As instructed, Vanessa avoided the Fallen and their children on her way to and from work. They were the outcasts, the undesirables. By refusing to comply with the mandates, they had been relegated to the streets, fending for themselves without benefit of food, electricity, or other conveniences. The drivers, smug in their management positions, cautioned against them, warning of theft, disease, and other unsavory possibilities. Had they been warning against something else, something worse? Part of her suspected their horrors paled in comparison with her own.
Pipe Dreams is a little confusing to get through, but the story it tells is definitely an interesting one. It's a dystopian novel similar to Hunger Games, minus the fighting part, combined with science and untold threats always hanging over the characters' heads.
Beneath the park bench, a young girl cries for help, her voice a cold hand on Vanessa's throat. The naked girl is desperate, but compassion for the Fallen is never forgiven. In a moment of hesitation, Vanessa sets in motion a chain of events that will determine mankind's fate.
Unbeknownst to her, Lewis is still haunted by her thick, auburn hair, serious eyes, and mocking laughter. She is the symbol of all he hates and her interaction with the girl is what he needs to gain control of the virus. As his plan unfolds, Vanessa is forced to flee. Escaping through the sewer, she finds love, heartbreak, and the red beam of a gun sight dancing on the slick, black wall. In the deep dark of the foul pipe, she also discovers she has been betrayed. That's when she learns Texas is real.
Pipe Dreams is a dystopian novel set in the near future. If gene splicing could merge Margaret Atwood and Suzanne Collins, the resulting author might write this book.
The official synopsis is written in a "lyrical" way and kind of gives you a taste of this novel - at some points, it seemed more like poetry than a novel, although a story was definitely told. Vanessa wants to find a way to escape her sorry life; she's an Assistant in the NSO, a coveted position but which includes basically being a concubine to a man she hates. The citizens in this new society are kept in line by the ever-present fear of the Bird Flu, which supposedly wiped out most of the rest of the world a long time ago. What Vanessa and later her friends don't know as of yet is that the U.S.A. is still alive and well, and in fact is looking to infiltrate the NSO and its workers.
This novel is being touted as a merging of Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale) and Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games series) and I would agree with that, although I would say that I enjoyed those books a little better than Pipe Dreams. If you like dystopian literature, however, you will most likely enjoy Pipe Dreams (as I did, for the most part).
3.5 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I was given a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.
I have one copy of Pipe Dreams to give to a lucky reader. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. The contest will end next Monday, July 22nd, at 11:59pm EST, and the winner will be emailed on July 23rd and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen. U.S./Canada only, please.
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