Fear of Dreaming
Miro is searching for answers. He is a seventeen-year-old orphan and MMA fighter. Being young, Miro has been manipulated into contracts that require interviews, training, promotional appearances, consuming “shady” supplements, “going live” on-demand, and more, all in hopes of becoming the world champion someday. Although he is gaining some popularity, popularity doesn’t pay the bills. Miro’s boxing contract keeps him paying a promoter and trainers while barely keeping up with his rent. This is not to mention his demanding schedule; Miro works a landscaping job on the side whenever he can sneak away from his boxing obligations. His lack of cash does not detour his longing to know who he is and where he came from, and he orders a costly genealogy report. The results bring on even more conflict: since DNA and ancestry results aren’t a perfect science, Miro’s father’s identity is inconclusive. Who is Miro Silva and how can he navigate the pressures of his technological, drug-induced world while also trying to figure out where he came from? Miro is approaching the biggest MMA fight of his career, but his fight to know his heritage and identity are the most substantial fights of his life.
In Fear of Dreaming, Ashwin Sunder tackles a variety of relevant issues. DNA and ancestry technology are expanding, and the idea of a young man exploring his identity through this medium is worth exploring. Sunder dives into ancestry even further when he has his characters eat “Custo-Meals” tailored to their genetic make-up. Details like this successfully support Sunder’s 2045 setting. It is also relevant because DNA tests today provide constituents with information about health reports, genetic weight, and foods they should avoid.
The subject that intrigued me the most was artificial intelligence, or “AI.”
Miro has a Siri/Alexa-like virtual assistant named Jeanne. She searches for information for him, but he requests the information as if she were human, in a normal conversational tone.
Another issue that Sunder explores is virtual reality. Characters in this novel go “day-tripping.” Although some characters seem to enjoy “day-tripping,” others resist it and criticize it. Much like today, we enjoy technology’s benefits but also experience its effect on relationships between us. Sunder’s use of technology requires the reader to grapple with the idea that our world is headed in this direction.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to sci-fi and dystopia lovers. I would also recommend it to those who like masculine characters with relatable stories. Ultimately, Miro is just a kid who wants to live his dreams.
Although I enjoyed this book, I have a couple of complaints. Sunder introduces several characters without developing them thoroughly, leaving the reader wanting to know more about some of them. Several times, I had to turn back and reread to make sure I hadn’t missed something. Sunder’s use of “homie” is extremely awkward at times. In one instance, Miro is talking to his sister Ruby about another sibling. He says, “that homie has issues.” As a former ’90s American teen, I recognize this was not the proper placement of “homie,” but don’t be too hard on the homie, this book is worth the read.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||389 pages|
|Publisher||Shy Cat Publications|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|