifting automatically to reveal a gray sky. Sunlight tries to peek through the scuttling sea of thick clouds.
Mom rushes into the room, tea in one hand, my new dress slung over the other. A part of me wishes she would slosh the tea all over it. Maybe then I could avoid going altogether. The moment I think it, my stomach twists with guilt again — a familiar feeling since Asher started coming to me in my dreams. I don't like this new me so much — the me who's unsure and worried.
Mom places the mug on my nightstand. I sigh and slide out from beneath the sheets, resigning myself to her doting.
"Good morning, Desiree," Mom squeals, looking like her face is about to break from smiling so big. "Today is such a special day!" She spins in a slow circle holding the ivory satin dress close to her body. Her light brown hair sways against her shoulders. "I remember the day I went before The Protectorate with your dad for our pre-binding formal." I hear the smile in her voice as she hangs my dress on a wardrobe hook on the wall. With a sweeping hand motion, she ushers me to the shower.
Mom turns her back and I quickly undress and hop in. She continues telling me about her formal as the shower sequence begins and I tilt my head back to let the warm water run over my face. The red digital numbers displayed on the shower door say I have exactly five minutes before it shuts off. Mom's words soothe my tense muscles. I love hearing the stories of how she met my dad. How love can truly be.
"Your dad was so nervous he dropped my binding necklace right before the official." She laughs as she slides the dangling emblem back and forth on its chain. On it is the letter G for Griffin, my dad's name. He, of course, wears hers, the letter V for Verity. It's a sign of eternal love, as they were both born on the same day.
And destined to die on the same day.
I can't help but think about that as I step out of the shower and raise my arms high into the air for the drying sequence. As part of The Protectorate's restructuring solution for the overpopulation in the Manic Age, they implemented the numbered law. Although I know the law and understand how they created it, it isn't something I usually like to dwell on.
Mom steps just outside the bathroom door as the stainless steel cylindrical rod ejects from the ceiling with a whirr. It glides inches in front of me, up and down my body. Its warm air blows against me, drying me in seconds.
I snatch a towel from the rack and quickly wrap it around me, then eye my reflection in the mirror. I wonder how I'll look at the formal. My parents saved money all of my life for the pre-binding and binding formals. They wanted to make sure we could go to the ceremonies dressed in the nicest clothes. Because they're both laborers and work at a factory, it wasn't so easy.
Mom scurries back in, and I admire the lavender silk dress draped over her slim frame. "You look beautiful, Mom."
"You know I'll look younger than your father today, right?" She smirks. It's a running joke in our family about who looks younger.
"Of course," I answer, laughing.
She and Dad, like all citizens of Tower, have been bound together with another born on the same day, same year. And the number representing the day of the week you're born on becomes your middle name. My mind immediately drifts to Darian One Sterling. He was born on Sunday, the first day of the week.
Nobody wants to be born a One. One's have the shortest lifespan. They must turn themselves in to The Protectorate for termination at age twenty-five. If I were ever going to feel sympathy for Darian, it would be because of that. Knowing he'd die the youngest of all the citizens is probably what made Darian go mad.
I run my fingers over the inside of my right wrist, tracing the tattooed black swirl of the number six that sits above my sensor. Each consecutive day of the week a child is born, they are permitted to live an extra five years. Because I'm a Six I'll live to be fifty — if no tragedy hits me before that, of course. The luckiest child is born on a Saturday. Seven's live until the ripe old age of fifty-five.
An old saying from the past still rings true in our time.
Lucky number seven.
I plop down on the chair facing the vanity. "Lights," I command. Instantly, the bulbs that surround the mirror cast a glow around my face. Mom slips up behind me and brushes my hair. After she blows it dry, she curls it in loose waves so that it looks like a cascading river of autumn leaves.
I shift uncomfortably in my seat and try to find the courage to ask the question burning a hole in my brain.
"Asher is the correct choice, right, Mom? I mean, they don't make mistakes, do they?" I bite my lip and wait for her answer. I know The Protectorate is incapable of a mistake, but I just have to say the words.
