Dare to Dream by Carys Jones

Published: 14th February 2015Goodreads badge
Publisher:
REUTS Publications
Pages: 260
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopia
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

“The world was going to end. Of that, Maggie Trafford was certain.”

Fourteen-year-old Maggie Trafford leads a normal life. Well, as normal as being crammed in a three-bedroom house with four siblings and a single parent can be, anyway. But despite being somewhat ignored at home, Maggie excels, earning top grades, a best friend who would do anything for her, and stolen looks from a boy in Maths. 

It’s not until the dreams start that Maggie realises “normal” is the least of her problems. Every night, she lives the same nightmare—red lightning, shattered glass, destruction. But nightmares are just that, right? No one believes her when she says it’s an omen. At least, not until the already mysterious pillars of Stonehenge start falling. 

No longer alone in her fear, Maggie and the world watch with bated breath as one after another, the historic stones tumble, like a clock counting down. But only Maggie knows what it means: when the last stone falls, destruction will reign. And when the world ends, there’s only one option left—survive.

Horrifying and raw, Dare to Dream is equal parts tragedy and hope, detailing the aftermath of apocalyptic catastrophe, the quest for survival, and the importance of belief. 

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

This is a fantastic story. Jones has created a gripping story about the fall of humanity but has done so with style, anticipation, and mystery. There are not certainties about anything and despite best efforts

Maggie is a great character. She is not portrayed as being anyone particularly special, she has a hard home life, her family get on her nerves sometimes, and she is often ignored and cast aside. But despite this, she is still a sweet person, and she tries to understand everything and everyone as best she can. When strange things start to happen and she has strange dreams, there is no indication that Maggie is the sole person to save everyone, but she tries anyway because that’s who she is.

The build up and the waiting make the story strong; the anticipation, the uncertainty, even Maggie’s fruitless attempts at trying to alert her family and authority figures all add to the suspense. Both reader and Maggie are not sure what is going to happen and when the countdown starts there is no telling what will happen at the end other than what Maggie keeps seeing in her dreams.

Jones’ writing is gripping and real, and the sudden changes and the unexpectedness can be a shock but it can also create excellent tension and suspense. The writing captures the feeling and the despair of the apocalyptic environment superbly, and with detailed and vivid descriptions the eerie undertone and isolation is expressed beautifully.

Even before the event occurs Jones inserts you into the story, right from the beginning. Maggie’s frustrations and her anxiety, the intense friendships and the isolation all shine from the pages. Jones highlights the fear and the trauma after the fact as well, the frustration and the confusion, the shock and the determination are coupled with vivid descriptions and amazing detail that express everything Maggie and the others are experiencing.

One thing I loved about this was the conclusion. Jones brings it to a close perfectly where there are questions, just enough left unexplained to leave you wanting more but content with where it’s ended and enough of a resolution to offer hope and satisfaction.

There are certainly surprises, some more grim than others, and an unexpectedness that adds an extra spark to the story. As you read Jones tempts you by never really confirming things or reassuring you things will go the way they appear to be going which only adds to the anticipation. The unexpected nature of events adds urgency and a nice sense of reality among the science fiction aspect; nothing is mapped out, a rushed plan is formed, and human nature and instinct often override the best-laid plans. It is an incredibly well told and clever story you certainly won’t forget anytime soon.

You can purchase Dare to Dream via the following

Amazon

Amazon Aust

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