Author: Bart Cline
Date Read: October 6, 2013
ARC direct from author
Summary: If a man’s dreams are better than life, then what is the incentive to wake up?
Donovan Stone, police detective, aficionado of classic films, and widower, is such a man. Fired from the force after a violent incident, Donovan’s life could be considered no more successful or happy than a train wreck. His only hope is the affection of a woman, who also happens to be his best friend.
But each night he finds solace in his dreams, where he can enjoy the good things that life denies him. There he’s successful, happy, and free, until Donovan’s world of dreams crosses over into his reality with deadly consequences. He must fight his way back from the brink of oblivion – but does he really want to?
Dreams, classic movie genres, and reality meet in a dangerous cocktail. goodreads
Review: As you may recall, I read another of Cline's novels recently and was not very fond of it. When the author requested I review his books, he did tell me this one was better than the other and I'm glad I gave it a chance because I was pleasantly surprised. This book is very different from Wanderlove. I'd say it was different in every single way. I wouldn't have known the same person wrote both books, but in the best way possible.
This book is a little on the sci-fi side but it is done very well. Every chapter jumps between the present (which I believe is set in the future) and Donovan's dreams. I really enjoyed the way the dream sequences were done because they mimicked parts of his life but they took place in the plots/settings of some of Don's favorite movies. The characters in Don's real life continually made appearances in his dreams which was very believable. The author also showed that dreams are a way of our mind working out problems subconsciously which I thought was very cool and a nod to my good ole' profession of psychology.
I enjoyed the main story and seeing Don's trial and tribulations play out in his dreams, but I had a very hard time with the ending. I felt like it just stopped and the author gave up. Some people would interpret this as "the reader choosing the ending they want" but I don't feel like it even got that far. There was no wrap up, the story just ended. It didn't even have enough info for the reader to choose a viable ending.
I enjoyed the format of this book the most because it felt like a lot of short stories. The main character was enjoyable and easy to relate to. There were some issues with mistakes and copy editing but they didn't detract from the story. I'd say overall, reading this book was a positive experience and I'm glad I gave this author another chance.