A look of horror crosses Mom's face, and I know in an instant it was a mistake to ask. Even though the mirror, which doubles as a port screen, is turned off, The Protectorate could technically listen in through the device. But, there'd only be cause for that if they suspected us of Noncompliance. Still, just knowing that they could be listening is cause enough for Mom's concern. The other is that my question suggests The Protectorate is fallible. I know they aren't and I realize my question only comes from shaky nerves on such an important day, but Mom won't accept anything less than complete solidarity.
She spins me around in my chair in one sharp movement. "Don't you ever say that again, Desiree!" She cups my shoulders, squeezes and shakes them. She leans down, her face an inch in front of mine, and whispers, "Do you hear me?"
I nod, wide-eyed. I know better.
"The Protectorate chooses for us so that we don't have to worry about making mistakes." Mom releases my shoulders and spins me back around. She begins idly playing with my hair, tousling the curls in the back.
"I shouldn't have to remind you that when your grandparents and great-grandparents were growing up during the Manic Age, countless people not only made poor mate choices, but many also were miserable with their career choices. Some were too confused to even choose one at all." Mom frowns and shakes her head. "Instead, many lined the streets begging for money or food." She places a hand on my shoulder. "But not anymore."
I nod, wishing I could take back my question — and my insecurities. I know that when my parents were almost two years old, The Protectorate inserted the sensors beneath every citizen's wrist, implemented new laws and guidelines, then slowly restored order in Tower.
Mom's voice grows tight. "I think we should play your official pre-binding welcome from The Protectorate. I was going to wait until you were all ready to go out the door, but you're just about done now anyway." She clears her throat. "Screen please," she says, loudly. "Play the pre-binding welcome file." Instantly, the mirror blurs to black and our image disappears. A woman sitting at a table appears in the mirror. Her dark hair is pulled back neatly in a bun. She smiles and pats the owl logo stitched above her heart on her gray turtleneck.
"Good day, Tower citizen, and congratulations on this, your pre-binding day," she says.
Mom squeezes my shoulders behind me and I can practically feel her smiling through the back of my head.
The woman continues. "In the Manic Age, citizens struggled as a result of choosing poorly-fitted mates. Three out of four people got divorced. But with the testing The Protectorate performs on newborns, they not only know what career each and every citizen is best suited for, but who your ideal binding mate is." She smiles and clasps her hands together. "As such, you no longer need to worry about making wrong choices."
Excerpted from Awakening by Shannon Duffy, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2015 Shannon Duffy. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Desiree lives in a society of structure and order. No longer do nightmares or crime of any kind plague their world. Once they reach a certain age they are introduced to who their bound partner will be through the dreamscape every night for a year. She has been dreaming of this day until she realizes the boy she has been bound to is the boy who bullied her growing up. Darian is one of the few non-compliants sent to the terrorscape for punishment of his crimes. His crimes were so severe he is to live out his life their. Or were they even his crimes? Darian escapes and is determined to shine light on what is really going on with the terrorscape and dreamscape. He wants justice. Desiree and Darian once former friends lives soon become intertwined in this fast paced non-stop action dystopian. If you love Matched and Delirium then you will devour Awakening. Just when you think you have it all figured out you will be on you toes having to finish or you might find yourself in your own nightmares. I am giving Awakening 4 out of 5 stars and I can not wait to read Shannon Duffy's next book.
