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Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: In Dreams Begin by Skyler White

Title: In Dreams Begin
Author: Skyler White
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: 11/02/10
Summary:
From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power, but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through Hell and across history... or destroy it.

“Every passionate man is linked with another age,
historical or imaginary,
where alone he finds images
that rouse his energy.” W. B. Yeats

Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de si├Ęcle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls -- from an ocean and a hundred years away -- passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats’s poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.

With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats -- the practical materialist and the poet magus -- must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls... or lose them forever.


Plot: 3 Stars
I don't often read novels that include time-travel, so this was a very refreshing read for me. Plus, the time travel wasn't as science-fictiony as it could've been. Instead, it blended time travel with occult practices, astral projection, possession, curses and spells. It was a lot more than just time travel, and it was very interesting. The Irish setting was described so well; the author did a great job researching these historic places. As weird as it sounds, the descriptive settings really made the time travel and occult practices seem more real.

Pace: 3 Stars
This novel was definitely a slow read for me. There were a few scenes that seemed a bit dragged out. But, the multiple points of view and differences in time passing (Laura would go a day between seeing Will, but he would go years between each visit) kept me on my toes. As much as I enjoyed reading about both time periods, there seemed to be a bit too much description to get through in Ida's time. There were also some plot points that didn't quite come together in the end for me. Some of the crazy things Ida did seemed a bit arbitrary and didn't affect much of the conclusion of the story.

Characters: 4 Stars
Although there were quite a bit of characters that I would consider main characters (Laura, Amit, Ida, Maude, and Will), it wasn't overwhelming. You get to know each character quite intimately throughout the novel, and you really experience their emotions with them. Laura was my favorite character, so I wish her part had been a bit larger. It seemed like Ida overshadowed her at some points, but it's understandable given the intertwining of their lives. I also really liked the relationships between Laura and Will, and Laura and Amit. I both loved and hated Ida throughout the novel. She had a way of really getting under my skin. Laura's co-workers were also a nice touch. Although they were much smaller characters, they weren't lacking in depth and seemed very real.

Cover: 4.5 Stars
This cover is to die for. The cover model is exactly how I pictured Laura, and her outfit is fantastic. The only slight, slight, slight criticism I have is that her outfit seems a touch steampunk-ish, given the goggles. This novel wasn't steampunk, and goggles like that didn't come into play at all. While they really make the outfit awesome, without them the outfit would be more relevant. But other than that, it's perfection. I like that the background is stone because it links this novel and its predecessor, and Falling, Fly. Plus the color scheme of browns and tans really fit the mood and setting of the novel. The title, both font and shiny gold color, really pop and grab your attention.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via the author.

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by Sara's Urban Fantasy Blog! I'd love to here what's on your mind. :)