- File Size: 797 KB
- Print Length: 339 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Waking Dreams Press (August 22, 2013)
- Publication Date: August 22, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EQINGA8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,408,634 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Creature of Dreams Kindle Edition
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The problem is that it's often only there as basic titillation, to give a male character something to heal or as a past traumatic enough to harden the character and strengthen her (often through anger). And this just pisses me off, especially that last point. As if a woman can't just be naturally resilient. Male characters don't have to survive some horrible trauma to become emotionally tough, why do all female characters? Gah, pisses me off. So, as a hot point issue for me, I almost just didn't bother with the book. I'm so glad I did.
The history of childhood rape is pretty much the fulcrum on which the plot pivots. So, there is no escaping it. To be honest, I did begin to feel that, considering this is a 29-year-old trauma, Liv was a little overly focused on it. But she has come to a point in her life that she's made a conscious decision to face her past, so dealing with it is kind of the point.
I basically tolerated that aspect of the plot, while falling in love with the characters...all of them. I cannot express how much I appreciated seeing a 41-year-old woman presented as single, without children, confident (with the exception of the issues being addressed), sexy and sexual. She was none of the things Western Culture says women 'past their prime' should be and I wanted to hoop and holler for her.
Then there was Pippa. Pippa, who cheerfully said all of my secret shameful thoughts on motherhood as if they were common and normal. As if the blessed 'Myth of Motherhood' really could be eked around without diminishing a woman. I need a Pippa in my life.
Milo...sweet, gentle, broken Milo. I don't think it would be possible to not love Milo. And I could easily relate to his guilt and secondary trauma from witnessing atrocities. (I'm going to call it PTSD and Survivor Guilt.) Similarly, if Milo is a balm to the senses, Grim is the quintessential bad boy (even if there is nothing boy-like about him.) I enjoyed them both very much.
Books involving dreams can easily slip into too-weird-to-read territory and I'm always a little wary of picking one up, but after a rocky start, this was a complete success for me.
Certain things I connected with: I know Liv's manic energy that comes from sleepless exhaustion -- 3 AM my old friend, it's so good to see you again -- and the shadows moving out of the corners of your eyes. The litany of treatments tried and discarded. And the darkness lurking under it all.
It reminded me a lot of Wide Open by Deborah Coates, and a bit of Catherynne Valente's Fairyland books, though this is not YA -- it follows the adult urban fantasy template more generally. Like those books it is emotive and inventive, the fantastic action grounded in real people and relationships. The conflicts are neither too easy nor circled endlessly -- everything which is won is won honestly.
This book is exactly what it needs to be, and not a breath wasted. Maybe you'll like it too.
Creature of Dreams is dark, and has the most disturbing of themes at its core - paedophilia - but Lassiter explores the aftermath of that horror with a delicate touch, weaving in fantasy elements to create a truly unforgetable story. Do not expect fluff. You won't get it. This is a mature novel told with courage and imagination. Simply brilliant.