There is much that I like about this novel but also a few things I didn't. Let's get the negative stuff out of the way, shall we? The one thing above all others that lifts a dystopian above the rest of the pack is worldbuilding and it's here that I felt a disconnect. I wish the author had been a bit clearer about when exactly this takes place. Supposedly it's 38 years in the future but from what starting point? At first, I really thought it was around 2053 but it's just not credible to me that the Protectorate could have gained such complete control and developed technologies like the Terrorscape and the like just 38 years from now. I don't buy that all of society would have become so submissive so quickly either. Later, I began to realize that the overpopulation, pollution, disease, etc., had taken place far later than our own time so this had to be much farther in the future. The credibility was restored but then I was distracted for a long time by trying to figure out when this is all happening. All of that could have been avoided simply by giving a year. There are occasional oddities scattered throughout the story---the Protectorate goes to inordinate lengths to keep the citizens healthy but there's a restaurant that serves burgers, fries and Cherry Coke; Cherry Coke and Sprite still exist even though this is presumably a fairly distant future; pollution is a hotbutton but people are still driving cars---and, while such things didn't do any harm, they did make me stop and take a second look, pulling me out of the story. The romance seemed a little bit rushed. I hate clowns. All that said, this was a most enjoyable read and I was able to connect with the more important characters. Rae herself is somewhat appealing in her innocence but even more so when she begins to wake up, so to speak. Her growing awareness is believable and that's important; the tale would not work otherwise. Some of Rae's actions are reckless but the girl is 16 and has been sheltered her entire life so I didn't expect her to always be coolheaded. I'd like to know much more about Asher and then there's Darian, hottie of the day. As much as I like Darian, he does show some qualities that raised my hackles, particularly his need to always be protective of Rae and in control. He's the kind of guy who could turn into an abuser if somebody doesn't show him the error of his ways. Still, Rae caught my attention the most of the primary players. There are secondary characters that landed in either the plus or the minus column and they aren't as well developed but the only one who actually annoyed me was Rae's mother, just because she's so damn perky ;-) The plot works on the whole and Rae's growing comprehension of what the Protectorate is really all about is compelling. The pace also is strong and, in fact, I was caught up in the story very quickly. I also appreciated Ms. Duffy's occasional insertion of a new element, something else to make the story even more energized. So, when all is said and done, yes, there are a few things that are not quite right but I do recommend Awakening and I'm really hoping there will be a sequel.
***An ARC of this book was provided from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.*** Awakening was a pretty interesting book with a very unique and creative plot. It hooked me in from the moment I started reading. The nice blend of mystery, thriller, and romance, really made this book very enjoyable. Plus the main plot which revolved around dreams and the government controlling them as well as your sleep was very creative and unique. I loved the overall storyline, pacing, and the writing. Aside from the entire story, it was fun reading about Desiree, and watching her grow. I loved seeing how she went from the girl that believed in the Protectorate, to the one who actually questioned things about them and if what they were doing were actually right or not. Of course, a main reason for that is Darian. He was the sweet, caring, humorous, and strong rebel. Despite going through terrifying ordeals, he was very strong and never gave up. I enjoyed reading about his and Desiree's relationship. It was nicely developed from them being friends to eventually becoming a couple. The romance aspect of this story was light, but at the same time it was also very sweet and heartwarming. My favorite part about this book though, is probably the whole conflict surrounding the government and how it not only controls everyone's lives, but also their dreams, and sleep. Overall, this was a great story. It had the perfect balance of mystery, thriller, action, and romance to keep me hooked until the end. Plus, it's not like any other science fiction novels I have read. This is definitely one unique book, and if you are into science fiction and dystopian reads, I recommend checking this book out!
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? 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.
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.
