Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dreamwalker by C.S. Friedman

Funny story here. I have read nearly every novel C(elia).S. Friedman has written, and they have always proved engrossing. When I began this blog, I had the second novel in the Magister trilogy sitting on my TBR shelf, and it was supposed to be about the fourth review I published, as soon as I read it. Still haven't read it. Mostly because I meant to go back and read the first book over again; it had been far too long between publishing dates, and I was pretty fuzzy about what had gone before. The third novel in the trilogy is out, and I never did buy it.

When I saw that Friedman had written either a stand alone novel or the beginning of a new series, then, I was overjoyed and I immediately took steps to acquire a copy of Dreamwalker.

I'm afraid that Friedman has finally sold out to the forces of evil. While, like everything else she has ever written, it is eminently readable, it's such a rehash of modern female protagonist based fiction that my jaded brain says, "Bleah."

Jessica Drake, or Jesse, is a girl living with her single mom and younger brother who has strange dreams, which she turns into paintings. When a mysterious stranger evinces interest in those paintings, and in Jesse's family, and Jesse discovers that she's not genetically related to anyone in her family, despite hospital records, the story gets rolling. Adolescent with heretofore undiscovered mystical powers - Check!

She goes online to find out if there may be other changelings like her, and encounters a pair of teenagers, Devon and Rita, who come from different backgrounds, he's the rich son of a doctor while Rita is a foster child, but have the same genetic mystery. Add a pair of friends she must learn to trust to succeed - Check!

When Jesse's brother, Tommy, is kidnapped by forces of evil from an alternate Earth (also Check!) and her family home is burned down, she and her friends find a way to sneak through the Gate between the worlds (yeah, like no one's ever tried that before, and the keepers of the gates are a bunch of dolts, this allegedly has been going on for centuries) to rescue him. In the early going, Rita appears to be jealous of the attention Devon pays to Jesse. Budding love triangle - Check!

When they ally with a band of rejected misfits living in the sewer system at their destination, they find out that the Gifts of the rulers of this alternate reality are the source of all of our legends of supernatural beings. A logical explanation for faeries, vampires and werewolves at last - Check!

Still trying to figure out the deal with the black Neanderthals who are enslaved by the master race. Probably Jesse and her friends will lead a slave revolt at some point in the saga. Wouldn't want to leave out any tropes. Shades of Spartacus!

A very quick read. We'll see if Friedman manages to bring the series up to her usual standards, or whether she falls into crass populism in the end, as the sequels arrive.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

That's depressing. Thanks for the warning as I would definitely have gotten it with high hopes.