“Dusk Upon Elysium” by Tamel Wino

Dusk Upon Elysium

Tamel Wino
Independently Published (2022)
ISBN 9781777408879
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (08/2022)

Author Tamel Wino can craft worlds like I’ve never read before. Part Steven King, part Blake Crouch, “Dusk Upon Elysium” is mind bendingly realistic despite, or maybe even because of, its dystopian nature. This was not my first Tamel Wino read and their skill in artful storytelling and scenery is consistent throughout all their works and is especially vibrant within this full-length fictional world. 

Set in a world in which the Nergal Virus has infected and wiped out staggering portions of the population, the government suddenly shows up to citizen’s homes and rounds them up in an effort to protect them from further infection. Taken in Army vehicles, PCR rapid tests are administered and anyone testing positive is shot on the spot. Those lucky enough to test negative are taken to the local hospital, where they are cleaned and drugged, waking up to their new realities in a concrete bunker with chips implanted in their heads. Six years have passed since this migration to the bunkers and everyone’s new realities. 

“Dusk Upon Elysium” felt all too realistic after the last few years we’ve all had with COVID-19. Wino takes our realities to the next level in this read as their dystopian world has a state-of-the-art virtual world, accessed by the chips in everyone’s head, to escape the concrete bunkers and mundane lives in which they all live. The characters, the scenery, the creepy realism, and the vivid virtual reality encounters elicit a thought provoking, and at times, terrifying, depiction of what feels like could have been. No one will forget 2020’s coronavirus and I’m sure I won’t soon forget the Nergal Virus ravishing Wino’s fictitious world.

This book is all-encompassing given the ties to our realities the last few years. Pulling readers under as we are shown the stark reality of Geoff’s quarantined bunker the last six years, as well as the vivid “paradiso” world in which his chip allows him to escape into. As an analyst in the “paradiso” virtual reality programing, the trippy experiences of the program levels allow readers to grasp just how perilous and dull life could have been for us under even more extreme COVID-19 regimes. With flashbacks to life pre-virus to the early years of the migrations, and present day, the similarities to COVID-19 are eerily evident throughout.

“Dusk Upon Elysium” is a highly recommended 5-star read.

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