February 21, 2012
Cerulean Dreams by Dan O'Brien
O'Brien has a very distinctive writing style. I hesitate to call it masculine, but I do feel that it may attract more of a masculine crowd. I'm not saying those who like a feminine tone won't like this book, just merely stating the ideas that flitted through my head as I read it. I thought the premise was interesting myself, but I just couldn't connect to the characters.
In a place called Orion, human beings are connected directly into the system. A company called Cerulean Dreams has everybody on the grid, and they are seemingly content that way. And everybody stays in Orion because the desert outside wouldn't allow anyone to live, or so they've been told. So when Alexander, in his pursuit of finding a murderer who's been preying on young girls, comes across one of these girls and they have to flee the city for reasons that are somewhat unknown to them, he learns just how hard Cerulean Dreams wants to keep everybody in the dark. And if they make it out of the city, they have no idea what may lie in store for them.
Alexander was interesting to say the least. He was a strong character, and very convinced of his convictions. He was actually admirable in that way. But he has some strange tendencies too, which are in part brought on by his world and the events that happen to him. Dana, the girl, is kind of a strange character too. She starts off all knowing and quickly falls to the role of a damsel in distress. I think I would have preferred her to be one or the other consistently through the book. And the main bad guy was somewhat odd in his motivations too, although he made a very compelling threat.
The plot started out as sci-fi, drifted into philosophical and then returned to sci-fi. The problem was the ideas didn't mesh in a way that was cohesive and supportive of each other. I think that maybe letting it all be sci-fi and removing such elements as the creature "the Mimic" and other philosophical things would have made a smoother read. They were actually all really good ideas, but perhaps better suited to two different books. And the ending was a bit rushed and kind of threw a curve ball in with no real answers. I would have liked to have seen several different plot elements elaborated on more to support the ending. But I did like the writing, the dialogue was nicely done and the descriptions were crisp in tone.
Not a bad book. I think there are ideas that could be expanded on but any sci-fi person will probably like it.