Friday, December 25, 2009

Timescape


Title: TimeScape: Book Four of Dreamhouse Kings
Author: Robert Liparulo
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
July 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59554-500-8
Genre: Inspirational/suspense
$14.99, 308 pages

The disclaimer in the frontispiece of this book ought to be heeded: “STOP! Read HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, WATCHER IN THE WOODS, AND GATEKEEPERS BEFORE CONTINUING!”

I didn’t. However, the reading guide found on pages 307 and 308 proved to be a wonderful resource, and helped ease the disorientation I experienced upon reading this book. There is also a web site you can check out (dreamhousekings.com) to get the first two chapters from HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS. Knowing “what to look for” made the book an easier read, without necessarily taking away from the book itself. The author’s skills in characterization, plot, crisis and resolution run deep. Regardless of the initial confusion I experienced from trying to read a book from “the middle,” the action and suspense the author uses as a framework for the story carried me along. Each character was fully developed, nuanced, and allowed to “grow” as goals were attained, achievements fulfilled, and setbacks encountered.

The King family continues in their search for their mother, who was pulled by powerful forces through a portal and lost in time. “They have battled gladiators and the German army, dodged soldiers on both sides of the Civil war, and barely escaped a fierce attack in their own home.” Their only hope is to turn the tables on Taksidian, the stranger who wants them out of the house for his own reasons. “But everything changes when a trip into the near future reveals the devastating outcome of Taksidian’s schemes – a destroyed city filled with mutant creatures. It is only then that the Kings realize what they’re really fighting for – the fate of humanity itself.” (from the back cover.)

Finally, a work of fiction where the “good guys” don’t have everything going their way. A work of fantasy in which reality reigns in all of its grit, grime and grotesqueness. A work of faith where the rubber meets the road. If fantasy, creepy, and mysterious is your bag, this one’s a keeper.

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