Altar of Reality – Sometimes a dream isn’t just a dream

Altar of Reality – Sometimes a dream isn’t just a dream

I have horribly vivid dreams that take a long time to shake off when I wake up.  I spent a day being mad at my most innocent husband because I dreamed he had a secret phone and a secret girlfriend.  A few days ago, I woke up in my perfectly dry house and started to call in sick to work to deal with the roof collapse I dreamed up.  I have actually looked through my home for babies I was responsible for only in the land of Nod.  My mind makes vivid and believable stories, so I didn’t have any problem sympathizing with this character’s inability to tell dreams from reality, especially since her dream world is a nuclear apocalypse that I found pretty interesting.

Madeline has always had seizures, but now her seizures include vivid dreams of an alternate reality where nuclear war has turned everything she knows into a dark and threatening place.  The one constant is her best friend, Brandon, an ally in life and dreams.  When her decisions in the dream world threaten her relationship with Brandon in both worlds, Madline must decide which world is the one she wants to make her reality.  This book doesn’t hesitate — it allows readers to jump into the story immediately.  Further, readers will have no trouble differentiating between Madeline’s worlds, something that can be tricky in alternate universe books.  Madeline is a character with enough universal qualities that it is easy to slip into her shoes and escape into her adventure for a while.  Minor characters are distinct if a bit bland, and it was interesting to see how different they were from their counterparts in the real world.  A few things will annoy some readers.  There is a love triangle complicated by the fact that the romantic interests are brothers and they are in both worlds.  The book also ends with a frustrating cliffhanger and little satisfactory resolution to several conflicts.  Despite these annoyances, this is a compelling read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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