Dreams~Shadows of the Night

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The author is currently working on her next romantic suspense novel. Describing a boy at play to someone who has never been a little boy at play is nigh impossible. One can detail each motion and encounter, but it doesn't make a lick of sense to anyone but the boy. It's as if some bored ethereal being is fiddling with the remote control to his imagination, clicking channel after channel without finding anything to capture his interest for very long.

One moment he's aboard a pirate ship, firing cannons at a dragon off the starboard bow before being boarded by Darth Vader and his team of ninja-trained Jedi assassins. And only the boy, Spider-Man, and a trireme full of Vikings will be able to hold them off long enough for Billy the Kid to disarm the bomb that's going to blow up his school. All while Darth Vader is holding the prettiest girl in class hostage.

And just in case things get a bit out of hand, there are do-overs. It's kind of like that, only breathless and without spaces between each word. At one hundred miles per hour. If you tell me you want me, Ewan, I'll be yours until the end of your days. And when those days are through, I'll cross time and space to find you again. And we'll be together forever, time and space be damned. A good man looks around at his brothers, sees their ignorance, finds himself horrified by it, and sets out to educate them. A great man instead finds himself elated by realizing that his brothers will never know any better, using it to his advantage to forge an army of the ignorant, fighting to leave the world a better place.

Ignorance is the only one truly unstoppable force in this world. And the only difference between a despot and a founding father is that the founding father convinces you that everything he does was your idea to begin with and that he was acting at your behest all along. Yes, people are sheep. You need to stop trying to educate the sheep and instead just steer the herd. No one wants to admit that they're not smart enough to understand what's going on, so they create such elaborate fictions to convince themselves otherwise.

Fairies are the construct of man and bear with them both his arrogance and his ignorance. You look at what I've done and you think this is about tormenting your friend. If I told you now that the blood about to be spilled would change the world as you know it, would you deign to stop it? Would you believe me at all? Great authors challenge the way you think. Cargill is a great author.

Mar 09, Michael rated it it was ok Recommends it for: People who like being talked down to. Remember when you were six years old and you were sitting on the cold, high table in the doctor's office and the doctor came up to you with a big, insincere-looking smile, scrunched down to your level, and then asked, with greatly exaggerated inflections, "So, how are we doing today?

Robert Cargill sounds in most of his first novel, "Dreams and Shadows. Peo Remember when you were six years old and you were sitting on the cold, high table in the doctor's office and the doctor came up to you with a big, insincere-looking smile, scrunched down to your level, and then asked, with greatly exaggerated inflections, "So, how are we doing today?

People who actually write for kids know how to communicate in simple and charming language without sounding like they think kids are idiots; Cargill, not so much. Cargill's annoying narrative style is not the novel's only problem, but it's bad enough that I kept wanting to give up reading. The main reason I finished the book was that I had promised to review it.

The next biggest problem is that the book has so little clear direction. The reader is constantly wondering "Why are you telling me this? We never really find out. Why won't Colby ever see his mother again? Why does the djinn sound like he has some big plan for Colby? Why do we need to see a bunch of faeries murder a bunch of campers? Just to show that they're really mean, I think. Why is Coyote screwing around with these kids? We do find out, but not until the novel is almost over. On the plus side, although Cargill can be patronizing and precious at times, and a tedious sentimental moralist at other times, there are some very good moments when he's neither lecturing nor trying to be cute.

His description of Ewan's musical performance after Ewan meets "Nora" is possibly the best passage of its kind that I've seen in fiction. He does an admirable job of showing us how thoroughly and deeply Knocks hates Ewan. It's a bit sad, because Ewan himself is such a thin nothing of a character. Unfortunately, there's a lot more irritation and tedium than wonder in this book. Do not buy this book before reading a good chunk of it in a bookstore or online. Sep 18, ben rated it liked it. Feb 26, J. But you're going to miss a great last sentence.

