Daughter of Dreams

Daughter of Dreams - Marshall A. Miller Miller's Daughter of Dreams takes place in a futuristic, post-pandemic world closely resembling our own. The planet is divided into territories and technology has advanced, making bugging and eavesdropping a daily concern for everyone. Following a vast epidemic of the 'zeta virus', a weapon meant for biological warfare, a scientist living in the territory known simply as the City discovers the miracle cure. Unfortunately, it is this discovery that plunges him and his daughter Serda into a whirlwind of fleeing, terror, and most importantly for Serda, self-discovery and eventually acceptance of her uncanny abilities to sense and decipher the souls of those around her.

This novel gets uncomfortably deep in philosophy at some points, but was overall a breath of fresh air in it's ability to combine complexity with a gripping story line and elaborate history of all of it's main characters. The author include a fair amount of central characters and shares the story-telling among all of them, giving each sufficient time in the limelight.

Even the places the author has created for his world are intriguing and contain histories in their own rights. The Communes is a society that keeps space between themselves and the rest of the world, sharing a common set of beliefs known as the Way. These people value their relationship with the earth and value society and the good of all over the good of the individual. The City is the other territory highlighted thoughout the novel. It's a vast metropolitan area rife with politics, crime, and survival-of-the-fittest. Technology is greatly utilized and the border of the City is guarded by Tracers, pods that can scan and detect specific individuals' DNA to aid the Guardian police force in capturing fugitives. Another territory is briefly visited: the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth, though not as specifically described as the Communes and City, seems to be little more than a peaceful suburban area.

The philosophies devised in this novel center around the soul and it's connection to dreams, and to a lesser degree, the power of love. Serda, later known as Maya, discovers she is a Dreamer while hiding in the Communes from a corrupt Councilor looking to torture the cure for the zeta virus out of her father for his own political gain. She begins to see that she can feel and visualize the feelings of those both physically and emotionally close to her. She meets Ian in the Communes and he begins her adventures to understand and contain her power, which later becomes her greatest defense. Though her power makes others unsettled and dangerously vulnerable in her presence, Maya finds that those who truely love her are unaffected by the negative affects of her power, allowing her the close human connections she has longed for her entire life. Much of the book centers around Maya and her extraordinary power, while the race to protect and properly utilize the cure sometimes takes the back burner.

I have given this novel four out of five stars. Sometimes it becomes very abstract and difficult to wade through, but the conclusion could not have been any better.