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Jared Sandman was born in Canton, Ohio, in 1985. He began selling his first stories professionally while in high school and wrote his first novel upon graduation. (That book, BLOOD MONEY, sits in a desk drawer where it will never see the light of day.)
LEVIATHAN was his second attempt at the long form, which he wrote two years later. This was followed up by THE WILD HUNT, DREAMLAND and THE SHADOW WOLVES. His next novel, BLACKSTONE, will be released in 2012. He's currently working on his seventh book.
Jared lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and can be reached through his website, www.jaredsandman.com, where he keeps a blog. Follow him on Twitter @JaredSandman.
The author contacted me to be a part of his Blogbuster tour. After reading the synopsis for Dreamland, I decided to give it a shot. I am not a major Sci-Fi reader - though there are some gems in the genre - but I'm always up for a challenge. This book was interesting and entertaining, and a pretty quick read, so I'm glad I said yes.
We first meet recovering alcoholic Derek White at an AA meeting. On his way home, he witnesses something he should not have: extraterrestrial activity. Derek promptly records the evidence on a video camera and snaps some pictures. The next day, Derek is visited by the Men in Black. These MIBs mean business, and will stop at nothing to silence threats. Derek doesn't take their warning seriously though, and as a night time radio host, decides to share his experience with his listeners. The story really gets interesting after this event.
Derek's life is turned upside down and inside out as he stays one step ahead of the MIBs in his search for the truth. Despite the threat to his family and his sanity, Derek remains strong in his quest for answers. With all of his flaws, Derek turned out to be a pretty admirable guy. I'm a sucker for the flawed character, being a social worker. I always try to find the good in people.
I really enjoyed where the book went and how it ended. It was very appropriate and expected. The real world is full of believers of alien life. The mindset and actions of the government agency in this book were pretty realistic should someone witness something they should not. You would expect the government to try and silence the witnesses at any cost, or at least, I would. We hear tons of conspiracy theories about government cover ups, and this fast-paced, action-packed thriller is a seemingly believable account of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, this is completely subjective, and the reader will determine for themselves if they agree.
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So... which is more dangerous, finding proof that aliens exist or finding proof that the government is covering up something related to finding proof that aliens exist? You know the answer, right? So does Derek White, a man who learns the truth about Area 51, a.k.a. Dreamland (which turns into Nightmareland for Derek as you'll soon see!) as he gets deeper and deeper into his search for truth and his desire to know and expose what needs to be made known.
Science-fiction is good when there is tension and a fast-paced plotline. The technical elements to a sci-fi story are not what makes it good. (Case in point, The Andromeda Strain where a tiny scrap of paper causes almost total destruction; that book's enjoyment comes from the response, not the technical issue of the tiny scrap of paper.) In Dreamland, the fast-paced plot and the GAMBLE that Derek must make between danger and exposing the truth is the tension that made me LOVE this story!
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