Sunday, February 19, 2012

Waking the Dreamer by Andy Kaiser

Waking the DreamerTyler and Zack are thirteen- and fifteen-year-old brothers. Tyler sees himself as an out-of-shape video gamer, while looking up to Zack as a natural athlete and ladies' man. There are moments of tension between them, but their brotherly solidarity, and Tyler's own inner strengths, are affirmed when they go to a rustic lakeside resort with their parents for vacation and Tyler is attracted to a mysterious girl named Eena. The brothers are quickly swept up in a plot involving programmed human subjects, transferable supernatural powers, and a mysterious metal box. Their aloof survivalist father and hysterical ADD-afflicted mother are well fleshed-out, though they mostly stay out of the way of the two boys. Kaiser is good at character development and dialog; we see Tyler tap both his native and his newly conferred powers without jealousy on the part of Zack, who is less concerned with being #1 than Tyler realizes.

Much of the action takes place in darkness, adding to the spookiness of the narrative (though I kept having trouble figuring out the levels of darkness when sometimes two characters made “eye contact” but other times couldn't see in front of their faces). This is book one in a series, so there are plenty of loose ends dangling at the end of the story, but enough of them are tied up so as not to leave the reader feeling manipulated.

This book is for Young Adults. Perhaps they will not mind the editing problems that cropped up from time to time: “seaweed” and “waves” being used to describe things in a lake, the use of “lead” instead of “led.” Fairly minor stuff, all in all.

The book is currently available on the Kindle. See the author's website for further details.

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