Dromer – Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Written by: Saskia Maaskant
Publisher: Davidsfonds Infodok

Dromer – Book Review

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In our western society, being free to do what you like and say what you want (within certain boundaries of course) is something we often take for granted. Try to imagine a world where decisions are made for you and the only choice you have is to follow them. Hard to do? Well, Saskia Maaskant will give you some ideas of what it must be like in her new book Dromer.

Dromer Banner

Hofstad, the city where Dromer grew up, is divided into several districts. There are the districts of the thinkers, the doers, the deciders and the dreamers. Every citizen is placed into one of those categories on his sixteenth birthday and from that day on, they have to live in the district they were appointed to and do the work they are destined to do. Doers work in factories, thinkers work in offices and dreamers are artists such as painters and musicians. Deciders however live in the Citadel, a large white building on top of a hill, from where they rule over Hofstad.

Today is Dromer’s sixteenth birthday, thus it’s time for the deciders to make a decision about him. Dromer is confident that they will make him a dreamer, just like his father, even though the deciders don’t appoint too many dreamers anymore as they find they cost the society too much money. Despite Dromer’s confidence, the board of deciders decides that he is a thinker, shattering his whole world. Dromer refuses to accept the decision and thus he is brought to a cell somewhere in the Citadel, as is done with all refusers.

For about two years now, Dromer has been locked up in a little white room in the Citadel, under constant camera surveillance, yet he still refuses to accept the decision. All of a sudden, a boy comes into his room, only just sixteen and chosen to be a doer. The boy introduces himself as William, and will be Dromer’s servant as of today. Dromer doesn’t trust the situation all that much, as he assumes that it’s just another trick from his uncle Vasko, the highest decider, to try and convince him to accept the decision. They start communicating though, through little snippets on which they wonder what life would be like outside the Citadel, in a free world where people can make their own choices. There is one place on earth where that seems possible, and that is the island of the darers, but it’s a dangerous undertaking to get there, even if they manage to escape from the Citadel.

If you’ve read or seen parts of the Divergent trilogy, the theme of this book will probably sound familiar. People are being forced into groups, numbing their own free will, and while most comply, some want to break free. Dromer is probably meant for a somewhat younger audience, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it’s exciting from start to finish. The story is told alternating between Dromer’s, William’s and Mila’s point of view (Mila joins in later on in the story), often breaking up the scenes into small parts, which you’ll have to put together to get a clear look. This makes sure that there is a constant flow, while at the same time there is room for getting to know the characters through each other’s eyes and seeing the situation from different angles.

Also, there are often short texts within the main storyline that are a throwback to earlier days. Dromer often thinks about certain moments in his past, things that not only help you to get a better idea of his character, but also to piece the puzzle together that Saskia Maaskant so carefully laid out.

To make you aware of time, and the lack of time the characters have, each chapter (which usually only lasts around three to five pages) begins with a code that will tell you how many days and hours they are still away from D-Day. What D-Day is, is a question that will only be answered much later in the book, but from the start, you get a sense of there being only a limited amount of time, even if you don’t know what for, which adds another element of mystery.


Dromer is a book that takes you away into a world where freedom is simply not tolerated. While it’s a subject we’ve seen before, Saskia Maaskant makes it her own and tells a fresh, exciting story that reads very fluently and won’t let go of you until the very end. If you like the Divergent trilogy, you’ll definitely like this one too.

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