Corim Colleran is born into a cold and sterile world. In tiny apartments, meager meals are delivered through chutes in the cupboards. In robot-run schools, sexual development is cultivated with clinical precision. No one can leave their corner of the city. No one can change the course of their predetermined days, or the length of their preset lifespans.
The only real thing Corim can choose is the woman he loves, but the life he builds with her is torn apart by a violent encounter with one of society's elites. Corim goes down a twisted path where he discovers the answers to his lifelong questions about the system ruling him. He also discovers the will to fight it.
The gripping story of Three Days Breathing combines a classic sci-fi aesthetic with modern takes on love, loss, and individualism. Listeners should be advised it contains adult themes and moderate violence.
©2016 Mike Maguire (P)2016 Mike Maguire
Oh dystopia! How has our world turned sideways? Maguire leads us into a world whose citizens are divided into orders. What order you are dictates the length of your lifespan. Koram, our hero, is a member of the general order, so he is entitled to thirty six years of life. Other orders like the judicial, councilor, and administrative orders get to live long enough for wrinkles. School in the general order is like sitting around watching interactive documentaries in Darth Vader’s little pod. Until you turn thirteen.
At the age of thirteen, every student in the general order gets access to soft rooms on the school’s eleventh floor. Soft rooms are a place for the kids to practice having sex with one another. They are encouraged to try all sorts of stuff with as many people as possible. Normally I would shy away from a book with such a strong sexual theme, but Maguire tells the story without getting all porno. I would not recommend this read for anyone who hasn’t already had sex ed, but there is a great story here, so adults should not shy away. It turns out that all the practice is because the very best of the general order gets invited to work in the brothels frequented by people from the upper orders. Everyone else gets a job basically playing a sorting video game when they are grown.
Koram breaks the mold with Keerie and they develop a deep loving relationship with one another. Only through this bond does Koram realize that something about his world is terribly wrong. I really liked the theme. I think that people growing up with internet access in this information age are able to become desensitized to just about anything, so a story about developing deep, loving, and meaningful relationships despite access to shallow pleasure holds relevance for people in our world.
Maguire has achieved something with Three Days Breathing that I’ve only experienced with Stephen Kings work. For the first forty percent of the novel I was well outside my comfort zone. Koram is in a monogamous relationship with a brothel worker. I got wierded out by the possibility. Yet the characters, their world, and the promise that Koram could make sense of the whole mess kept me at it.
At chapter thirty, while listening to the audible audiobook that I received for free, driving around high up in the Adirondacks between a paper mill and an aluminum mill, I found myself shouting, “That’s why you always have a safe word!”
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it others. I understand that this book has similar tones to books like Brave New World and now I want to read some of these classic dystopian books. To me, it somewhat felt like The Giver, but a little more ‘adult’.
The world created in this book is quite fascinating. Unlike most dystopian worlds I have read about, this one is a blend of certain freedoms for the common people and certain absolutes with no apparent way around these things. Most dystopian novels do not display this much freedom for the common people – I kind of like it!
What I would like to know is, will there be a follow-up book to this? Or will there be a series? I’m not quite sure how much I liked the ending but I am very curious on what will happen next! Either way, there is a somewhat definitive ending and I appreciate that (but, lots of room for expansion).
Audiobook narrator Brandon Hearnsberger rating: 3.5 stars
I wish the narrator could change his voice more for different characters and display more emotion into his words, especially during the really tense parts of the book. Though, he was very clear and easy to understand and it was mostly obvious when he was speaking for a different character. He was great during the court-room-scene.
Thanks, Mike, for the free audiobook!
I received a free audio book in exchange for an honest review.
This was a great novel - it deals with an accepted dystopian world which allows you to see the complete control that the General Order cope with - the limiting of procreation, gender imbalance, marriage, the age limit, forced sexual interaction - seen through the life of Corim. It felt quite insidious how the characters accepted their society.
On the other hand, I didn't like the ending. I personally found it quite lackluster and I had expected it to be so much more than what it was. It was anti-climatic. I also didn't really like the character of Ian. He felt quite rushed and underdeveloped and more of a plot point than an actual character.
Y'all, I fell in love with the characters. Mike Maguire has written a fluid story with characters
you fall in love with in a world that is supposedly eutopic but decidedly not. The character development paired with the plot makes for a fast read and for a captivating story. Let's all bug him for a sequel!
I enjoyed this novel about a dystopian future where people's life span length is predetermined, depending on what "Order: someone is born into. The story follows Corim, who is born into the General Order, where men live to be 36 years old.
This sci fi story is dark, sexual, and has some great ideas about future technology. This book reminding me a a Brave New World.
I thought the narration was good. The narrator has a pleasant voice, and the pacing was good. I thought maybe that his range of voices could have been a bit larger, but all-in-all, I thought it was good.
I was given this audiobook for a fair and honest review.
Yes, I would absolutely recommend this book to a friend. A unique take on a futuristic society that hides the secrets of it's framework from the lower class society that is tasked with keeping the infrastructure running.
To avoid specific spoilers, the action scenes were awesome and kept me hanging on the edge of my seat. The detailed fistfight scenes and exploding buildings replay in my mind immediately when recalling this book. I also liked trying to picture the Medbots and how the dystopian landscape would look and compare to ours.
I have not heard any of Brandon's other books but I'll check them out for sure, he did an amazing job with Three Days Breathing!
Three Days Breathing made me recognize my own mortality and question my own lifelong motives and goals. Hearing about one generation grow up with the same boring life path and working the same menial jobs as their parents had me questioning how that relates to my own place in society.
Three Days Breathing was amazing. Equal parts The Giver, the Matrix and They Live, McGuire artfully crafts a unique landscape and drops his characters directly into his world and watches them respond. Brandon Hearnsberger did a fantastic job of reading and kept me engaged throughout. I found myself taking extra long lunch breaks so I could get in the car and continue what I had started in the commute. I would definitely recommend this audio book to others.
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