Like many good science-fiction novels Warehouse Dreams raises, and attempts to address, an interesting ethical dilemma. Should we, as a society, sacrifice the few in order to improve the lives of the many? Should we allow scientists to mess with our genes to create the ‘perfect’ human? And if so should we allow the rich to take advantage of that?
Theresa Halvorsen spares no time in getting this hypothetical situation going. She doesn’t bother with a slow build-up, or with a gentle introduction to the characters and setting, instead she throws us straight into the action and just gets on with telling her tale, and for the most part this works very well.
The focus in Warehouse Dreams is very much on the characters, the action, and the rapid exploration of her story.
Warehouse Dreams tells the story of Kendle, assistant to the administrator of the Warehouse, the only school for children with Wild psychic abilities. Unlike the scientifically perfect ‘Bred’ children (those scientifically created), the Wilds are unpredictable and ostracizes by society, leaving them with nowhere to go, nowhere but the Warehouse anyway.
Soon a handsome new teacher called Stephen begins working at the school to teach telepathic control to the children. It doesn’t take long for a relationship to bloom between him and Kendle.
This is a sci-fi adventure novel with an underlying pseudo-romance that is both intriguing and unique.
I’m not going to say anything else about the story here because quite frankly you need to experience this book for yourself. So I’ll move on to my commentary.
A notable weakness of the novel, at least for me, was the lack of description. The action and the characters take precedent here over language, and while that helps move the plot along with a brisk pace, I did feel that at times a little poetic prose would be nice. Though that’s a personal preference and doesn’t really take away from the overall experience.
Warehouse Dreams is a character driven story, its primary focus is on their emotions, their thoughts, and on their development. So it’s a great thing that Kendle, Stephen, and many of the students are well realised creations that fully inhabit the world Halvorsen has crafted for them.
While this may sound like a simple formulaic YA novel on the face of it, it is actually far more than that. This is really an allegory of societies treatment of minorities and the differently abled. This book poses questions about how we live, the level of scientific intrusion we are willing to endure for a better life, and the way in which we treat people different from ourselves.
This is a well crafted novel with complex moral issues at its core, and an interesting sci-fi plot to keep you engaged, no easy feat all told.
There are still many questions and aspects of this universe to explore so I sincerely hope there are more installments coming.
You can get yourself a copy of Warehouse Dreams from Amazon.
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