‘Not Everything is As it Seems’ Writes ‘Hidden in Dreams’ Reviewer

To celebrate the release of my novel, Hidden in Dreams (released July 3, 2012), I’m featuring reviews from readers. Today, our guest is Joyce Elferdink.

By Joyce Elferdink
Guest Reviewer

Joyce is a semi-retired communications instructor who completed her first book this year. She loves to read novels that not only entertain, but beckon readers to think more deeply about issues. She blogs at A Novel Site.

Story Synopsis

Foretelling the future through dreams is—for nearly everyone—a compelling frame for storytelling. And we all know that not everything is as it seems, but I did not for a moment foresee the surprising twist to the prophesy of these dreamers. As Davis Bunn stated in his author note, he had to use his expertise from several careers to explain the aftermath realistically.

Davis uses the still-desperate economic conditions in the world as a backdrop to send a warning of the lengths to which greedy corporate types will go to gain more wealth and more power. Unlike so much  of what has occurred during the last four years, though, the bad guys in the novel are caught and will likely be convicted, but the first priority is to stabilize global financial markets.

Less significant, but effective for a good read, is a romance with two very eligible men vying for one woman, the protagonist. It’s pretty clear early on which one she will choose; and almost too sweet that her Christian values are mirrored in the perfect guy, a widower and her mentor, whose daughter takes to her immediately as a mother-replacement.

My Evaluation

  • Command of language:  5 stars
    Varied sentence structure; word choices that paint vivid pictures; realistic dialogue.
  • Characterization: 4 stars
    All the main characters were fairly well developed, although not terribly unique. The bad guys were…all bad; and the good guys rarely stepped out of character, either.
  • Creativity:  5 stars
    The plot displayed an extremely creative mind. (I expected that—it’s what has made Davis Bunn one of my favorite authors—and I was not disappointed.)
  • Content suitable to diverse audience(s):  4 stars
    This one seems to be written almost exclusively for Christian readers. The protagonist and all those who work closely with her often pray together. The one who chooses not to is somewhat ostracized. As great as the power of prayer is and as needed in our chaotic world, I think a more subtle approach—or maybe a stronger approach showing God at work—would reach audiences who might be turned off by all the spotlight on pray-ers.
  • Connection (and application) to current issues: 4.5 stars
    The timing for this story is excellent; economic conditions are still fragile and exposing too many people to painful choices and harsh living conditions. My only concern is the realism of the ending.

Average – 4.5 stars

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