Anyway other than going by some dialogue towards the very end it's difficult for me to sort out what the author was trying to say with this novel in terms of themes and shit in part because of its pacing and structure. The story, about a young man who was stolen by fairies and replaced by a changeling as a baby and the wandering boy-turned-wizard who befriends him, is divided into two parts and interspersed among the chapters of both parts are these in-universe essays concerning various supernatural creatures.

Most of them are about fairies and the various factions therein but essays about djinn and ghosts and shit also show up just in case anyone needs a primer. I didn't like the essays. The author is name-dropped by a character in the second part but he's not an actual character so it felt to me that the essays were a world-building shortcut. All of the space taken up by those essays could have been replaced with scenes that would have shown the reader what was going on rather than giving them pseudo-nonfiction reading assignments.

Whatever mood he might have had going for him in the first chapter was dashed in the second because of the essays. Replacing them with actual story also would have afforded us more time with the two boys so that their friendship felt less superficial. To that end there was a fourteen-year gap between meeting the two boys and picking back up with them again that I didn't like either.

He could have gotten a lot of mileage out of showing us view spoiler [Colby checking in on Ewan as he was shuffled through the foster parent system as well as fleshing out Ewan and Mallaidh's relationship and Colby's dealings with the other supernaturals in the city hide spoiler ] rather than just telling us that it all happened. Now if he had followed my helpful "show don't tell" suggestion and ditched the essays and maybe cut out the obligatory female love interest and written it like Brokeback Mountain with a fairy and a wizard instead of cowboys I would have given it a whole bunch of stars.

I loved Dreams and Shadows. I need to start reading more fantasy. It is always the imaginative reads that blow me away. I must have highlighted and wrote things down about a bajillion times while reading Dreams and Shadows, but I'm still having trouble finding the right words to describe all of my emotions toward this book. Dreams and Shadows had a beautiful beginning that turned very dark very fast. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt when I laid my head down to sleep that first night I was going I loved Dreams and Shadows.

I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt when I laid my head down to sleep that first night I was going to have nightmares about my children.

There were beautiful moments of childhood innocence, friendship, and what it's like to grow older, but most of Dreams and Shadows remained a pretty dark read. There were a lot of supernatural creatures in this book: A lot of the fairy creatures were new to me, and it was the story of Colby and Ewan - the two human boys who visited the Limestone Kingdom - that had me glued to the pages. If you love dark, imaginative reads, I highly, highly recommend Dreams and Shadows.

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Of Dreams & Shadows

It will easily be one of my favorite reads of the year. Jan 23, Jesse rated it it was ok Shelves: I will get to that shortly. But first, a brief message: I was not aware that C. Robert Cargill was the writer behind the movie "Sinister" when I pre-ordered this novel. If I had been, I most likely would not have given this book a chance, as the movie was terrible. I would also like to note that claiming a writer is part Neil Gaiman and part William S.

Burroughs on the blurb of the dust jacket flap m Rating: Burroughs on the blurb of the dust jacket flap means I am going to judge the author's merits accordingly. I am looking at you, HarperCollins. You have disappointed me for the last time. Now I've said all that, I can get to the meat of the review: This novel was a train wreck. Cargill attempted to jump from trope to trope with the skill that only certain film makers have, but in the end he tripped on a rope and face dived and the whole thing came tumbling down in a mess of shit on his head.

There are pages at a time where the language reads much like a children's novel, and then suddenly Cargill says "Fuck that" and starts throwing down profanity, slashing the pages to bits with fervor. I am not against profanity. I say "fuck" more than is healthy for a man my age. However I believe that profanity, like all language, should be used with purpose. There was hardly ever purpose behind Cargill's usages. It was also very easy to tell that Cargill's editors had a field day sprucing up his prose with their dolefully lacking ghost-writing skills--in some spots it is so elementary and pathetic that you wonder if a high school student wrote it, while in others it looks to have been copied and rearranged from a third-rate Gaiman knock-off novel.

