Published by Relevant Pages Press on June 1st 2013
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Sixteen-year-old Asher Haynes has dreams. Very real dreams. Like the dream that foretold his mother’s death. Or the dream foretelling an invasion of his family’s home. And then there was “that dream”. The one that got him expelled in his freshman year. Now in his junior year, Asher has sworn off dreams. That is, until he has a shocking dream containing valuable information. His dream quickly becomes a nightmare as he finds himself running for his life from a man who has been searching the globe for this information for decades. Asher must find a way to stop him before it’s too late.
What if your dreams controlled your life? Not goals or aspirations, but the images and stories that your mind creates while you’re sleeping? Asher Haynes has vivid dreams—and they all come true. After getting expelled—well, almost—his freshman year from his private school in Connecticut, his military father brings him back to South Carolina. Two years later, he’s left that dreadful year behind, deciding that his dreams are nothing more than an over-active imagination. But he can’t escape the inevitable, and the headmaster that had him almost expelled from his first school is now the headmaster at Narthex. Now Asher will either have to embrace his gift or suffer the consequences.
It’s always refreshing to read a book based in South Carolina where the author knows how to capture the true essence of the South. The author, Jennifer Tubbiolo, lives in South Carolina and perfectly embraced the feel of the small town. Some of the things she wrote would hit me all of a sudden, and I’d burst out in laughter and think, “Yep, that’s exactly how it is.” It’s one of the things I love the most about southern authors writing about southern towns. They don’t have to do research on the place because they’re living it.
Looking for a great male protagonist? This book also had that. Even though Asher didn’t necessarily see things in the brightest light, he had a contagious spirit of determination after he set his mind to something. Many had tried to tear him down and stifle his gift, but he perseveres and learns to use his ability for the betterment of his school and mankind. When the main character is a guy and he has the inability to focus on anything but the pretty girl along for the ride, I tend to enjoy the book, but find it refreshing when that’s not the case. Asher wasn’t girl crazy, and even though Maclaine did join him on his adventure—played an essential role, in fact—she only accented the journey instead of distracting him from the main focus. She doesn’t only give him a reason to want to defeat evil, but helps him along the way.
Another unique quality this book had was which genre it fit into: Christian Paranormal Fiction. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? I had my doubts when starting the book, but they didn’t last long. Although there were only a few instances where the Christian aspect shown through, after having read part of the novella, I have concluded that the second book will explain a lot of the questions that I still have regarding Asher’s gift. That being said, I would suggest you read the second book first so that you’ll be more aware of what’s going on in the novella. I’ve put it down for now, but will definitely go back to it once I read the second book.
I had no trouble flying through this book and finished it nearly in one sitting. It’s clean literature, but exciting and adventurous—something that is worth the time downloading. Jennifer Tubbiolo has opened up a new world in the Deep South that any age group would enjoy. I can’t wait to follow Asher on his journey, and once you get your own copy of his story, you won’t be able to resist the draw either.