By Kate E. Stephenson
Hi-de-ho, Book clubbers! I apologize for the long absence. This flu season put your humble host down for the count for over a month. But, I’m back on the scene. In this third week of March 2013, I hereby call to order the 15th meeting of Kate’s Book Club. Every week, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate.
This week I wanted to give you one last opportunity to catch up on the steamy out of this world Dream Catcher Series from author Kate Douglas. At the beginning of the year we reviewed the first two books, and in a special Book Club meeting next week, we will finish up the series with Dream Unchained! So if you missed the first review, here’s your chance to dive into Dream Catcher and Dream Bound (with a new bonus excerpt!)…
There are moments in your life when you are changed irrevocably. I have just experienced an event that is crystallized in my mind forever. Thank you, Kate Douglas, for this breath-stealing moment.
I should preface this with I am a huge sci-fi, fantasy, romance book lover. I thought I had experienced much of the best of this particular genre. I was wrong! But then, romance isn’t exactly the right descriptor for the lush, sensual world that Kate Douglas evokes. Erotica is perhaps more appropriate, but even that term doesn’t fully encompass the literary space that Douglas inhabits. Maybe I should at least tell you what I read…
Usually, I would start with a sneak peak excerpt of the book. Not this week. Instead, if you need to, you can find an excerpt on the Amazon page as you order the book. Because I cannot think of any reason that you wouldn’t want to own this one. (You might hide it in the bottom of your nightstand drawer, but you’ll want it!) You can find an excerpt of the third installment of the series Dream Unchained in my previous interview with Ms. Douglas, but my favorite passages of Dream Catcher and Dream Bound are just a bit more than my editor wants me to share here. But I can tell you this much…
Dream Catchers is hot, Hot, HOT!
I find myself desperately searching for my critical objectivity in this post, but I can’t seem to find it. The first ten pages of Dream Catcher were a bit slow to me as my brain tried to figure out if it really wanted to get into the story. Douglas starts this intriguing saga en media res, right in the middle of things. I was a bit lost at first, but right smack in the middle of page 10, I decided I didn’t care that I was lost anymore. I was quite happy to let Kate take me along for the wild ride. So you don’t get stuck in “Huh?” mode like I did, here’s the quick rundown:
Mac is an IT student on the verge of something big when a fellow student somehow steals his idea, notes and all proof that Mac’s was the brilliant mind behind the new technology. Mac is thrown out on his ass—banned from his graduate program and stripped of his scholarship. Dink is Mac’s best friend (and in some ways his soul mate). The two are trying to figure out how to exonerate Mac and get him reinstated. Enter Zianne, a mysterious figure who seems to appear out of nowhere. She is Mac’s exact idea of the perfect woman, who seems to be able to read his mind, and she’s decided to help him clear his name.
“Why?” you ask. So did I. Frankly, so did Mac. And that is exactly the central question of Dream Catcher. But the answer to the question leads to an even greater problem and an immense (and probably impossible) task that Mac has to solve in Dream Bound. Zianne’s life is at stake. And although Mac doesn’t realize it, so are the lives of those he will recruit to help him accomplish this out-of-this-world mission.
So there it is. That’s the basic plot outline. But the devil is in the details. Douglas fills the pages of these books with such rich, complex detail, giving realistic texture to the rough terrains of sexuality, identity, prejudice, love, and the balance of good and evil. Her story forces you to stretch the limits of your imagination, contemplate the boundaries of prudence, and question your own understanding of normal. Dream Bound ends of the verge of what could be called the last stand, the moment of truth that will decide whether Mac, Dink, Zianne and the recruits called the Dream Team have been successful or if all is lost.
Here’s a tantalizing excerpt extra for all of you dedicated, Book clubbers:
Dream Bound, Chapter 1
IF SHE’D HAD her human body—the one she loved with the violet eyes and long dark hair—Zianne would have wept. This one could only feel sorrow—not physically express it. She’d left Mac only moments ago—a few minutes for her and almost twenty years for him. It had been such a simple thing to make her nightly slip through time, passing from twentieth-century Earth and returning to the Gar’s craft in its stationary orbit behind the twenty-first-century moon.
How had they discovered her absence?
She’d been so careful. Her fellow Nyrians had covered for her, yet somehow the Gar—their captors—knew. The Nyrian elders had warned her as soon as she materialized within the ship. They’d explained that her soulstone was locked away; that the Gar waited, ready to entrap her, should she come to claim it.
Once they knew which one of their captives had been stealing away and visiting Earth, they intended to make an example of her. She would die a very public and painful death, her energy slowly, painfully leached away until nothing was left.
Until even her soulstone crumbled into dust.
It was too soon. She and Mac were close, but she hadn’t had time to teach him enough. The technology he was beginning to develop in Earth’s year nineteen hundred and ninety-two was much too primitive. He’d had twenty years, but still, he couldn’t possibly have learned enough to create the sophisticated equipment with the kind of power they needed to free Zianne and the few survivors of her race.
But she had no choice. She’d been away from her soulstone for twelve full hours. If she returned to the past, she’d use up what energy she had left. Her only hope—her people’s only hope—was that somehow, some way, MacArthur Dugan had pushed Earth’s technology far enough, fast enough, to have everything ready by now—now being twenty years later for Mac.
Had he loved her enough? Had he believed in her enough to embrace her goal as if it were his own? Did he still love her? It had been mere minutes for Zianne since Mac last held her in his arms, since he’d made love to her, but it had been twenty long years for her beloved Mac. Would he even remember her?
And if he remembered, would he forgive her for abandoning him without warning? At least she had hinted to him this might happen, that her absence might be discovered before their work was done. She’d worried that the truth might turn him away, but instead it had pulled him closer. He hadn’t shied from the truth at all—instead, he’d embraced her.
Embraced her cause.
I am literally at the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to dive into the final installment of Dream Unchained. As of this moment, I am totally invested in the success of this mission; I am a believer in the transcendent properties of love; and I intensely yearn for my own Mac. Book clubbers, go grab these books so you and I will be on the same page next time. I want to make sure that I haven’t been in the monkey house too long. Send me your thoughts.
If you’ve been going through Book Club withdrawal, no worries, there are many more great Kate books coming in the following weeks!
Kate’s Book Club is a column on Kate-book.com featuring interviews with authors named Kate, as well as reviews of books starring Kate characters. It runs on Kate-book.com every other Wednesday at 10:30am, and is written by the self-admitted bibliophile Kate E. Stephenson, who you should follow on Twitter here. Oh, and write to Kate to suggest authors and books we should read for future columns.