In "Dreams and Shadows," you will read almost pages before any plot develops. And then the plot that does develop is so thin you couldn't use it to wipe your ass. The characters are much the same; they're shiny surfaces, with nothing beneath to make you care. A boy Ewan and a changeling I fogrot his name, so I'll call him Nickle Fickle get switched, because the changeling is an abomination.

Then, out of nowhere, Hell opens up don't know how, apparently Cargill couldn't be bothered to explain and Ewan's dead mother comes back and kills the Nickle Fickle's new mother, for apparently no reason at all. Oh, and while this is happening, the faeries are slaughtering campers in the woods in utmost B-Movie fashion, because fuck explanations and fuck reasoning.

Then, a bunch more shit happens with Hell and faeries, which would be really cool if it had any point and developed any further.

Dreams and Shadows

Oh, and some little boy character we forget about see, he was so unimportant I forgot to mention him suddenly appears and saves Ewan. Nickle Fickle is all pissed off and full of angst and then more stuff happens, none of which furthers the non-existent plot. And while you are trying to puzzle out why everything is happening, and what point there is to any of it, struggling to see where the editor saw the slightest bit of cohesiveness, Cargill is punching you in the face with fake excerpts from a fake medical book literally every other chapter.

To be honest, I gave up after page I still feel I held on too long. I love stories that make you think.

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There is nothing better than a raw twist that leaves your mind screaming and your eyes burning as you try and speed up your reading pace to see it resolved. But there was no twist, no plot, nothing but a disjointed set of scenes that would not have even made a good set of flash cards. There are too few hours in life to waste them reading bad books, and I have too many good books on my shelves waiting patiently for the attention they deserve to waste another moment turning the pages of "Dreams and Shadows. View all 4 comments. Feb 28, Shelley rated it really liked it Shelves: All thoughts are my own, and no monetary compensation was offered in return for reading this book.

Dreams and Shadows is one of the better books that I have had the pleasure of reading this year and I thank Harper Voyager for sharing a copy of this book with me. Dreams and Shadows is a dark story filled with with action, violence, adventure, and has interesting and dangerous beings like fairies, djinn, changelings, and fallen angels who all make their homes in Austin, Texas the setting for this story. Dreams and Shadows mostly follows Colby and Ewan, but it would not be the same without the interaction of Yasher, Knocks, and Coyote who obviously have their own agendas and paths they must follow.

You could say Dreams and Shadows mostly focuses on Colby's journey, and you wouldn't be wrong but you would be remiss in ignoring the background stories of Yashar and especially Knocks. It is Colby that ends up making some unusual choices that make him as powerful as any being in existence that leads to some consequences that he can't escape from. It is Colby who is given a choice at age 8 wish by Yasher to see all that is out there in the world without unknowing all that he learns. It is Colby who becomes so feared, and hated, that he only has one true friend he can count on, and that is Ewan who he rescues and watches over from the first time they ever meet.

For Ewan, he's taken away from his loving parents while a baby, and replaced by a changeling. He then grows up among the fairy and slowly becomes one even finding love with Mallaidh. He becomes known as the "Tithe Child" but I won't spoil what that truly means to you, and later ends up being saved by Colby who leads him back into the human world.

Ewan's journey is a painful one to read about. He doesn't know who he really is, he's had the unfortunate destiny to be picked by the fairy, and he is truly hated by more than a few fairy including Knocks. I made a comment while reading this book that I found the interaction between Ewan and Colby to be wonderful. It was about friendship, and not about mutual attraction or the need to jump into bed the first time they meet. It is about Colby's determination to keep Ewan safe from harm and understanding that they have forged a nearly unbreakable bond with their experiences.

This story is proof that boys can be friends and bros, and writer's DON'T need to wade their way into situations where there is a need for same sex romances. I think that readers will find Yashar and Coyote to be equally as entertaining, if not as dangerous as Colby.