There are a few signs that tell me as a reader if a book is good. There is no need for all signs to come together in one book, but at least one of the signs should be there. -The happy feeling that you will remember that book for a long time- -The ugly crying that tells you something touched your core- -The “yeah-fist-bump” feeling that shows you were really into the story- When reading the book I felt I liked it – but I was surprised, because I could not decide WHY? Because I could not place it into one of the above categories … Then I noticed something! I totally forgot about the fourth sign. It is one that I so rarely find in a book that I overlooked it. This is the sign I usually get in a good movie when the story is so clear in front of your eyes that you have no other choice than to feel like your right in the middle of it …. -The erratic heartbeat- At certain points of the book, my heart was beating so fast that it was nearly painful. I cannot even explain why. It was the complete picture the author drew, she painted a believable world. It was far enough from reality to be “dystopian” but near enough to be scary real in some points. The Blurb of a Book is besides the cover and the content the most important item and often underestimated if feel. However, there was something in the Blurb that was compelling even me to read it. I am no fan of dystopian series - Yes, you read correctly - I did NOT read Hunger Games so far (but I admit to being tempted to read Divergent after seeing the first movie short time ago). I knew when I choose this ARC what I would be getting and I wanted to read it EVEN if it was not dealing with my most favorite reading subjects. I can only recommend this book to everybody who is even remotely interested in Books like “Divergent” (sorry for the inevitable comparison) The characters are well developed. The Plot is perfectly constructed The writing of the story is fluent and flawless. > > > I have received this Book as an ARC from the Publisher < < < > > > In Exchange I promised an honest Review < < <
This is my first read by author Shannon Duffy, and I have to say - I am impressed. I absolutely love unique reads like this. If you into post apocalyptic and tech, then I think you will love this. Now this book is more on the YA side, but a mature YA. Picture a world where everything has been "destroyed". That's what the government wants you to believe. Is it true, or is it not? No one knows. But now you live in communities where EVERYTHING is governed by the government - right down to your job, your future spouse - and get this, even your dreams when you sleep. There were so many interesting and unique aspects to this book. I really have to give the author credit, because she made everything seem entirely plausible and real. This story is mostly about Desiree. She's on the cusp of turning from a teen to what this new world considers an adult. Her future is mapped out, she doesn't want for much. So she should be happy, right? Her friends and family are happy... aren't they? I really liked Desiree because she had an inquistive mind. She begins this story as one of the many sheep in the story, too much kool-aid for her. But by the end she has evolved into something else entirely. She grew in so many ways, I couldn't help but love her. The catalyst to that change is a friend named Darian. Well, he was a childhood friend but he's been in prison. The news is saying he's escaped, and he has come to look up Desiree. He makes her heart beat wildly and makes her question everything. I loved so much about Darian. He was smart and intuitive, generous and even has the makings of an Alpha man in him. A lot happens in this book. It was really very exciting the entire way through. Shannon Duffy created a new world that is so unlike anything I've ever read, I really couldn't get enough. While I don't normally read YA, and I am seriously hoping this book is turned into a series. I absolutely need to know what happens after this story ends. The technology, the betrayals, the uprising of a few individuals... this is one of those books that could be made into a movie and be a hit. Can't say it enough - I loved it!
The world in Awakening is not unlike many dystopian societies. People are struggling to find a way out of the “Manic Age” and the Protectorate offers them a peaceful alternative. The catch is that their lives are controlled down to how many kids they can have and who they marry. What I thought was different is the way they control them. They control their dreams, each person implanted with a chip at birth that syncs up their nervous system. We are introduced to Desiree who is getting ready for her pre-binding ceremony with her Protectorate chosen mate, Asher. She is a rule follower it seems but you can tell she has doubts in the back of her mind. The person chosen for her, the job chosen for her don’t really seem to make sense but she reminds herself that the government knows best. As things come to light we really see her change but really I think she starts to act more like her true self. I have to say, Darian is definitely a swoony book boyfriend for me. Maybe it’s his blue baseball cap (love guys in baseball caps) or his knowing smirk but I was totally smitten. It’s cute how he exudes confidence and brings out a different side Desiree. It’s like she can’t help rising to his challenges. I also like how he tries to tell Desiree what to do in order to protect her but doesn’t fight her on it if she is determined. It always seems like more of a partnership between them. Asher really surprised me. I was expecting him to be the way that Desiree described as kids but then we she goes on her date with him, he seem sweet. I really liked that because honestly that happens. The bullies grow up and figure out that they weren’t so great. The book also has strong side characters. Asher, Coral, Owen, Shia, Desiree’s parents, Larkin and so forth. Make the world have more depth because each has their own opinions.Each have their level satisfaction with the government. At first I was wondering why they don’t put trackers in the implant for the Dreamscape but then I realized how long can you live with no sleep at all. So I’m guessing they are figuring you are not going to get far if you “escape”.The Terrorscope terrifies me. I obviously have some of the same fears because just reading about it. I was getting chills. I thought although it’s hard to for a dystopia to find that way to be unique. I really liked the way Awakening used Dreams to control people. Plus I loved Desiree and Darian. When you have a book with characters you want to root for it makes it something you enjoy reading. So yes pick it up check it out and fall in love with Darian...I mean the book.
