Dreams Unleashed, Book 1 of The Prophecies Dystopian Trilogy

Rated 4.73/5 based on 15 reviews
Dreams Unleashed has been awarded the Grub Street Reads Endorsement.

It’s the near future, and society is government controlled. Technology tracks everyone, and personal privacy does not exist. The hope for freedom lies in the operations of an underground organization, GOG, which fights against worldwide oppression. Their most powerful weapon is Ann Torgeson. More
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Price: Free! USD

Words: 63,880
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465823922
About Linda Hawley

Linda Hawley is a published author of several novels in the dystopian science fiction genre. She is also a highly skilled home cook and the author of the cookbook, Cooking to Cure Heartburn.

Before she became a full-time author, Linda Hawley supported herself as a freelance writer. Her experiences working on diverse projects requiring significant research stretched and refined her composition skills. It also inspired her to become a novelist.

The author writes her novels in the "faction" style (a literary work that is a mix of fact and fiction). Most of the technologies, conditions, and places in her novels actually exist. It's the characters and their actions that are pure fiction.

Before becoming a writer, the author spent many years in the U.S. intelligence community. This experience helps her today in creating suspense, perspective, and colorful characters that jump off the page.

Linda Hawley has made her home in the Pacific Northwest, where she and her husband parent their two youngest children.

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The Prophecies Summary: It’s the near future, and society is government-controlled. Technology tracks everyone, and personal privacy does not exist. The hope for freedom lies in the operations of an underground organization, GOG. Their most powerful weapon is Ann Torgeson, a paranormally-gifted operative. It’s her powers that release the seal of The Prophecies, changing the world forever.

Also in The Prophecies Trilogy

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Reviews

Review by: Carolyn Arnold on Jan. 15, 2012 :
Intriguing!

The author lays a rich foundation for the main character Ann Torgeson. She continues this through the entire story providing a montage of backstory, weaving it into the story line which takes place in the present, past and future.

Normally, I avoid the type of movie or novel that transcends time, sweeping me from one period to another by the use of flashbacks. However, Hawley was able to do so without losing my interest or my understanding. Due to her effective lying of groundwork, the story pulled me along, intriguing me, making me wonder what would happen next.

Although this is outside of the regular genre I read, Hawley has created a character rich novel, giving her main antagonist distinguishing flavor. She assigns her idiosyncrasies which create a realistic and believable entity.

