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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Somnium by the award-winning Kristy Kamin is a moving, compelling dystopian novel about what it means to be yourself in a world that doesn't always understand or accept differences. Imagine a perfect place and time where your wildest dreams are fulfilled during the daytime. Then at night, people can - by virtual means - imagine themselves to be anywhere, do anything. This is the kind of world that the main character, Claudia, thrives in. She has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. This enchanting place is called Somnium, and Claudia can totally be herself here. But this world is marred by Melanie, who has wicked intentions that could jeopardize everything and everyone. It seems like this is the end for humans and life itself, and Claudia is determined to intervene, regardless of her diagnosis.
Kamin stimulates the mind and imagination with her clever plot and well-designed characters. Claudia is a realistic heroine and so human in her situation. The author writes with a good balance of light and dark. And you'll also find romance, challenges, good versus evil, and a solid story that makes you want to read more of it. The pace is just right, the suspense is pitch-perfect, and you truly grow to care about these characters and how things turn out for them. I like Claudia's bravery at taking on the dark enemy and the fact that she seems so real, getting a tattoo and having a best friend named Samantha. The first-person POV makes Claudia come alive on the page. Kamin's writing has authenticity and emotion, making the touching parts honestly earned. You'll enjoy learning about Claudia's life, especially how she handles herself during the exciting climax. This novel should have wide appeal and would make a good movie. If you like the virtual reality gaming system Oculus Quest and wonder where it may go in the future, you will love Somnium by Kristy Kamin.