I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book Crash, Book Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.
Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:
- One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
- Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
- Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
- Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
- Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy
Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!
The Dream Keeper (The Dream Keeper Chronicles) by Mikey Brooks
Dreams: Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME.
When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?
From the start, I was drawn into the lives of Kaelyn and Parker, remembering what it was like to feel like an outsider in junior high. The characters are realistically written, colorful and easily remembered. Information leading to Fyren’s end was subtly woven throughout the story in such a way as to be obvious only after the fact. And what good story doesn’t have a hero’s sacrifice? This one was both obviously necessary and beautifully written. Added to those well-written details was the weaving in of the next book’s story, making the final chapter a satisfying cliff hanger with just the right amount of closure mixed with teaser.
A few of the dreamlings seemed like over-the-top caricatures or thrown together after thoughts. However, dreams seldom make sense and are products of our vivid imaginations, so I suppose it would be natural that some of the characters would be outrageous stereotypes and others would be not quite solid in their description. Keeping that in mind, the comic-like descriptions of those few wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
I would highly recommend The Dream Keeper (The Dream Keeper Chronicles) by Mikey Brooks to middle graders and adults who enjoy well written flights of fancy.