Definitely worth checking out.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Stephen England on Nov. 28, 2011 :
Dreams Unleashed is one of those rare books that seem to defy easy categorization, yet manage to enchant, nonetheless.
Written in the first-person, Dreams is told through the eyes of Ann Torgeson, a former member of the CIA's Project Stargate--the Agency's research into remote viewing and psychic prediction of threats against the nation.
Fast-forward to the year 2015 and Torgeson is a member of an underground organization, fighting against the totalitarian government she once served. To the government, she is nothing more than a weapon--a weapon they want back, very badly.
Dreams is an unusual, but well-written, mix of dystopian espionage and metaphysical science fiction. In some ways, the metaphysical elements reminded me of Frank Herbert's Dune books. It's possible that some of the secondary characters could have used a little extra development, but that's a common weakness of the first-person point of view and it does not detract from one's enjoyment of the story.
Reading through Dreams Unleashed, it is most important to remember that it is the first novel in a trilogy, and like all trilogies, most of the first book is spent setting the stage for the events to follow.
I've already downloaded the sequel and am buckling in for the ride. Heartily recommended for any fan of the genre.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Melanie Saxton on Nov. 25, 2011 :
I was absolutely swept up in this book, Dreams Unleashed, as well as the sequel, Guardian of Time. I read them back-to-back. Yes, they are that good! The wonderful way Linda Hawley wraps a clear and present danger around a paranormal gift is masterful. Intrigue, clandestine CIA experiments, time travel . . . all made completely plausible thanks to the author's plot development. I loved these books so much that I included them on my blog: http://melaniesaxtononline.com/2011/11/19/paranormal-and-politics-the-prophecies-book-series-delivers/. Read them! You'll love them, too!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stephen England on Nov. 18, 2011 :
Dreams Unleashed is one of those rare books that seem to defy easy categorization, yet manage to enchant, nonetheless.
Written in the first-person, Dreams is told through the eyes of Ann Torgeson, a former member of the CIA's Project Stargate--the Agency's research into remote viewing and psychic prediction of threats against the nation.
Fast-forward to the year 2015 and Torgeson is a member of an underground organization, fighting against the totalitarian government she once served. To the government, she is nothing more than a weapon--a weapon they want back, very badly.
Dreams is an unusual, but well-written, mix of dystopian espionage and metaphysical science fiction. In some ways, the metaphysical elements reminded me of Frank Herbert's Dune books. It's possible that some of the secondary characters could have used a little extra development, but that's a common weakness of the first-person point of view and it does not detract from one's enjoyment of the story.
Reading through Dreams Unleashed, it is most important to remember that it is the first novel in a trilogy, and like all trilogies, most of the first book is spent setting the stage for the events to follow.
I've already downloaded the sequel and am buckling in for the ride. Heartily recommended for any fan of the genre.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Joey Avniel on Nov. 17, 2011 :
The way this author combines past, present future and dreams pulls you into the story. You will not be able to put down this multilayer thriller. Sometimes because you must know what is going to happen next. And sometimes because you must know what happened before. Every time I thought the author can't surprise me anymore, something new happened, adding to my joy of reading. I highly recommend reading it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: vanessa eric on Nov. 09, 2011 :
To begin with, the book really pushed me out of my comfort zone as I’ve never read any other book similar to this. Politics never fail to bore me, which I reckoned is the main theme of the story, although other readers and perhaps even the author herself may not agree with me. So when I read this book, I was forced to understand everything. Nonetheless, from the very beginning, the book kept me intrigued by its mystifying plot and excellent narration. I must laud the author for her ability to write her story in the finest detail, which makes the story sounds somewhat believable. Everything was described superbly – from Ann’s surrounding to the putrid smell she has to smell. I have to confess though that keeping up with all the flashbacks was quite ‘overwhelming’. However, the good thing was, they drove me to read on and on, only to be defeated by weary eyes. I thought the first person viewpoint worked well with Ann’s strong and independent character. When it comes to her most heart-wrenching memory of her husband’s death, I could feel her emotions pouring through, as if she were talking to me in person. It’s a surprise that I didn’t end up sniffling in tears!

Updated review for 2nd Edition:
The second edition of Dreams Unleashed is certainly more polished, though I could barely notice the difference. In the first review I wrote for this book, I mentioned something about the flashbacks being too overwhelming. Back then, everything felt a bit heavy for me to comprehend. However, thankfully, for the second edition, the recollections seemed to make more sense as the story got deeper and deeper. I am to read ‘Guardian of Time’, which is the second book in this trilogy, so it was truly refreshing to read the refined version of Dreams Unleashed just to keep up with the continuous adrenaline-charged events.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Alleluia Lu on Nov. 08, 2011 :
I read the 1st edition of this book last summer, so I was prepared for the cliff-hanger ending and I didn't have to concentrate as hard to keep straight whether I was in the present, past or a dream. So as the book progressed it was exciting to me right away. I can't pinpoint the actual editing of the 1st edition, but I did feel that the text was more cohesive and flowed well in the 2nd edition. As I stated earlier, after you get in sync with the dates and time, the action just keeps accelerating right up to the end! Or, should I say "up to the end of this book" because it's part of a trilogy and definitely leads you right in to the next in the series. The concept of putting yourself in another place through a dream was wild, but believable for me. I started clicking through all sorts of possibilities in my head as I was reading. I also liked that the author included current happenings, as close as a couple of months ago, to add to the perception of reality. Tagging people through their driver's license was disturbing, but it gave me something to think about. As I have said before in my reviews, I like time travel. This was a different kind of time travel because you aren't stuck in one place -- unless that happens further on in the series -- but the reader feels that Ann was really in those other places for a time. It was a very interesting book based on a great concept with current events and I can't wait for the next volume to see what happens!!! Luckily I won't have to wait long as the next book, "Guardian of Time" is already on my Nook.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sarah (Workaday Reads) on Nov. 03, 2011 :
This is a slightly cheating review, because everything I said in my first review still stands. The technology is scary and very plausible. There is a definite stance regarding the environment and politics in the book. This stance forms the backbone of the story, and heightens the dystopian-style changes that have happened to the world.

