I was lucky enough to get a free ARC of this from Book Sirens. This was one that I chose to read as the blurb sounded interesting. I’d never heard of the author, Johan Twiss, before but I’ll be keeping an eye out on his other books!
As the title suggests, the main character, Aaron is trapped in his body. After developing meningitis, he has been left paralysed, unable to move anything with doctors thinking he is also brain dead. However, his brain is very much awake and so, unable to communicate his needs and being left to stare at a blank wall in the care home he is in, Aaron has invented his own world inside his head. Things change when he gets a new room mate, Sullivan, who is suffering from Dementia. What’s odd though is that Sullivan can hear Aaron’s thoughts and so they have a way to communicate with each other. When Sullivan relapses and has a dementia episode, Aaron is brought into that dream, experiencing what Sullivan remembers.
I found the premise of this really original. Especially as there must be people like this who are paralysed but awake. You can’t imagine how horrible that must be. However, I liked how the author didn’t make this a really depressing book which it could have been with the content matter. There are bits of humour, especially with Sullivan talking out loud, replying to Aaron’s thoughts. I did get a bit bored with the fight scenes in Sullivan’s world, there were too many descriptions of the exact punch for my liking. But the character did train in boxing as a child so they were there for a reason. And then as the flashbacks went into Sullivan’s later life, for example in the war, you could see just what an incredible life Sullivan had led. Which made it especially sad that his memories were falling apart.
I loved the relationship between Aaron and Sullivan. Their connection was a fantasy element I enjoyed but also to see how much happier Aaron is the more time he spends with Sullivan. I even thought the minor character were done well and liked how Sarah could see beyond Aaron’s condition, even though he couldn’t speak to her.
Overall I thought this was a good read and would definitely recommend!