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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review: The Gods of Dream + FREE BOOK ALERT!

What Book Is That Giveaway Carnival!

The Gods of Dream: An Epic FantasyTitle: The Gods of Dream
Author: Daniel Arenson
Page Count: 525 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: self published
Genre: epic fantasy, young adult
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

SynopsisVisited Narnia and Middle Earth?  Now escape into Dream.

What are dreams? Some think they are figments of our mind. But what if they were wisps of a distant, magical world... a world you could visit? 

Twins Cade and Tasha discover Dream, the land dreams come from. It is a realm of misty forests, of verdant mountains, of mysterious gods who send dreams into our sleep. Cade and Tasha seek solace there; they are refugees, scarred and haunted with memories of war. In Dream, they can forget their past, escape the world, and find joy. 

Phobetor, the god of Nightmare, was outcast from Dream. Now he seeks to destroy it. He sends his monsters into Dream, and Cade and Tasha find their sanctuary threatened, dying. To save it, the twins must overcome their past, journey into the heart of Nightmare, and face Phobetor himself. 

Discover a world of light and darkness, of hope and fear, of dreams and nightmares. Discover The Gods of Dream.

If I had to pick one word to describe Gods of Dream, it would definitely be lush.  Maybe vivid.  While fans of epic fantasy will find many well-loved and familiar threads here, it's the word usage and the description of the setting and characters that set this book apart.

The story is familiar enough- a beautiful and beloved land is in danger of being overrun and ruined by a dark and evil land, and an unlikely choice of hero is chosen for a great quest.  In this case, our unlikely hero and heroine are a set of human twins named Tasha and Cade, and they receive help along the way from a series of ever more interesting allies.

The story uses the dichotomy of Dream and Nightmare to illustrate the difference between the good side and the bad side, and the King of Nightmare, Phobetor, is one seriously creepy dude with a seriously grand chip on his shoulder.  His ultimate goal is to rule both Dream and Nightmare, even though such a thing is inherently impossible; it's up to Tasha and Cade to keep him from succeeding.

By far my favorite part of this story was the word usage.  Everything is described so beautifully and so lushly that I can picture each scene perfectly in my mind.  There were lots of times that I stopped reading and just took a second to fully absorb the impact of the words arranged in that order.  I tweeted this line while I was reading the book, and it's still one of my favorites: "Colorful fish and crabs lived in the pools, and salt coated the edges of stones like sea-swept margaritas." Every page has an example like that, where the words rise up and erupt into a beautiful picture.

Folks who have read Tolkien and other leaders of the epic fantasy world will definitely see a lot of familiar elements here, but I don't think that's a bad thing.  The Gods of Dream is a good example of how someone can so lovingly express devotion to an existing work or style while still creating something new and different.  I definitely think the writing style is more accessible here than in other fantasy works.  While there's plenty of fantasy language, by which I mean words and character names that are totally made up, the names are easy to figure out and the flow of the story isn't interrupted.  

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!  As of this writing, The Gods of Dream is a free download for Kindle on Amazon!  You can score your own copy of the book by clicking the cover picture above.  I don't know if this is a permanent change or just a temporary promotion but definitely grab a copy of this book while you can.
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