The huge cliff hanger ending still bothers me, but luckily I could start the second book right away, which greatly lessened the impact of it.

Overall, the story is almost exactly the same, just a bit smoother. The story is definitely a good one to pick up, but you will likely want to have the second one ready for when you finish.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lisa- Bookworm Lisa on Nov. 02, 2011 :
I am very happy that Linda asked me to read the Second Edition of Dreams Unleashed. I found it to be clever and well written. She is able to write with enough description and definition to hold the interest of her reader.

Ann is a complex woman. She has had many unique and interesting experiences throughout her life to make her the perfect freedom fighter. She is fighting against Governments who have systematically taken away or limited the basic rights of their citizens. She was trained by the CIA to use her psychic abilities to spy on targets given to her. In the year 2015, she takes this ability and training and is able to figure a new way to help her undercover group (GOG) take action.

The story is told in the first person. Ann has an interesting way about her. She is a mother of a daughter who is 18 and a widow. She is alone in her home and able to move around freely. She has a strong sense of right and wrong and is determined to make a difference.

This story is creative and interesting. I will make you think.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Paul Hawley on Oct. 28, 2011 :
This second edition of Dreams Unleashed really moves along well, and is written beautifully.

The main character, Ann, is really appealing to me. She's independent, a free spirit who's not set in her ways, is mature but still growing. I think there is nothing more beautiful than a woman with her dog, so Ann's dog, Lulu, adds to the story.

I found the remote viewing very interesting, as it explores the potential of the human mind. Of course the Herkimer crystals in the story were facinating. There seems to be some potential to them that we have not yet discoverd in 2011; there is just something about them.

I really enjoyed the lure of the Pacific Northwest as the root of the story.

Linda Hawley not only stretches your imagination, but she approaches the perils of a dystopian society with a new sense of hope. I really thought it was fantastic, and worthy of a five star review.

I already bought the second book in the series.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Edwin Jones on Oct. 28, 2011 :
I've never read anything like this before! The whole concept of remote viewing is mind-boggling. I remember seeing a TV show once that talked about it and how the government had studied that sort of thing, but of course they didn't expound on it or anything. So it's really interesting to get an inside look at it, even if it's from a fictional novel. I loved the parts involving the CIA; they kept me completely hooked, and when it ended with a cliff-hanger, I knew I'd be reading the next one. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who finds the paranormal interesting.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Jodie Brownlee on Oct. 28, 2011 :
Off and running from the start!

Linda Hawley presents a dystopian view of the Patriot Act, with microchip technology providing a means for government to monitor everyone's lives and undermine their privacy. Set in Washington in 2015, the plot shifts back in time, and switches into dreams, revealing information and posing questions as the plot unfolds.

The heroine, Ann Torgeson, is a woman with a mysterious background and a special power; her dreams are a potent weapon which has her wanted by a government she no longer trusts. Indeed, it is difficult to know just who Ann can trust and every character is suspect.

Ann is a secret member of the GOG anti-government group using her CIA training to undermine the government while maintaining a normal outward life as a technical writer for an energy company.

Woven throughout the story are references to the metaphysical which helps to flesh out Ann's character and explain why her dreams might be so powerful.

By the end we are on the edge of our seats wondering what will happen next. It ends on an unexpected cliff hanger which hooks you into the sequel.

Whether or not you agree with the political statements in the book (it contains current-day political references), the plot is fast paced and keeps you reading. If you like political thrillers and government conspiracy stories you will LOVE this book.

I'm glad to have been enticed back into the political thriller genre with Linda's book. It is a suspense-filled page turner that leaves you eager for book two. A brilliant first novel!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Collette Scott on Oct. 25, 2011 :
With the passing of the Patriot Act in what seems a lifetime ago, I think many Americans thought everything would be okay. However, Linda Hawley presents a different spin on the invasion of government into the private sector. What if the government was monitoring us via microchip inserted in our driver's licenses? What if the government was listening to every word we said at every time? Ms.Hawley has taken that line of thought one step further with the first book in her series, Dreams Unleashed. In this tale, Ann is a normal every day woman with special powers that lives in the not too distant future. She resents the government spying on her and is secretly a member of the GOG, an anti-government rebellion group in her secret life, while maintaining an average daily existence as a technical writer in her public one. Our classy heroine also has another secret, and that is that her dreams are potent and powerful and could be used as a government weapon. So there is where the drama begins...

