Publication Date: June 21, 2014
Story Sparks has terrible dreams. She hasn’t had a dream for eight years, and suddenly as a freshman in college, they return. In an effort to cheer her up, Story’s mother suggests an outing to Lake Sandeen, and once there, warns Story about going into the water. Story’s Uncle Peter disappeared into the water and her mother isn’t so sure he drowned. When Story and her friends choose not to heed her mother’s advice and take a cool dip, they find themselves in a terrifying world of wolves, witches and mortal danger. Can Story and her friends find their way home without dooming both worlds?
I received this book as an advanced reader’s copy from the author’s manager. Content may have changed between the copy I received and publication.[easyazon-link asin=”B00JG8U6TC” locale=”us”]Fractured Dream (The Dreamer Saga)[/easyazon-link] is an epic fantasy in the truest sense of the genre. The author gives us a teaser scene at the start that is well written and fascinating and then we find Story and her mother. The start of the novel is fairly ponderous and slow and, to be honest, the first 46 pages of the novel felt as though they took longer to read than the remaining 445 pages. When a friend runs to tell Story’s mother, Edie, that she has disappeared under the water and she stoically calls emergency services but holds a conviction that Story is now wherever Peter went and an equal faith they aren’t dead; I was sold. This was the moment to this reader’s mind that Randall really starts to shine.
As is indicative of the genre, Story falls into a world she’s destined to help. I don’t know about other readers but I didn’t like her at first. She struck me as self-absorbed and more teenager than young adult (her mother notes this as well early on in the advent of mood swings). She has vivid imaginary friends and her paintings depict violent scenes born of her dreams. To be fair to the character, when Story falls into this alternate world, everything she’s been struggling to make sense of and has perhaps made her a bit odd, falls into place. She encounters her Uncle Peter early on to find that he has not aged at all. Toward the end of the novel, Story has an epiphany under the weight of faith the people of the alternate world have for her and it’s shattering to this character in a way that reinvents her. I don’t want to spoil this moment for the reader, but Randall handles the transition brilliantly.
Good fantasy is imbued with darkness, danger and hope. [easyazon-link asin=”B00JG8U6TC” locale=”us”]Fractured Dream[/easyazon-link]has those qualities in spades. Hope leaves room for humor even if it’s in the sense that we may as well laugh at ourselves because our next moment may be all we have. [easyazon-link asin=”B00JG8U6TC” locale=”us”]Fractured Dream[/easyazon-link] introduces Story to fire trolls, Pegasus, witches, goblins, gods, wolves and many other creatures of fairy tale lore. The complexity of this alternate world created by Randall is staggering. There is a leaning of sorts on traditional characters and those we know, but she imbues them with a unique sense and feeling and many times are obstacles that Story must overcome. As Story learns more about her new world, she learns more about herself and her purpose.
There is a heavy romantic thread in the novel in the relationship between Story and Nicholas. Randall’s threading of the relationship in the story so that it doesn’t distract from the core message is expertly done so that fantasy readers won’t roll their eyes, but romance readers have a story line to which to cling. Both characters are integral parts of the action and Randall is not afraid to do what must be done for the sake of the story.[easyazon-link asin=”B00JG8U6TC” locale=”us”]Fractured Dream[/easyazon-link] is a story not yet complete. Readers of this first novel will have a sense of having read a complete story, but will have a need to read on. Story may have settled the immediate problems of the alternate world but a much bigger bad looms and that bad is just thrilling.
K.M. Randall lives in Upstate New York. [easyazon-link asin=”B00JG8U6TC” locale=”us”]Fractured Dream (The Dreamer Saga)[/easyazon-link] is her first novel. read an excerpt and buy Fractured Dream (The Dreamer Saga) by K.M. Randall on