Rummanah Aasi
Description: 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?

Review: I loved Walker's imaginative debut novel The Age of Miracles and was looking forward to reading more from her. Her latest, The Dreamers, has same atmospheric and philosophical musings like her debut novel. The Dreamers begins in a college dorm in an isolated town in the hills of Southern California, where a freshman thinks she is coming down with the flu. In fact, she has a mysterious disease that causes its victims to fall into a deep, dream-laden sleep from which they cannot be woken, and which sometimes leads to death. The disease spreads slowly at first, then more rapidly, and soon the whole town is under a quarantine.
  The story is told from multiple perspectives ranging from Mei, a lonely college freshman; 12-year-old Sara, who copes with an unhinged survivalist father; Sara's neighbors, a faculty couple with a newborn baby; and aging biology professor Nathaniel. Unfortunately we do not get a chance to spend time and learn more about these characters besides a touch and go as they deal with the disease. I would have much rather proffered if we had one character to explore, but the large number of characters does add to the sense of suspense and urgency to find a cure to this mysterious disease. Walker gives us a lot to think about when it comes to human nature, the state of dreaming and of consciousness, and the nature of epidemics. The text is sparse but beautifully written. It's not a book filled with action nor character-driven but I found it thoroughly fascinating.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: Sexual situations, child abandonment, and some minor language are in the book. Recommended for adults and older teens.

If you like this book try: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King
5 Responses
  1. Heidi Says:

    I am still trying to leave comments, and Google/ Blogger won’t let me :(

  2. Who is the target audience? Adults or teens? Sounds really compelling.

  3. What an interesting concept! When I read the first couple sentences I thought "I can't read this, I'll be afraid it will happen to my daughter" (she's a college freshman this year). But, then I kept reading and realized it isn't a real thing. Whew!

  4. I've always wanted to read Age of Miracles, but this one sounds interesting. I haven't seen this before, and I'll add it to my list.

  5. Kindlemom Says:

    I love how these are so different from one another (her debut and this one). Love when an author can do that and glad this was a good read for you, This is a new author for me so I will have to check it out and her other one as well.

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