The Waking Dream
by Jennifer Ford
Summary: Two Cities. A Forgotten Past. Destiny Comes To Call. Cut off from the outside world by a hostile desert full of savage secrets, the city of Illamar must fend for itself. Late one night, Dante Montero, Commander and Ruler of Illamar, is confronted on his own streets by a mysterious woman bearing an ominous message from a dangerous man known only as Rasheim. Dante and his close friend Kerran, Captian of the Guard, rush to discover the identity of Rasheim and the nature of the threat posed against their city. The closer they get to the truth, the more their worlds begin to fall apart. Both men will have to rely heavily on their friendship as they struggle to comprehend the events happening around them, their past, and even the truth about themselves. They must move quickly and choose wisely, for time is running out as Dante and Kerran discover a secret plot is already underway to destroy their city and kill every last person alive. It seems the answers they so desperately need can only be found in a sequence of dreams, but in a world where nothing is as it seems, even their dreams could turn out to be deadly.
About the Author
Jennifer Ford was born and raised in a small town in Massachusetts. She currently resides in sunny southern Florida. She lives with her cats, of which she says; "They are possessed little terrors at times, absolute darlings at others, and an endless source of entertainment.Only another cat person would understand."
For more information,visit the author's webpage.
Why did you decide to write this book?
I am very interested in ancient history, and I spend a lot of time reading about ancient times and lost civilizations, and how climates in regions have altered over time. I have also always been a huge fan of fantasy and Sci-Fi. I started mixing elements of the two things together, and I was immediately struck with the idea of the lost civilization still being alive, just forgotten. The imagery that came to mind was so powerful, I just had to write it down. As I went further into it and discovered all the characters, it became a real world for me. And I think Dante and Kerran have a valid voice that resonates with a lot of people today.
How did you get your book published?
I knew I wanted to self-publish my book. After doing a lot of research, it seemed the easiest way, since if you are an unknown author you’re chances of getting published via a traditional publishing company get lower by the day. Plus, with self publishing I didn’t have to worry about an editor wanting to alter my story. I found that Outskirts Press was ranked among the best publishing houses to use, and the best overall for the cost, and I haven’t looked back since.
What types of readers will be interested in your book?
Obviously, anyone who enjoys the Fantasy/Science Fiction
genre would enjoy it; but beyond that, anyone who enjoys a well-crafted story. My book does have a strong, heroic woman as one of the main characters. It is a fast moving story that quickly takes you to the heart of the action and dilemma faced by the two stars of the book- Dante Monterro and Kerran Gurtene. It has already been enjoyed by people of all ages; from young adult to mature adult. If you are a person that enjoys to read, then you will definitely enjoy my book. It follows a non-conventional path that should intrigue even the most experienced fantasy, Sci-Fi, mystery, or fiction reader.
What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
I take what I consider to be a more classical approach to story telling. I leave a lot of the baser descriptions to the reader’s imaginings so I can focus more directly on moving the story along. This makes it appealing to more than just fantasy fans. I have had people read my book that actually do not like the fantasy genre at all, but they really enjoyed The Waking Dream. It carries a lot of focus on the characters, and how these two men discover hidden value in unexpected characters they encounter. This makes my story non-predictable yet identifiable to the reader.
Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
I have not published any other books yet, but I certainly plan to. I have one that should be ready later this year, entitled “The Horsemen Will Ride”, which is another fantasy adventure story, in a completely separate world and setting from The Waking Dream. I also plan to publish the sequel to The Waking Dream in 2012, towards the end of the year. After that, I have plenty of characters lined to up keep me busy for years to come getting all their stories written down.
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and smooth. The story was interesting and complex, yet easy to follow. I thought the plot was unpredictable and amazing, but not so far fetched that it was unbelievable. A lot of times, new worlds can seem so far fetched that I’m left wondering how no one could detect anything, but I didn’t feel that way reading this book. It seemed plausible that history was forgotten. Due to the cities being in a desert, they were closed off from the rest of the world and would have never have guessed what was to come or what stories were suppressed over time.
I loved the main characters, Dante and Kerran. They were both honorable, but with faults, which made them more real. The narrative switched between both of them smoothly. They were both well developed and their friendship was obvious.
I loved the dream sequences. I thought it was clever to have both characters experience things through dreams which helped them get closer to the truth when they were awake. Both characters were able to comprehend and wrap their minds around the entire concept of the coming conflict through their dreams. It was like taking baby steps instead of suddenly becoming immersed in a new world with new truths that you have to get used to. I thought the author tackled this perfectly. I loved how both characters started with a healthy amount of skepticism instead of blindly being led into it, as with a lot of fantasy like this. I also liked how each character experienced different dreams and their meetings with the Messenger were completely different. It helped build their complexity and establish their differences as individuals. It was obvious that while both of them were key in the Prophecy, they both had clear and separate roles to fill.
For the most part, this book was highly unpredictable. Also, I thought the author surprised me quite a few times by tackling issues that a lot of fantasy leaves out. Many aspects of the world were explained that I didn’t expect. I’ve read fantasy that has things happen that we as readers just assume is the way things go and I’ve read fantasy that over-explains everything and I feel like I just got hit with a dose of way too much information. The author straddled this line perfectly by explaining certain things so we aren’t confused or left wondering why said event occurred but also not bombarding us with a ton of information.
It is no secret that a war was going to happen. I thought the author described the fighting quite well. I’ve read quite a few books with wars or fights or battles and I never realized how many of them describe the fighting and then it ends and the story moves on to the celebration. The Waking Dream did not do this and I was surprised. I got to experience the after effects of the battle, like the men gathering their dead and wounded, digging graves, cleaning the blood and grime off of themselves, making a list of the dead and alerting their families. It was so great to be able to see this side of war. It doesn’t just flash forward to the celebration.
I definitely recommend this book. It is a great fantasy concept that was well executed and enjoyable to read.
Labels: Interview, Review