Friday, July 22, 2011

In the Dark of Dreams

Published by Avon

I have a love/hate relationship with the writer Marjorie M. Liu. Although I love some of her books – she comes up with unusual and flawed characters in strange situations – she also can be redundant, gory and sometimes boring. This is what I found to be the case with In the Dark of Dreams.

I was intrigued by the title and the idea – two children meet once and from then on meet again and again in their dreams until they meet as adults. That was a wonderful idea. But then the guy is also a merman – how creative! However, it never really came together. I got the impression that Liu was not sure whether to emphasize the dreaming or the existence of mermaids. Perhaps having both in the same book was not helpful.

It took forever for the man and woman to meet in real life. You got the story of her finding him on the beach as a child but there never seemed any real thinking or memory of the dreams they shared. In fact, it took me awhile to realize that was what they had been doing for a long time. And when the couple does finally meet, they ovethink. How long can you stand in someone's presence and just go over in your head all the reasons why you should tell them something or wondering what you should ask them?Perhaps I tend to speak before thinking but I found the long inner dialogues to be a bit much.

In addition, I just did not understand what motivated these two characters, Perrin and Jenny. By the end I had a better understanding but it seemed to be some rushed explanations, especially for Jenny. They also didn't seem to be very much attracted or in love with one another. They took most of the book to open up to one another and even talk about the dreams they had shared.

And let's not go into the fact that this was another Dirk and Steele book – I think I have had enough of those. Also, Jenny is somehow related to the owners of this odd detective agency. I kept wondergin what that really had to do with anything as well as trying to figure out how she was able to keep this one-of-a-kind expensive boat yet truly keep under the radar of her evil relatives. Perrin's story would have been great if Liu had just stuck with that and left the detectives and their shape changing agents out of it.

How did this book address my own faith? This book made me realize how important it is to communicate with one another. One reason this book did not work for me was the total lack of any kind of honest communciation between Jenny and Perrin. As Christians, we need to honestly communicate with each other. This does not just mean your spouse but also your brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to open up to one another, to really express what is going on with one another. However, too often we have been stabbed in the back, gossiped about and generally felt judged when we have been honest in our community of believers. The church should be a place that we come to so that we can be held up in love and support. In other words, we should all be the Body of Christ for one another and the world.

Sorry Dirk and Steele/ Liu fans, I do not recommend this book.

Happy Reading!


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