Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Book Review: The Dreaming Field by Ron Savage

The Dreaming Field

by Ron Savage
Dark Fuse Books
Review Copy from Netgalley
3.5 Stars


The problem is…the abyss…

Simon and Jonathan first meet in their childhood nightmares, then later in their waking lives. Haunted by mysterious dream entities known as Messengers, the boys grow to adulthood, one an artist, the other a senator on the verge of the presidential nomination. Both men are unknowingly being groomed for a cataclysmic moment neither can escape, and heaven and hell hang in the balance. Simon and Jonathan have become two pawns playing across nightmare landscapes where dark angels reside and the condemned and suffering will get only one chance at redemption.

There is no way out. There is no mercy.

There is only…THE DREAMING FIELD, the new mind-bending novel of horror and dark suspense by Ron Savage.


The timeline of the book jumps around a bit, going from distant centuries to Jonathan and Simon's childhoods and the nightmares that they share. I really enjoyed the parts with the younger Simon and Jonathan, as it showed the reader what they'd endured and how they'd ended up being where they are today. It made them that much more real and sympathetic.

Two messengers - angels? demons? - are each given a separate task, Benjamin must find a selfish human to commit a selfless act otherwise humanity as a race is doomed. Benjamin decides to set his sights on Simon and gives Simon the gift of prophecy. The problem is, Simon knows what's going to happen, all the terrible things, but has no way of stopping them. On the other side of the equation, Snatch is given the job of finding a selfless human to commit a selfish act and so condemn humanity and Snatch picks Jonathan.

Things jump around quite a bit so it was a little confusing at first, but once you get into it, things make more sense the longer you read. I didn't think that Jonathan or Simon were particularly selfish or selfless, they were like most people - they could do good or bad things. In the book though, they don't know that they've been chosen for these tasks, but the reader does. I think it would have worked better if the reader didn't find out who Benjamin and Snatch were until later on in the book. Your reading is influenced by knowing things that the main characters don't.

And as for the characters, Snatch is the ultimate 'baddie', there are no greys here, he's evil through and through and you can imagine a film audience booing at the screen whenever he would appear. Benjamin seems a little more fleshed out, with both good and bad points, but the stars of the book are Simon and Jonathan. Two different characters, but who'd both gone through similar things - loss of parents or friends and of course the nightmares choreographed by Snatch.

The writing was good and solid, but as I said I was just a bit confused at first. The tension keeps building and building until sometimes you feel as if you are holding your breath as you get so involved with the story and the characters.You want to keep reading to see what is going to happen, but I felt a bit let down by the epilogue. There was a lot of build-up but the resolution left a bit to be desired.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby

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