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Dreams and Shadows: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 26, 2013
"These Tangled Vines: A Novel" by Julianne MacLean
From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a sweeping and captivating tale of one woman’s journey to the lush vineyards of Tuscany―and into the mysteries of a tragic family secret.| Learn more
“Hard to put down…definitely going to attract readers of contemporary fantasy, particular those who enjoy Neil Gaiman’s adult books or Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.” (Library Journal)
“Richly imagined...an auspicious debut.” (Booklist)
“Thoroughly enchanting.” (Starburstmagazine.com)
“Dark, comedic, and unsettling, Dreams and Shadows is everything an urban fantasy sets out to be.” (Tor.com)
“Cargill proves with Dreams and Shadows that he’s not just a writer capable of creating and presenting dense mythology well...but that he is also a talented storyteller with a visual sense about his prose that edges on riveting.” (Breitbart/ Big Hollywood)
“The rich language, world building, and moral questions posed make for fascinating reading. Much of the novel is dark, but hope and redemption form the bedrock of the complex characters.” (SFRevu)
“Screenwriter and former film critic C. Robert Cargill’s urban fantasy novel creates a rich universe full of dangerous and fascinating characters....the world that Cargill has created here is too rich to abandon.” (MTV Geek)
“Exceptional worldbuilding, sure-handed plotting and well-rounded characters, even the nasty ones, abound, and the whole impressive enterprise moves smartly along through a fairy culture with a structure and motivations sharply different from that of humans. A mesmerizing and highly original debut.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“In this beautifully written debut.... The universe is richly detailed, and issues of destiny and sacrifice give the story depth…for those that enjoy a rollercoaster ride into the depths of strangeness and despair.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
- Publisher : Harper Voyager; First Edition (February 26, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062190423
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062190420
- Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.37 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,177,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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I was impressed with the way the branching storylines weaved together, culminating in a climax that felt both small and epic at the same time.
There was no tripping over superfluous details of the environment that just serve as page filler, and for that I am ever thankful.
If I had one tiny gripe, it's that I thought some of the conversations felt inorganic and thought, "who talks like that?" in certain parts. Not a big deal, though.
So, in summary, I recommend this on the basis that I felt as if it was a tale inspired and drawn lovingly out of many of the fantasy movies and books I grew up watching and reading. Give it a shot.
As with Queen of the Dark Things, the world here reminds me of the Nightside series by Simon Green. I think there are many interesting classes of characters introduced in this work, so if you like a veritable menagerie of options, there are possibilities that you will be satisfied by future works that take place in this world. A few of the standalone characters are developed pretty well: I did care about Colby and Ewan and had a definite dislike of Knocks. Most of the others were pretty one dimensional with the notable exception of Coyote.
My main critique is that, while entertaining, I found some of the early chapters -- for example, the whole section about the campers -- to be only tangentially related to the main story. I didn't do a page count, but it felt like a lot of investment in learning about characters and classes of supernatural, only to have the story abruptly change gears and jump back to the main thread, never to really return again (how was that for trying to not spoil what happens in that part?)
At any rate, for an initial work by this author and an introduction to a new world, I think it is a solid effort. The second work, is more polished and wanders less. I look forward to a third in the series to see where else this will go.
I found myself sometimes engaged and other times skimming, so I decided to rate it a schizophrenic three-stars.
Top reviews from other countries
It started very well, but descended into cliche and trite fairy/otherworld waffle.
Any one who thinks it is a worthy antecedent of American God's just isn't getting that book, or its author's writing.
Sometimes it's hard to describe exactly why you enjoy a book so much, and for me this is one of them. It has flaws but I just didn't really care, it was just fun. Sometimes it edges towards horror I would say, and there were some dark moments. And there is some fantastically thought provoking dialogue too, which was interesting. I just really liked it!