In a world where hope kills and dreams are deadly, obedience is the only way to survive. But when one girl learns her society's absolute control and guarantee of safety are both illusions, she risks her hard-won status, her home and her life to rebel and expose its lies.
When haunted teen Cole discovers the state's guarantee of safety from the nightmarish Mara in exchange for obedience is a fraud, she realizes hers isn't the only life at stake. Cole needs allies to help her escape execution by nightmare and expose the lies. Now, with a ghost at her back, enforcers in pursuit, and a charismatic rebel leader gaslighting her, Cole must figure out who to trust to bring down the state and stop the dying before the nightmares eat her alive.
A YA dark fantasy about identity, trauma & taking back your choices. Ghosts and world-monsters in post-eco-disaster Vancouver.
Wiggins prose is stunning: simply phrased but evocative. The plot moves fast and successfully conveys world building and raises questions as Cole finds herself in one sticky situation after the next. Wiggins’ twists and turns, even early on, are unpredictable. The contrast between the grey world of Refuge and the punk rave decadence of Freedom is surreal. It felt a little like Cole escaped 1984 only to get stuck in A Brave New World.
I had trouble finding a reason to care about Cole. She’s a fascinating character with intriguing psychological quirks but I just didn’t like her. Cadence adds an interesting twist and part of me still wants to know what’s really going on with her and why Cole hears her.
Ravel is a disturbing Creeper on a pedestal of lies. Wiggins incorporates a strong metaphor for abusive relationships in the way Cole suspects Ravel of being deceitful, yet believes his lies because she wants to. This gaslighting is accurately portrayed. Cadence’s attempts to stop Cole from lying to herself about Ravel are largely unsuccessful.
The ‘people brainwashed into submissive slaves by overlords lying about the true nature of the dystopia’ is a trope I’m getting a little tired of. It’s a good trope, and Wiggins executes it well, but I’m not so into it lately. Adding the twist of escaping from one set of lies only to be fooled by another keeps the interest piqued, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch the situation between Ravel and Cole reach critical mass. Every reason why I’ve not to finish this book is due to personal tastes, but it’s also worth mentioning that Wiggins tends to introduce new intrigues while one is still pondering the old ones. Blind the Eyes is a well written YA dystopia, but it’s not for me.