In this first installment we meet Ann: woman, widow, mother of a college student, and hard-worker with a mysterious past. That prior life consists of work in the CIA, where she has been taught remote viewing. With that career long over, she tries to fit into a normal existence, fending off her flirty boss, struggling with the decision to begin an office romance,and making sure her home is safe from government spies. Suddenly she begins having dreams again, and the next thing she knows the government is after her. By the end of Book 1, we are anxiously gripping our seats wondering what is going to happen next. Will she meet the GOG parents? Will the FBI really catchher? Most importantly - is she going to be used as a weapon?

This story flashes back from the past, e.g. 2011 to the present 2015, to fill in the gaps of Ann's existence and give credence to her current plight. In a world that is truly a possible future, Ms. Hawley adds a taste of the paranormal into a frightening social concern. A woman with powerful dreams that leaves the reader unsure who really is trustworthy and who is not, you will eagerly turn each page to find the answers. This is a suspense-filled journey into our potential future that leaves you hanging for more and eagerly awaiting book two.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jackie Jones on Oct. 23, 2011 :
This book is definitely intriguing...that's probably the best word for it. Intriguing and thought-provoking. The meat of the book concerns remote viewing and the link between the main character's subconscious and reality. Yeah, that's deep stuff. It forces you to think, and I love books like that.

I'm also a big fan of books concerning dystopian societies, and Dreams Unleashed definitely falls within that category. But it's interesting because it's not way into the future like most dystopian books are. The present day of this book is 2015, and the government is right at the beginning of a downhill slope into a freedomless society. The author mentions real events happening today and uses those as the beginnings of a dystopia, so it hits close to home; this isn't so far-fetched.

But probably what this author does best is character development. You REALLY get to know every facet of the main character. And there are A LOT of facets. She's about 45 years old and has done a lot of different things in her lifetime so far. She's already a widow (that is of course a rather sad part in the book), she was in the Air Force, she worked for the CIA, she's lived on both U.S. coasts, she is apart of an underground freedom-fighting society, she works for an up-and-coming alternative energy company, and she's a bit of a hippie. Like I said...lots of facets. You also get to know the people she works with, her friends, her family, and her love interest. This story is definitely not lacking in interesting characters.

This is the first book in a trilogy, so the author gives plenty of back story in order to sufficiently introduce us to the characters. I've encountered that plenty of times before, when reading Terry Brooks. Most of his stuff is organized into trilogies, and I've found that the first book always introduces the characters and shows them preparing for the journey, the second book introduces all of the crazy problems and chaos, and then the third book is non-stop action and of course resolves all the problems. I have a feeling that this author will work like that also. This book does end with a pretty crazy cliff-hanger, and I can't wait to see where the second book picks up!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Rosie Cochran on Oct. 23, 2011 :
Dreams Unleashed draws the reader into its intriguing subject matter. It delves into the paranormal. It adds fuel to paranoid concerns of too much government control and invasion of privacy. It also shows that people will only stand for so much before they rebel.

The central figure, Ann, a widow in her forties, appears an unlikely candidate for the anti-government subversive group called GOG. As the story unfolds, we find Ann to be not only a member, but a vital member with paranormal skills honed during her years as an operative with the CIA. The CIA trained her for their own purposes, little knowing they were training her to fight against a country she once defended.

The author skillfully introduces new tidbits of information and twists that bring enlightenment---but also more questions. The pieces start coming together, you think you're beginning to understand the role Ann will play with the GOG, you think you're understanding the paranormal activity, and then your mouth drops open at the last words in the book. There is obviously still more to learn. It is also obvious that the author left a hook to have us checking release dates for the sequel, The Guardian of Time. I'll be looking for my copy when it is released on October 22, 2011.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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