Dreams Unleashed is the first book in The Prophecies Trilogy, which is probably best described as a paranormal thriller. Ann Torgeson is a technical writer in her forties with an adventurous past. She has worked as both a CIA agent and as a journalist, and she must call on all of her skills to figure what is happening in the bizarre dreams that she is having. Her dreams begin to blur into reality, and the events resulting from them land her in hot water with the increasingly suppressive government. It becomes a race against time to discover the truth and gain control of her powers.
It is clear that Hawley is very passionate about the characters in the series and her writing. She spends considerable time and effort setting up the background for the rest of the trilogy in Dreams Unleashed. The characters were quite colorful and extremely well fleshed-out; however, this incredible attention to detail meant that the book could go a bit slow at times. There were some chapters that felt a little extraneous-- they didn’t seem to move the plot along at all. But, with the potential for time travel being introduced, the reader is left to wonder if some of these scenes might be relevant later on in the series.
Based on the first book, I do not think that the books in this series will be able to stand independently. Hawley was woven an extremely intricate plot and the pacing is non- linear. The first chapter of the book is a thrilling action sequence that happens in the future (a flash forward, if you will). Yet the events immediately preceding this sequence are never addressed by the end of the first novel. Hopefully it will be clarified in the second or third book, keeping readers hooked into the rest of the series.
One caveat to folks who read this book: pay close attention to chapter headings. As I said, the story bounces around between times and locations (despite being told from Ann’s first-person POV). The chapter headings make the transitions a lot clearer and help the reader to see the web of connections within the book.
Overall, I thought the book could use some polishing. Hawley has some fascinating ideas about the power of dreams, but these gems can be somewhat obscured by the meandering narrative. I do very much want to see where the story is going (especially since the ending is a major cliffhanger!), and I plan to read the remainder of the series. The plot really picked up in the last 25% of the book-- I want the rest of the series to build on that momentum!
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy puzzling over a narrative and making many connections between threads in the story. I also think this is a great opportunity to look at some new talent and good potential. Dreams Unleashed has so many kernels of possibility. Hopefully, they come to fruition in the remaining books of The Prophecies Trilogy.
Amazon: Dreams Unleashed by Linda Hawley
Image Source: Amazon
Review Copy: Review Copy provided by the Author