Repost of Michael Swensson’s review
5 out of 5 stars
Mar 29, 2016
From the day Corim Colleran is born, his life was predetermined. In his world society is strictly controlled through order that says what education, jobs and how long you will live for. At the bottom of the order ladder, Corim’s life is taught to him through school. The main things he learns is his existence is short to prevent overpopulation and everything that goes with it, sex is a vital part of a teenagers development, so some may go on to be well paid sex workers and the three E’s, Expiration, Execution and Extension.
It will be the final one of these that says if someone dies, they can be brought back to life for three days, that is the main theme of of the book. When Corim finishes his education, he gets his medial job and gets married to the only girl he really loved, Kiri. All seems well for the happy couple who are in love and then experience the joy of being parents. That joy though will be shattered when Kiri, who is a sex worker is killed by a higher order client and brought back to life. For Corim this is agony knowing he has only days left with his beloved wife, only to have a chance to have her natural life reinstated after the accused offers to do so in exchange for a change in her statements at the trial.
The moral dilemma for Kiri is overwhelming. On one hand she wants to see her young son grow up and spend time with her husband. But on the other hand she craves justice. Not just for herself but also to ensure this does not happen to other sex workers. For Corim the decision seems a simple one, but the after the trial he is left sad and bitter. Not to his darling wife, but to the world he lives in and one he is determined to find out the truth about. What he will discover, will blow the lid on a Utopian society ruled by faceless immortals, that lie and play games with there inhabitants.
To say Three Days Breathing was a revelation for me was an understatement. The world that McGuire has created is one of the most disturbing dystopian worlds I have come across in fiction and could easily be compared to the likes of 1984, Logan’s Run and Brave New World. Written with such powerful conviction, this is a book you will race through. Thought-provoking and engrossing, it is the true definition of a modern classic.
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