Sometimes imaginary friends are not as imaginary as one would think. Danny Kardon starts looking into the murder of Darren, a senator’s son. As he digs around he finds Darren popping up around school, and eventually ends up in a realm where all of humanity’s dreams and nightmares exist. Danny quickly finds himself embroiled in a plot to cause the real world to be forgotten, even as the dream world is coming under totalitarian rule. Danny will become a hero of the realm, but first he has to work out the details of a cryptic prophecy.
As the beginning of a new franchise, this is not a bad book. A standalone book this is not; even though it closes up a number of plots, it leaves just enough questions unanswered to make you curious about the next book. The characters are actually pretty good, but come across as shallow characters acting like they have some depth to them, but not as much as they think. Danny is a great character, even though he seems to have the whiny hero bit down pat, and Darren takes up the angsty side of things. The plot is not bad, but the twists are somewhat predictable; Alvarez seems to have a checklist he using and he is going to follow that checklist no matter what.
However, for all of that there are enough great scenes and fights to make the read worth it. As a first book, this is pretty good, and one that you will have a hard time putting down. There are some interesting questions being raised every chapter, and enough are answered to whet your appetite about the others. For the beginning of a series, this looks like it will be a great series to track.
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