Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Cole hides a forbidden obsession with death from both the repressive, authoritarian Refuge and Cadence, the ghost who haunts her. Cole’s determined to shake her reputation as a failure, but when she spectacularly fails her probation trials and uncovers the dark lies at the heart of Refuge, her world crumbles around her.
Fleeing, she finds an ally in the charismatic leader of the glittering, permissive underground club and rebel enclave modeled after the seven colour halls of Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, Freedom. Ravel offers the chance to bring down Refuge’s regime – along with a tantalizingly hedonistic new way of life. But as Cole struggles to fit in and meet Ravel’s expectations, she finds herself drawn into visions of death – and to the silver-shrouded boy who fights back, a boy Cadence claims to remember from her former life. In the waking world, Ravel seems less interested in toppling the Tower and more focused on transforming Cole into his ideal consort – and people are dying in more than just Cole’s visions.
To stop the dying and put an end to Refuge’s lies, Cole will have to own the hidden power within and choose once and for all who to trust and what to be: an obedient drone, a hedonistic goddess, a solitary hero… or something else entirely.
I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Well… I think the best thing I can think to say about this book is the premise is good. The whole concept of desire/dream-eating Mara is fascinating, especially as they start to do more physical harm. The way society had been shaped around the Mara would be interesting to explore a bit further.
The rest of it though… is all rather blah.
The writing style isn’t great – there are points that I’m really not sure who’s talking/thinking/moving etc., and there are some straight up confusing moments where I don’t know what is supposed to be happening. I will say that there was one of these confusing moments that did make sense, as Cole had just consumed Dust, which seems to be their equivalent of alcohol (really, really strong and fast acting alcohol), and so her sense of disorientation and inability to think or speak clearly made sense.
Speaking of our leading lady – ugh. I need an eye-roll emoji. I do not like lead characters who are so willfully stupid. I get it while she was in Refuge. It was how they were expected to live and the only way they believed they could survive. But once she left, I just wanted to punch her, and I’m a pacifist. I don’t understand why suddenly everything was Cadence’s fault, and why did she would ever allow Ravel to treat her as he did (seriously, the constant force-feeding of Dust was disturbing). She doesn’t want to think or do anything herself – she fully expects others to take the weight of her discoveries off her hands. Cole did seem to gain a few redeeming qualities toward the end, but I don’t know if most readers would want to read the whole book just for that.
And why is going up four flights of stairs so exhausting? Like sure, if she was sprinting it makes some sense, but she is literally crawling after walking up four. Both times she climbs stairs are like the biggest struggles in the entire book. Even more than the big showdown at the end.
As for the other characters: Ravel is aweful. Cadence was kind of annoying, but I totally feel her frustration. We barely see Ash, so there’s not much to go on. And Ange is pretty awesome. I think she’s a major redeeming part of this book, but frankly I think she should have slapped Cole upside the head on more than one occasion (or maybe not, since Cole was already in one abusive relationship-thing).
I also have to say, that big twist at the end is so obvious from five miles away if you’re paying attention. There are small clues dropped, giant clues dropped, evidence that so much of what Cole believes to be true is not. And yet. Even as its practically written in neon letters right in front of her face, she can’t even conceive of it. As I said, it’s really hard to like a character that is blind to the obvious.
Have you read Blind the Eyes? What did you think? What is your favorite dystopian book or series?