***I received a free e-copy of this book from the publishers of Entangled Teen in exchange for my honest review*** So you have the hot bad boy and the goody good girl but the girl is matched with another guy and then there's a corrupted government. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so too. I must admit that I worried when I read the synopsis because the premise reminded me of another story but I decided to give it a try anyway (what's that saying: "Ain't nothing new under the sun."). Well anyway, I'm glad I tried it because I loved it. Desiree Six Haven is one of those law-abiding, never breaks the rules because is afraid of punishment kind of girl. A "sheep", as Darian called her. She believes that the government has all the citizens best interest at heart. That the rules are present to "Keep You Safe" (yeah, even I'm beginning to hate those words after finishing this book). So she follows the rules to a T...until she reunites with Darian One Sterling. Then everything she thought she knew gets blown to bits and her life gets thrown to hell and back. But despite all the gloom and doom that fell on Desiree, she didn't let it keep her down. I really liked the character development Duffy did for her. It's like seeing a catepillar become a butterfly...a car-jacking, taser-zapping butterfly. Over the course of the book, you can see her really coming into herself and having a mind of her own instead of following what everyone else expects. Then you have Darian. He's ...wait a minute...*sighs Darian*...okay, I'm back. Darian is this hot, law-breaking Noncompliant criminal who just screams bad boy material. And yet he really isn't. Sure he's considered a murderer and sure he kicked his fair share of butts and sure he's a escapee on the run but if you look past all that -like Desiree had to -you find that he's this sweet, caring guy who's always putting Desiree before himself. I love the chemistry between the two. It practically leaps off the pages and I found myself awwing at all their little cutesy moments. There were some characters in the book I initially disliked *cough Asher and Mallory* but they eventually come around as okay peeps (shocking, I know!!) And then there were a few characters that I liked in the beginning but hated at the end. It has nothing to do with Duffy's writing or anything but the fact that the character itself (their actions and words and personalities). Then there were many moments where I cried from the emotions presented. It felt so real and I found myself rooting for Darian and Desiree and booing the Protectorate as I gave them and those characters I grew to dislike the stink eye. The fact that Duffy could elicit such responses from me shows how well written the book was (I rarely give the stink eye to anyone...seriously! I'm a pacifist *meow*). With a mixture of romance and some action, this was one of those books that I couldn't put down until I realized I was pouting at the end from the lack of more pages. I give this book five stars, encourage people to read it and commend Shannon Duffy on a job well done and can't wait for the sequel. Like seriously can't wait. Need now, please!
Desiree is a fantastic character. She originally just accepts life as she was raised. Desiree doesn't break the rules. Desiree has a good heart and she believes that the government is really there that to keep the citizens best interest at heart. When Desiree reunites with her childhood friend Darian Sterling everything changes. Darian is a law breaking bad boy. He is considered to be a murdered in their little town. Charged with the murder of his own parents. Now Darian is on the run and Desiree wants to help him because she knows that people have it wrong about him. The day you were born is what will determine everything about your life. The way that life works is if you are a one then you are given 25 years to live. If you are a six you get 50 years to live. Desiree's parents were both fours so they were given forty years to live. People who get married are paired with people that will live the same length as them. I think this book is a great dystopian novel and I loved Duffy's plot and characters. I think Duffy did a great job writing this novel and I really enjoyed. I think the plot was really well done. The characters were fa
