by Sarah Noffke
Release Date: 11/24/14
Summary from Goodreads:
Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights.
In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events.
And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle.
Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?
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The world of the Lucidites is incredibly intriguing and thoroughly realized. Roya is burdened with the knowledge that she and she alone must conquer a dream traveler whose sole mission in this life is to drain humans of their conscious power and kill them by attacking them when they sleep.
Roya is a strong female character dealing with severe emotional scarring from a family who has never fully accepted her, and a question that has plagued her most of her life. Where exactly does Roya Stark belong? The entire storyline is something I've never encountered before which is always a refreshing change. The writing was seamless and drew me in with it's scintillating gravitational pull. I think that any emotional turmoil a character experiences is sometimes difficult to convey in ways that don't appear trite or clichéd, and I really enjoyed the author's vivid imagery by showing rather than telling. It helped me connect to Roya immediately and to find some common ground with her. I hurt when she hurt and I did little happy dances when she succeeded in doing something completely unexpected.
The love triangle is understated until about three-fourths of the way through. I appreciated this because the book wasn't advertised as a romance, and there were more important issues to deal with, but the romance that does occur is interspersed tastefully throughout the book and really builds toward the end, which isn't a huge cliff hanger, but leaves questions unanswered. I was pulling for George even before it became obvious that he might be cast in a more romantic light.
Group dynamics with several secondary characters can be tricky because they are essential to understand and get to know as they help further the plot and support the prime characters actions and emotional growth , and I thought the author did a fabulous job in that area. I was way attached to everyone, and did not like the idea of anybody dying.
I think the only problem I had with this book lingers in the beginning. This is totally a personal opinion, and I recognize the author's license to write the story in the order she sees fit, but it took me about two chapters in to grasp what was going on, and I almost felt like I had missed some crucial elements of the storyline. I actually had to stop reading and check to make sure I had book one. I even went on amazon looking for a possible prequel. This is the cause of my confusion. We don't actually experience firsthand Roya's journey of discovery when it comes to encountering the world of the Lucidites, and the bad blood between Roya and her family is told through flashbacks and backstory instead of actual scenes where we get to know her family a little and experience their ambivalence toward her and their slow descent into psychotic delusions.
I thought all of this information was crucial because it was the set-up to the entire story, and this author is such a fabulous writer that I actually felt cheated. I didn't get to read the full encounter where her brother tried to run her over, or the beginning when her nightmares started or how she became involved with Bob and Steve who were crucial in introducing her to the possibilities of dream travelling, and were so important to her that she considered living with them once she left the Lucidites. It was mostly glossed over, and so I am going to beg the author to please take a couple of chapters and set that up for us...like you don't have better things to do...oh, and you should totally cater to one person's needs...namely mine. Okay, I'm done now.
I loved this book, and I can already tell the rest of the books are going to be fabulous reads. Sarah Knoffke possesses a natural talent for storytelling, and fans of young adult sci-fi, adventure and romance will easily be drawn into the magnificent world of the Lucidites.
I gave it four cherry blossoms!
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