Buy this book on Amazon
STAR RATING: 4 Stars
Book Description from Amazon
What if a person could live in their dreams? What if the power of imagination could erase the inequities of life? The staff at Eden Perpetual Life Care makes that possible and Katrina Hammond turns to them when nothing else can ease the pain of her mother’s progressive illness. The residents of Eden live in a medically-induced dream state, a fantasy world based on their secret desires. They are freed from the torments of their physical existence but at a terrible price, for where her mother goes Kat cannot follow. When Eden offers Kat the position of in-house neurologist, letting her pursue her vocation while watching over her mother’s dreams, she reluctantly agrees. And when investigative reporter Morgan Brewer shows Kat what it means to be young and alive her own dreams start coming true. But dreams are not always what they seem. An anomaly in the brainwave patterns of some residents suggests subconscious distress, and when Kat defies management’s order not to probe deeper she discovers something sinister taking place behind the pristine walls of Eden. Unsure of what to believe or who to trust she must now find a way to rescue her mother and the other residents before she herself becomes trapped in their perpetual nightmare.
I bought this book as I read and thoroughly enjoyed Jeff Russell’s previous offering, The Dream Shelf. To be honest it was my first medical thriller and I had no idea what to expect. The book description was intriguing enough and prompted me to give it a go. Five chapters into the book I was hooked and unable to put it down.
What I liked about the book
As with The Dream Shelf, I really enjoy Russell’s style of writing. It is calm, yet exciting, full of description, yet not long-winded. I also love the way the author does not revert to foul language or overly descriptive sex scenes while still being able to capture his character’s emotions and passions.
Being a medical thriller I was worried that there would be a lot of medical jargon, and there was, but somehow Russell manage to explain complicated terms in a language I understood. I never felt lost in the story, never wondered how it all fitted together and the author made sure to describe intricate details clearly and without convolution.
The main protagonist, Katrina Hammond was very likeable—like someone I could be friends with. She meticulously weighed her decisions and it was clear from her thinking patterns that she harboured residual emotional baggage directly linked to her relationship with her father. She was thoroughly human and that made me invest in every decision she made. Sometimes I questioned her actions, other times I wholeheartedly agreed with them. In the end I wanted her to succeed and survive.
What I didn’t enjoy that much
There wasn’t much I didn’t like about the book, but I would have loved to know more about the motivation and background of the antagonist. How did he get involved in all this? Why did he make some of the decisions he made—was it all about the money? Was he in debt or just plain greedy? Some chapters from his point of view would have been great.
The Girl Who Watched over Dreams cemented me as a fan of Jeff Russell. Simply put; I like the way he writes, I like the ideas he comes up with, and I like the way in which his books draw me in. He is a talented story teller and I hope to read more tales conjured up by his colourful imagination.
STAR RATING: 4 Stars