There are several words that I could use to describe Awakening; fun, adventurous, terrifying. emotional. All of these are great descriptors, but they really don't do this awesome story the justice it deserves. As always, I am hesitant when I start a book by a new-to-me author, especially dystopians. Books like this one make me happy that I am still willing to give them a shot, despite of that hesitancy. I had a BLAST reading Awakening, and I can't wait for the next book in this awesome series! Desiree Six Haven is a Sheep. She believes everything she has ever been told about the world that she lives in. She believes that the Protectorate is there to make every life a happy life, to take away the pain and suffering that happened in the Manic Age. The Protectorate chooses your life mate, they choose your date of death, your career. All you have to do is comply. It never crossed Desiree's mind to do otherwise, until a series of events happened that made her start to question everything. And those questions will change the course of her life, in drastic ways. She loses her innocence, and so much more. But will she gain Freedom? Desiree was a fantastic character. She was human, she was a teenager, and she acted like one. She was also strong. She has a lot dumped on her, and the realization that her so much of her world was lie, was a huge blow. But she weathered the storm, and became a great heroine. I think we will see more of that in the next installment. When Darian shows up, she doesn't automatically believe what he has to say. But there have been questions in her head, and she didn't just blow him off. She searched for the truth, and she found it. She is a brave MC, and the type I would love to see more of in YA. Darian was also a great character. I loved him! He has been through unimaginable things, and yet he still has the ability to smile, and survive. He loves "Rae", and he is protective of her, but he also knows that she is capable. I loved the flashbacks to their childhood friendship, and I loved the development of their romance. And it is a sweet romance, forged in steel. Awakening truly is a great book. I enjoyed every single minute that I was immersed in this world. Shannon Duffy has the great ability to bring characters, and stories to life. She wrote a story that jumps right off the pages. The world-building was excellent, characterization was excellent. Man, I just have a serious love of this book. I wish that the sequel was in my hands, because I would be devouring it, asap. Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours, and the awesome author, for allowing me to be a part of this tour. Shannon Duffy is one of the few authors that is on my auto-buy! I have been waiting for a dystopian to get me out of my dysto-funk, and this one just did it! I would recommend Awakening to you if you are an adventure lover, a romance lover, a dystopian lover. If you love great characters, and world-building, with great pacing, and edge of your seat moments, I think you would love this book. There is some mild language, in a few instances, but other than that it is a clean story, great for teens. And adults, like me, too!
It's been awhile since I've read and enjoyed a YA dytopica as much as I did this one. Contemporary has taken over my TBR list lately and I've been craving something different. This landed in my inbox from Entangled Teen and I thought, why not. So glad I decided to read it. This world that Desiree (Rae) lives in is our world. It's been manipulated by people who claim to want to keep us safe. They are protecting us from our nightmares. With the invention of the dreamscape, people are regularly brainwashed to believe what the beloved Protectorate determine is best for the people. The day of the week determines the day you will die. Your job is decided for you. You mate is decided for you. Only one child is allowed. And the sheep are grateful and happy for it. It's a sad commentary on what results from lack of choice. Rae is a brilliant artist but was told she is a nurse. She's fed dreams of her soon to be mate, but is unhappy to find it's the boy who tormented her as a child. And her childhood friend, the one who protected her from everything, he's accused of killing his parents and has escaped from the Terrorscape. Things just are adding up to Rae. But it can't be the Protectorate, right? I loved these characters. Rae is strong and daring despite her very planned world. She questions and she has a mouth on her. I was cheering for her. And Darian? Love him. That boy loves to protect Rae, his sunshine. And he wants to fight because he's not like everyone else. And the fact that he's escaped from the Terrorscape and lived to tell the tail is not the only reason. Mostly, I loved these two together. Darian loves Rae. It's pretty clear. And there are kisses. I so love kisses. And he's kinda of territorial about Rae even if she has a different bondmate. She's his. That much is clear. Filled with some interesting twists and turns, this story took a direction I wasn't expecting. It feels like the beginning of a great series. I hope there will be more. The ending is perfect. Yeah, it ends with an ending but it has this little surprise that makes you hope for more from this world. I guess it's a cliff hanger but it's not one that you throw the book over. This is the perfect read if you're looking for something different, something more. Something that involves kisses and a world that could happen. Something you just look forward to reading. Something that intrigues you and surprises you. Something that has some demons lurking but also has a guy that's willing to fight them. That kind of book. A great read.
