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The Dream Crystal (Shadows & Dreams Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 432 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark O’Bannon, is an American novelist and game designer best known as the author of the fantasy series, “Shadows and Dreams.”    O’Bannon has studied writing and marketing techniques extensively, and has read over 200 books on the subjects.  O’Bannon has been conducting workshops, seminars and panels for authors on writing and marketing since 2007.    After running a panel at Comic-Con International in 2008 (“How to Tell a Story” and “Humor in Science Fiction”), O’Bannon was having dinner with friends William F. Nolan, Marc Scott Zicree, David Gerrold and George Clayton Johnson.  While talking with George Clayton Johnson, Mark conceived the idea for his first series of novels, “Shadows & Dreams” (George wrote eight of the original Twilight Zone episodes, the first episode of Star Trek to air after the pilot, Logan’s Run and Ocean’s Eleven).   The “Shadows & Dreams” series begins with “The Dream Crystal,” a novel about a girl who discovers that she is a Faerie Changeling and fights a war against the Shadow People over the power to control the dreams of mankind.   The second book in the series, “The Dark Mirrors of Heaven” is about a faerie changeling who struggles to remove a curse that threatens to plunge the world into eternal darkness.    O’Bannon is an advocate of Self-Publishing and teaches workshops to aspiring authors on how to publish, market and promote their work.    O’Bannon is the CEO of Shadowstar Games, which publishes the Interactive Storytelling Game (a Pen & Paper Role Playing Game), “Fantasy Imperium.”  Fantasy Imperium sold out in 2010 out of the initial print run of 5000 copies.   Born in San Diego, California, O’Bannon is the grandson of the famous aviation pioneer, Reuben H. Fleet (who acquired the Wright Brother’s airplane company Dayton-Wright along with Gallaudet Aircraft and formed Consolidated Aircraft, the makers of the famous B-24 Liberator bombers and the PBY Catalina flying boats from WWII).   O’Bannon has supported charities including the Red Cross, and the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound and in politics is a registered Libertarian.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4226 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: MEOw Publishing (May 13, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 13, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050I6BPU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,795,307 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I'm an author from San Diego.

How did I get into writing?
I practiced the original (oral) form of storytelling for over 30 years through role playing games. This is the best kind of training. If you make a mistake, you find out immediately. You learn how to build tension, how to do jump cuts, how to create multi-strand plotlines, and how to get someone personally interested in a story.

I went to school studying computer animation and special effects, but I found that without a story, there is nothing to animate. So I started reading books on writing.... Over the next 10 years, while reading nearly 200 books and taking writing courses, I began to adapt storytelling techniques to my games, and it worked!

I created my own role playing game because I wanted to create a more accurate historical game, and also to help people tell better stories. I published the book and it sold out in two years. Since I never got into the game business to make money (I did it for fun), I spent too much on marketing the book and didn't have the cash to print more books (I was exhausted anyway).

My brother, Charles Holloway, introduced me to several of his writer friends (William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, Marc Scott Zicree, David Gerrold, Clive Barker and Ray Bradbury). Since I was around other writers, I decided to begin writing novels of my own.

I discovered John Truby, who I regard as the BEST writing instructor in the world and I bought everything he has on writing.

It took me about a year to design my first novel, a year to write it and another year to figure out how to market it. Now it's done. I've just discovered that I released it on Friday the 13th!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!

I'm also a juggler, but that's another story.

Mark O'Bannon :)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, Mark, when you read on a kindle a person does not see the authors name very often. I had assumed that the author was a woman. I guess I thought so because 'Mark' had an excellent way of painting a scene with descriptions of clothing. At first, I was bored by it, but then I bought it, and it became easy to picture the scene via clothing. And, hair color and hair style. Facial and physical descriptions became part of the background. I admire his artistic writing method.

But I had a hard time grasping his reality. Shadow, Faery, and Us. Or, Shadow/Faery and Us. The plot takes the heroine from us to Faery where magic is real. Mark gets it right when he shows that in a world of magic, the nature of the world would be war, as Shadow battles Faery. Magic invalidates physical laws, so the environment is whatever kind of magic any author imagines.

Mark seemed to imagine magic as a genetic characteristic which was optimized by adopting a certain magic abilities. Reality was created by making inanimate things magic so that there could be places. These places were an alternate earth. The characters could cross over to any of the three worlds but mostly shadow attacked Faery and they left us alone. The only aspect of reality which was consistent in all three worlds was time, I mean, you have to have a plot.

Well, when anything you can imagine comes true, kind of like writing a novel, Mark went Middle Ages on us. War. I would have been more interested in how Mark imagined a magic based economy, or maybe family life, and then answer the question of how you die in a magic world. For that matter, how you are born. When you can rearrange molecules, like a star going nova, with just a thought, is there any crucible left for a plot? Give us readers a mechanism, imagine something, as to how you think magic would work in a magical world.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In this novel we meet Aisling, who finds out, after a series of events that she is a faerie changeling.

Along with this comes the knowledge that she has a 'sister', well the girl she was exchanged with, and she decided to find her but soon learns that she has been taken by the Shadow People.

I think that is secondary plot, though I am still not positive. As the name we also have the plot about the actual Dream Crystal about which the book is named. We get three worlds in this novel-- the human world I guess, the shadow world and the land of dreams, which is where all the fairies live.

We meet a lot of interesting people from all three among them are, Genevieve a human and Aisling's best friend. Eileen, a faerie. Ith, the shadow king.

One of the reasons this novel only gets three stars was because of several little things that bothered me. It was nothing that affected the story as a whole but did cause a slow pace at times.

Example: There were many character in the book and while some such as Aisling, Erin and Elaine was easy to remember we get a lot of other characters, mostly male now that I think back on it, that I couldn't really keep straight.

Above is a very vague premiss of what this book is about I would try to give a more in-depth one but just do not think it is possible without giving everything away.

When it came down to it I find I could not love Aisling, like her yes, but not love her. She just seemed slightly artificial to me and kind of a tease if you will. Also, I never felt a very strong connection with her, which is strange as the novel is only her POV.

Altogether I really did like the novel and think it is a good first book and look forward to see more in the series.

I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in a novel about fairies or a slightly long fantasy.

*I received an Ebook copy of this book for free to review from the author.
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Format: Kindle Edition
** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review **

I enjoyed reading The Dream Crystal. I like fantasy, and its not something that I have read a whole lot of, but I did enjoy reading this. Mark does a fantastic job of transporting you into the world of the fairies. There are 3 actual worlds, the dream world, the shadow world, and the human world and they mirror each other geographically, since they're more like alternate dimensions.
There were a lot of characters, and sometimes they got a little bit confusing, and some of the names are a little hard to pronounce, but luckily, there is a handy dandy appendix in the back with the cast of characters and how to pronounce the troubling names. I also struggled with whether I liked some of the characters, my biggest struggle being Aisling. She's very proud and passionate, and she seems very into herself and her looks at certain points, which made me unsure of whether I really liked her. But as the story went on, she grew on me. Also, because Aisling wants to become a fashion designer, there is a lot of attention to detail about what the characters are wearing. In most of the scenes there was a description of the characters and everything that they were wearing.
I also liked the emphasis put on the Celtic history and the occurrence of Gaelic phrases throughout the book. My family being Irish, I could really appreciate this and I thought that it really added to the novel.

However, I did feel at times that the story dragged because of all of the detail that was put in and it just didn't feel like it was important to the story line at times.
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