I’ve had lucid dreams. Dreams where you know you are dreaming, and can alter the events, rewinding and replaying for a different outcome. Charlie does that for a living in Sweet Dreams by Tricia Sullivan (review copy from Gollancz). She is a dreamhacker: paid to go into other people’s dreams to help them overcome phobias and anxiety. It’s not a job with a big client list, and it doesn’t pay well, but it fits well round the narcolepsy Charlie was left with as a side-effect of a drug trial she participated in while penniless at university.
One of Charlie’s few clients is a famous musician who is suffering from extreme nightmares that are beginning to affect her career. She is visited each night by The Creeper – a mysterious masked figure determined to cause harm. When the musician dies one night, Charlie finds herself under investigation for the death, but also the the Creeper’s next target. Desperate to deal with the Creeper and clear her name, Charlie finds herself uncovering a conspiracy.
Sweet Dreams is a great near-future thriller, looking at themes about the integration of technology in our lives, its increasing sophistication, and how we choose to approach it.
Goodreads rating: 3*