4.5 - "Destiny waits." Stars! It is inevitable, that there will be comparisons between Awakening and other popular dystopian series such as the Divergent and Hunger Games books. I would be lying if I didn’t say there are massive similarities between this book and those series. But, and it is a big but, as let’s face it who wants to read a rewrite of books they have already read before, for all the similarities, the author has managed to inject enough originality to the rest of the book as well as write something that is so mentally engaging that you actually forget to keep comparing. Desiree and Darian have been best friends since they were young children, that is until he is arrested and imprisoned for killing his parents in cold blood, for no apparent reason. The Protectorate, lead by Prime Minister Vega immediately sentences him to life imprisonment in The Terrorscape as punishment for his crime. Essentially, meaning he will spend the rest of his life living his worst nightmares. The Protectorate pretty much controls everything that happens to the Citizens of the Tower, where you live, when you die, who you marry, where you work, what you dream. If you disagree, disobey or do not follow the rules as set out, you are considered ’Noncompliant’ and that’s when things start to go downhill rapidly. Desiree accepts that this is her life without much thought, The Protectorates warnings of how bad things were back in the Manic Age where people had the ability to think, feel and act freely are frequently played into the citizens homes and highlight just how bad things were before order was restored. That is until the powers that be, give her a life match with Asher Knight, her childhood nemesis and the boy who bullied her relentlessly, marrying the man who made her feel that way starts a chain reaction of questions, all of which offer potential answers that could rock the whole foundation of the world she believes she is living in. And then Darian escapes, and offers her answers to some of those questions she doesn’t really want the answers too, and the adventure is on. This is a YA novel, the romance is sweet and is what I want to read of teenagers getting up to, it’s innocent and offers all the nervousness and tingles that first love is wont to do. I got lost in my absolute enjoyment of this book, I didn’t get confused, and although a lot goes on, a lot is described and there are quite a few character introductions as the story progresses, everything is clear, well described and flows beautifully together. This is my first book by Shannon Duffy; it definitely won’t be my last. I just hope that as a reader I don’t have to wait an absolute age for the next book in the series to be released, this is a story that will not read well with massive gaps between each books release, Awakening doesn’t end on a massive cliffhanger, in my opinion, more of a ‘happy for now’, but you just know there is an awful lot more to come. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.
Review I finished this book within 24 hours. I didn't want to put it down. Duffy drew me into this world from page 1. Desiree is a great character. She may seem complacent, but she begins questioning everything. She doesn't know what to believe, and whom she should trust. Darian is totally swoonworthy, but also a strong character. He does everything in his power to tell Desiree the truth but also keep her safe. This is definitely a hard task at times. This world is one I wouldn't want to live in. So much control, betrayal, and blind following. I don't even know how I would cope in this world. The things these people do are insane. The description of the Empire made me feel like I was there with Desiree and Darian. I do know that the Terrorscape is just that. It's horrifying. There is a lot of action, floundering about with finding out what's going on, love, and finding out who's trustworthy. It's definitely a ride you don't want to miss.
Superb start to new series! This is supposedly aimed at teens but, although I left my teens more years ago than I care to remember, I was totally enthralled by this novel - and the ending has me hoping to read the sequel asap! In this dystopian world everyone has an implant which helps ensure they all have a lovely night’s sleep courtesy of the Protectorate and their dreamscape . . . . but is that all it is for? The Protectorate even choose everyone’s life partner, their jobs and control all aspect of people’s lives to fulfil their motto “Here to take care of you” - or so they say! They even choose when you will die according to the day of the week on which you were born! Desiree starts to question their lives but knows that to do so openly will result in punishment and humiliation. Her childhood protector and friend, Darian has already been imprisoned in Olympus Jail because he killed both his parents. When he escapes and comes to visit Desiree she initially is wary of him but, as she learns more, she puts herself and her family into imminent danger. With great characters and an enthralling, fast paced story, this is a real page turner, one that I didn’t want to put down until I’d finished it. Whilst it is ended appropriately, It finishes with more revelations about the Protectorate, raising questions about what will happen next - a brilliant incentive to get the next book in the series as soon as it is available! No hesitation in highly recommending this to teens and adults - a superb start to a fantastic new series. Thanks to the author and publishers, too for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
INITIAL THOUGHTS 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. MY REVIEW 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. FINAL THOUGHTS 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?
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. FAVORITE QUOTE: "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.