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Twisted Dreams Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Unfortunately, her book didn't win ... but that meant that we got the story later, all on its own with its own brilliance. Quick disclaimer here - I did beta read the book for her, which, for me, meant that I gave it a stiff edit. So I've read the story multiple times, and in multiple versions.
And Twisted Dreams is delightfully brilliant and twisted. It starts as a traditional retelling of Sleeping Beauty - with an opening that rather reminded me of Sonora and the Long Sleep by Gail Carson Levine - but even within that opening, you quickly realize that there is something very wrong. The Catileens giving gifts are the ones who seem sinister, while the Wingan granting the curse ... seems benevolent.
Things grow even stranger when the curse comes about and Liesel wakes up in a cell in a sci-fi world, now remembering a very different past. And a fiance who's the prince of the planet/country that is at war with her captors. They're holding her for extortion.
But which is the true reality?
I loved this story, it's morals, message, and twists. I'll admit that there are a few blandish characters ... but there was Matthew, the hero's younger brother. Oh, the dear, enthusiastic boy. Read the book just for him.
The worldbuilding was brilliant. For the shortness of the story, there's a surprising amount of worldbuilding in it - and as someone who loves worldbuilding, it made me so happy.
And then the theme - Sacrificial love. I love a good story of sacrificial love.
In short, go read this lovely little story. You won't regret it.
I'm looking forward to reading more of the stories by this author as she has a great imagination and style.