Book Review: The Dream Protocol by Adara Flynn Quick

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Title: Descent
Series: The Dream Protocol Book 1

Author: Adara Flynn Quick
Publication Date: May 18, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult

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Descent The Dream ProtocolDescent
The Dream Protocol Book 1
Adara Flynn Quick
Adara Quick, May 2016
ISBN 978-0-9912150-4-1
Trade Paperback

From the author—

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 confess to being sort of betwixt and between when it comes to what I think of The Dream Protocol: Descent and most of my ambivalence arises out of gaps in worldbuilding, a couple in particular. First, was I correct in thinking early on that this takes place in Ireland, given the profusion of Irish names and idioms, not to mention an Otherworld of the gods? Also, since the surface is obviously safe, why are the great majority of people forced to live underground?

That second item does explain why Deidre questions so much about her life and it gives credibility to her resistance to the current state of affairs. Imagine an existence driven solely by dreams of all the wonderful things life could offer if only that life were in the open and free from all the restrictions imposed by a tyrannical government. Wouldn’t you at some point want to experience these things for real?

There have been books and movies—Logan’s Run comes to mind—before that focus on age as a reason to be executed and they almost always have a euphemistic term for it. In this case, it’s called the Ritual of Descent because the person whose time has come is forced to “descend” into the deepest part of the underground city, never to be seen again. The reason for this is simple: those past their 35th birthday must not be allowed to darken the existence of the young. I like what Ms. Quick has done with this concept and how she lets Deirdre’s discontent grow into something much more powerful. Add to that the simply wonderful Flynn who has deadly problems of his own and we have the beginnings of a terrific story which will be continued in the next volume, Selection.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2016.

About the Author

Adara Flynn QuickIrish-American author, Adara Flynn Quick, is the writer of The Dream Protocol series.  Early in her career, Adara was fascinated by dreams, the unconscious, and the healing stories of many cultures.  As a contemporary author, she writes young adult literature that brings ancient myths and legends into futuristic worlds.  She is an accomplished visual artist and uses her background as a psychotherapist to inspire the finest and darkest moments of her characters.

Driven to distraction by her computer, Adara writes all of her stories longhand.  Pen and paper are two of her favorite things.  The author tortures her husband with a passion for downtempo electronica and too many pillows.  She is a firm believer that there are never enough pillows.

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