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Sarina Dahlan. Blackstone, $27.99 (340p) ISBN 978-1-09-408630-9
Love transcends the laws of a dystopian world in Dahlan’s immersive debut. War and climate disaster left Earth devastated beyond repair—until a savior called the Planner established a new civilization for the survivors in four cities of his design. To preserve peace and eliminate prejudice, the Planner implemented a policy called Tabula Rasa: every four years, the citizens’ memories are wiped, allowing them “the freedom to author their own souls.” An indefinite number of four-year cycles later, Aris, a scientist, is keen not to form any attachments, as all relationships come with expiration dates. But that changes when her fanciful companion, Benja, ropes Aris into a wild chase for the Dreamers, an underground group that believes dreams contain forbidden memories from past cycles. And when Aris meets the leader of the Dreamers, Metis, their connection is undeniable—but to be together, they’ll have to escape Tabula Rasa. Dahlan seamlessly marries sci-fi and romance while building a heady atmosphere through ethereal, dreamlike prose. When the plot widens from the intimate story to the bigger picture, however, it over-relies on abstract metaphysical concepts to hand wave away plot holes. Still, the original concept and propulsive love story mark Dahlan as a writer to watch. Readers will be mesmerized. Agent: Julie Gwinn, the Seymour Agency. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/10/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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