I think that readers will also enjoy the fact that these fairies are not your normal run of the mill Fae who are lovable and happy. They kill humans and feed on emotions, and you don't really want to find yourself out in the middle of a forest when they are around.

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I can't wait to dive back into this world that just blows my mind and leaves me anxious to see what happens next. La primera novela del escritor norteamericano C. I have seriously mixed feelings about this book. When I first started it I loved it, it was full of magic and adventure, it was everything I love. Unfortunately about half way through, it decided to skip ahead 10 years.

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I really hate it when books do this. Suddenly the character I knew as an adventurous boy is all grown up. He's miserable and boring and it made me miserable reading about him. The magical world I loved was gone and again I was bored stiff. I tried to finish it a few times but jus I have seriously mixed feelings about this book. I tried to finish it a few times but just couldn't get past more than a few pages at a time. After putting this book on hold for quite a few years, I decided this weekend to try and finish some of the many books I had on hold. So I gave this book another go, plowed through about 50 pages of boring and then it started to get interesting again.

I ended up absolutely loving the ending. The last 20 or so pages were excellent. So I loved this book, was throughly bored by it and loved it again. It was super confusing so I'm going to give it 3. I'm not sure what to feel about this book.

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A modern day fairytale come urban fantasy set in both the solid, everyday world, and an un-seen, parallel place of supernatural creatures from a broad mix of folklores, who live, half-hidden, alongside the humans. It gets off to an explosive start, the opening is stark and tragic - though I found the childhood chapters less interesting than what followed. The childhood-in-fairyland story is fine in its way, but more conventional, less original, less intriguing than the unique vision of the secon A modern day fairytale come urban fantasy set in both the solid, everyday world, and an un-seen, parallel place of supernatural creatures from a broad mix of folklores, who live, half-hidden, alongside the humans.

The childhood-in-fairyland story is fine in its way, but more conventional, less original, less intriguing than the unique vision of the second half. Everything warms up, gathers speed and takes on a whole new tone - much darker, more sinister, more thoroughly Gothic - when Ewan and Colby grow into teenagers, living divergent lives in the same town.

Gothic is the word that keeps coming back to me as I try to describe this tale; a dark and bloody streak of it runs through the narrative - it's not something I generally associate with a story set in Texas. From start to finish, Dreams and Shadows is pretty raw and thoroughly gory — not one for the kiddies, for sure. The end appeared to be setting the scene for a new story. If you enjoyed Dreams and Shadows, might I recommend Entanglement? I think you'll enjoy it. Wrote this as a comment but I guess it qualifies as my review - This book was disappointing.


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I was pretty excited about it based on the blurb but comparing this book to the work of Gaiman or Del Toro is absurd. While there was a somewhat interesting premise it was poorly executed. The first half is entirely world building. It's disjointed and not very engaging. The second half does have a plot but its basically a mash up of a bunch of familiar story elements. I'm only going with two stars becaus Wrote this as a comment but I guess it qualifies as my review - This book was disappointing.

I'm only going with two stars because there was enough of interest to finish but that's it. Compared to much of what I've read in the genre this is subpar. Frankly, I'm surprised it was picked up by this publisher. Feb 25, OpenBookSociety. This tale starts out with a wonderful little love story as we are ran through a little montage of how young Jared and Tiffany met, fell in love, got married, and went on to have a beautiful little boy that they named Ewan. But their lives are shattered when a fairy kidnaps their precious little boy and leaves a doppelganger changeling in his place.

At first look, you would think it was Ewan, but his mother knew differently. But nobody believed her and just though she was losing it, which leads to her eventual suicide. Her husband then knew what the changeling was, but trying to get rid of it resulted in his own early demise. This is a story about how the little events that happen can change the world forever; irrevocably.

Young Colby Stevens was playing alone one day when a djin shows up offering to grant him a wish. The wish of a young impressionable eight year old will end up changing the course of lives forever, even his own.