Title: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: Jan 15, 2019
In a nutshell (Publisher):
One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.
Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?
In a college town in California, a student goes to sleep one night and doesn’t wake up. But she isn’t dead. Then, like domino effect, another student followed suit, then another. And the numbers affected rises quickly. To handle the situation, medical specialists are called to the scene and a quarantine is set up, fearing that this might be an infectious disease. No matter how much they tried, nobody could figure out what’s causing this ‘illness’. The story is told through the eyes of those affected directly and indirectly.
My favorite parts were the beginning and the ending – The beginning was narrated very vividly when the ‘sleeping sickness’ descended upon the town, and the ending was wrapped up with some mystery to it.
There wasn’t really any plot, and was largely based on how the sleeping disease affected the town and its people.
The novel put me in a dream-like state, floating around Santa Lora, observing the quiet yet disturbing chaos. As much as I enjoyed the setting, I felt the characters were hard to follow. There were so many of them and none were interesting enough for me to remember. But reading on my kindle helped me do a quick ‘search’ to help me recall their backstory.
I’d love it if the science part were explored a little deeper – why were the dreamers chosen, why and how it happened to them, and not leaving it as a total mystery.
A notable novel throughout.
Thank you Random House and Netgalley for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.
*Quotes included here are from an advanced readers copy and are subject to change upon final publication.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? If not, do you plan to read it? Or have you read something like it? I read Station Eleven and loved it.
Till then, happy reading!