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Our Dried Voices by Greg Hickey
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Our Dried Voices

by Greg Hickey

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It’s hundreds of years in the future. Cancer has been cured. The remaining humans now colonize the lovely planet, Pearl. It’s Utopia.

You never want for anything. No longer suffer illness. It’s so perfect you don’t even need to think.

Until something goes wrong. The machines that run the utopian existence are breaking down. Mysterious figures are roaming the crowds. One young man, Samuel must repair the machines and set things right or the last humans may perish.

This book defied a real description. I started it and stopped, started it and stopped. Something kept drawing me back. Maybe the author put in some subliminal messages. LOL Whatever it was, I’m glad I kept reading. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before.

The people were so strange. I call them The Stepford Shells. They have no minds of their own. The bells would toll, the colonists would line up for breakfast. The bells would toll and they would line up for lunch. And so on. They had a hive or herd mentality.

You can imagine how bad it got when the food ran short, or the shelter doors didn’t open. It was chaos.

Samuel studied the break downs. He noticed the strange figures, called them heroes, who would appear when a break down occurred and vanish just as quickly.

All of these colonists move through the days, repeat the same things, never even speak to each other. Why did Samuel awaken? Who was the girl he kept seeing wandering off on her own? What were the heroes up to? Were they good or bad for the colony?

I kept wondering why the title Dried Voices. Then I came to a point in the book and had an aha moment. I now knew why.

I reached the end and didn’t get all of the answers to my questions. There is an end, a clever one, yet a lot of this is left to your own interpretation. I’d like to know what happened to the thinkers, the producers of the machines. I’d like to know what happens after the end.

I sure hope there is a sequel as I’m anxious to know. ( )
  laura-thomas | Jan 27, 2016 |
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. Thanks for the copy! All are my own opinion and is not compensated by any individual, organization, or company. This might contain minor spoilers.

Our Dried Voices is a dystopian story of human colonization in another planet called Pearl. The story narrates the mechanical life of Samuel as he gradually changes and realizes the different hamartias in his colony and how he tries to fix everything while he concurrently tries to see the purpose of his life, the mysteries and what exactly is happening.

Our Dried Voices is undeniably a very unique and striking story. The premise is wise and very remarkable. I like how it slowly takes me with it as Samuel uncovers the mystery. The solving of puzzle, I like how it was thrown in as essential part of the story’s development. The chronology is really great. I believe it is the reason why I was drawn in reading this.

But I cannot avoid but be confused or say, lost in track, on few parts of the story. I have been experiencing uneven desire to take a break reading it, which I think is not such a good feeling. I am very disappointed with how the book ends, too. I could not believe that was the ending, actually. It’s like lacking a few more paragraphs but I believe that putting a little bit of editing and polishing, this would be so awesome.

I will recommend it to Dystopian readers out there. This is the type of book that will make you think. ( )
  Kristelle_Linawan | Mar 30, 2015 |
My Thoughts:

This is a very unique book, which had me hooked from the beginning.

From the first page, we learn that all our worst diseases have been cured, humans have moved on to a new planet and a utopia created. They want for nothing, fear nothing and are living the life of luxury. They've lived this way so long that they have begun to literally not want for anything. Each day they queue for meals when a bell tolls to tell them. They have lost their free will, their ability to see things for what they truly are.

That is until the machines that run their world start to malfunction.

We watch as their lives fall apart. They don't know what to do. Their daily rituals are no longer being rung out for them yo abide by. With only one mechanic to fix the issues, their way of life depends on him finding out why their machines continue to malfunction.

Then the mechanic opens his eyes. He starts to see what is really going on. The problem may be so much bigger than expected. Will he be able to save them, or is this the beginning of the end?

I loved the world that Hickey has created. He gave it so much detail - telling us about their way of life, the machines, the people's mindsets and the little details that we need to feel as though we are a part of their world. I love the description and way her told us about the moment when our mechanic's eyes finally opened. The way his world opened up and changed around him. Everything was the same, yet it was still new and fresh and frightening.

The characters were brilliant. Those who took the main stage really gave the book a lot of excitement, depth and emotion. Each character had their own personality, really bringing the world to life.

Overall, this was an excellent dystopian read. I loved the new and exciting read that we were given. Hickey has taken a typical dystopian read, and given us something completely new. The book was enthralling from beginning to end. I loved that the ending answered some, but not all, of the questions, leaving a bit open to your own interpretation (I love when books and films do this) and it leaves it open for another book to follow. I so hope there will be more! I highly highly recommend this to all dystopian and sci-fi lovers. ( )
  naturalbri | Mar 25, 2015 |
There was a lot about this book that seemed unique and interesting. The premise of a time in the future when disease is cured and the present day problems do not exist. But while the book takes place so far in the future, there are so many parallels that can be drawn to present day and the social climate that exists in the United States. Characters at times seem apathetic, with very few being willing to do any work to make sure things continue to work as they have come to expect. The concept of giving up all knowledge and living in blissful ignorance is a strangely unfathomable concept to me. The main character's re-emergence of free will and independent thought reminds me of one coming out of a drug-induced haze or being released from hypnosis.

I found the story somewhat telling in terms of social commentary. Many people have come to have a sense of entitlement and just expect things to be handed to them, where in many years past people would work their tails off to make sure even the basic necessities were acquired and achieved. Yet in this futuristic utopia, of sorts, those things just are, with little thought to how they arrive and are provided. Will humanity really become a sea of automatons? It's a scary thought.

There were a few points where the story seemed tangential and distracted, but it almost felt intentional, and once things all come together at the end, you get a sense of why that needed to be the case.

Overall, I generally enjoyed this story. There were a few little things that I think probably could have been caught and fixed more effectively in editing, in terms of a misused word here and there. As an editor myself, things like that tend to stand out to me and probably would not bother the average reader and, in fact, by most readers would likely have gone unnoticed.

If you are a fan of dystopian fiction, you will very likely enjoy this book. Give it a read! ( )
  destinyisntfree | Feb 28, 2015 |
There was a lot about this book that seemed unique and interesting. The premise of a time in the future when disease is cured and the present day problems do not exist. But while the book takes place so far in the future, there are so many parallels that can be drawn to present day and the social climate that exists in the United States. Characters at times seem apathetic, with very few being willing to do any work to make sure things continue to work as they have come to expect. The concept of giving up all knowledge and living in blissful ignorance is a strangely unfathomable concept to me. The main character's re-emergence of free will and independent thought reminds me of one coming out of a drug-induced haze or being released from hypnosis.

I found the story somewhat telling in terms of social commentary. Many people have come to have a sense of entitlement and just expect things to be handed to them, where in many years past people would work their tails off to make sure even the basic necessities were acquired and achieved. Yet in this futuristic utopia, of sorts, those things just are, with little thought to how they arrive and are provided. Will humanity really become a sea of automatons? It's a scary thought.

There were a few points where the story seemed tangential and distracted, but it almost felt intentional, and once things all come together at the end, you get a sense of why that needed to be the case.

Overall, I generally enjoyed this story. There were a few little things that I think probably could have been caught and fixed more effectively in editing, in terms of a misused word here and there. As an editor myself, things like that tend to stand out to me and probably would not bother the average reader and, in fact, by most readers would likely have gone unnoticed.

If you are a fan of dystopian fiction, you will very likely enjoy this book. Give it a read! ( )
  destinyisntfree | Feb 28, 2015 |
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