Friday, August 10, 2007

The Spectrum Chronicles, Part II

Title: Dream Voyager

Series: The Spectrum Chronicles #2

Author: Thomas Locke

Genre: YA (13-16) Sci-fi Alternate Reality

Excerpt from Chapter One of Dream Voyager:

Consuela was delighted when Rick could not come to pick her up and it had nothing whatsoever to do with his reputation. She was happy because it meant he would not be able to see where she lived, or how she lived, or with whom. Consuela did everything she could to separate her school-life from her home-life.

Not even the girls on the cheerleading squad had ever visited her home. This was very odd, because the girls took turns inviting the squad over for Wednesday night meals. When it was Consuela’s turn, she treated the group to dinner at the local hangout, saying her mother was down with the flu—though the extravagance cost her a month’s wages. Which was another odd things about Consuela—some afternoons and Saturdays she worked for the most expensive women’s boutique it town. One of the girls discovered it only because her parents took her there for a sixteenth birthday ball gown, and who should wait on them but Consuela. When the other girls asked her about it, Consuela played it very casual and grown-up, saying it was easy work, she met a lot of interesting people, and it gave her money to buy clothes. Which was a strange thing for her to say, since Consuela had only a few outfits that any of them had ever seen, but she mixed and matched them so cleverly that it was really hard to tell. And none of the clothes looked expensive enough to have been bought where she worked.

A high-school girl struggles to maintain the masks of who she is when she is whisked into a new world.

The Writing: The writing of Dream Voyager is better than the first book (which is more like a prequel), Light Weaver. The characters are a little more complex, though still pretty predictable, and the over-done allegory has given way to better plotting. No head-hopping, which is a relief after some of the books I’ve been reading of late, and there’s little preachiness.

However, thrusting characters—and readers—into different worlds comes with the challenge of how to convey all that new information. Mr. Locke doesn’t quite pull it off flawlessly and tends to give the reader large sections of new information, thinly disguised as dialogue.

The other major flaw is the sudden addition of another point of view near the end of the book for one chapter. This POV is not found anywhere else in this series and is very misleading, as it raises expectations that are never fulfilled.

The Story: As with Light Weaver, the story of Dream Voyager has a clear Christian message and provides very safe reading. The only questionable thing might be the inexplicable, almost supernatural talents that main character and her friends exhibit, but the underlying implications are that these talents are gifts from God, much in the way a prodigy might be gifted in music or mathematics.

Summary: Mediocre writing with a clear Christian perspective, Dream Voyager provides some interesting reading, worth reading once if you have a couple spare hours.

Rating: 2.9 of 5 stars

Interested in Dream Voyager? Click here to order from Amazon.

(Click to see reviews for Book 1, Book 3, and Book 4.)

1 comment:

Mr. Mick Bright Kim said...
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