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The Dreamwalker's Child Hardcover – April 4, 2006
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The action gets started in this book almost immediately, and it never stops. The story is told in alternating points of view of Sam, the leaders of two opposing militaries on the planet Sam has been swept to, and Sam's mother, who is the Dreamwalker of the book's title.
There are some truly hideous villains in this book, and Sam is knocked around brutally. He's a very strong protagonist, though, and so is the young girl who is sent to rescue him by the leader of the non-evil army. Skipper is a crack pilot of one of the most unusual flying "machines" you will ever read about in a fantasy.
There are a lot of insects in this book--the whole story is based around them. If you find the very thought of bugs repugnant, you might not enjoy this book. But since this book is primarily geared to adolescent boys, I don't think that will be a problem for them at all. I think they will love this book. The dynamic female character in the book will make it enjoyable for girls as well.
For parents: This book has no sex, drugs, or alcohol, and no bad language. It does, though, have a lot of violence. However, it is presented in such a way that I don't believe young teens will find the book overwhelmingly scary.
Meanwhile, an army in the state of Vermia in another world called Aurobon prepares for war against humans on earth. Their weapon: a virus to be spread by mosquitoes. As they refine their technique, word comes that "the Dreamwalker" has been found --- and that she has a son. Odoursin, Vermia's evil emperor, demands the boy be brought to him.
Sam takes a bike ride and notices a peculiar cloud of wasps. He can't resist following them. Pain stabs his neck, and then everything goes black.
He awakens to nighttime in a strange landscape, marshlands lit with blue-green light. Confused and frightened, he walks toward distant city lights. But his travels are disrupted by a horrendous encounter with a slavering pack of creatures like no one has seen on Earth. The crazed beasts are intent on killing him. Sam realizes he will surely die, but then a group of soldiers appears. His relief is short-lived, however, when the soldiers act like he's a criminal, violently hauling him off to prison. What is going on?
Vermia's enemy state is called Vahlzi, and the army is led by Commander Firebrand. Realizing the Dreamwalker's son has been kidnapped by Vermia, Firebrand decides to send a rescuer, Skipper, who is his best pilot despite her young age.
In prison, Sam meets Skipper who gives him hope of escape. Looking through the window of his cell, he sees three moons and realizes he's in a whole new world. When Sam learns the truth behind his plight, he's shocked. He must fight the evil that seeks to destroy Earth's humans. Meanwhile, his damaged body on Earth remains in a coma.
This original book is filled with ideas I found myself discussing repeatedly with family and friends. In the midst of an urgent plot fueled by a dangerous mission, we find humor, a gutsy female role model, friendship, family relationships, questions about the guardianship of Earth and the balance of nature --- plus a subtle, thrilling celebration of life itself. Speaking of celebration, I understand a sequel to THE DREAMWALKER'S CHILD is in the works. Hooray!
PS: Dear Hollywood: What are you waiting for? This book has "movie potential" stamped on it in huge red letters.
--- Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (email@example.com)
The characters feel very two-dimensional, without any believable and/or interesting backstory.
The plot is the classic mix of the complicated and the foreseeable.
The author fails to even hint at resolving some major points, e.g.:
What is up with the dog/human chimeras?
Rather more importantly, are the giant insects alive or not? If not, why do they have to be grown from larvae? If yes, why do they have glass windows instead of eyes and do not need internal organs?
Two stars for originality, but the execution lacks practically everything else that makes a good read. Specifically, a world is created, but it does not seem internally consistent, which is something good Fantasy always manages to do.
I recieved my copy of this book very early on. about month after it was first released. (my claim to fame, Steve Voake is related to me, his dad is the son of my grandmother's brother.. confusing eh?) And found the book a brillient literary work. tho a little disturbing that one of the main characters had the same nickname as me.. I recently read the book again to find anything i had missed and was again amazed by its brilliance. I just need to get my mits on the sequal, the web of fire..