Author: Mike Dickenson
Series: Lucidity Series #1
Date Published: November 19, 2014
Publisher: Commonlink Productions
Edition: Paperback (I read a digital ARC)
In a world where everything is symbolic, a young outcast followed by crows knows that not everything is as it seems. Corvus believes the Elders have corrupted the meanings of the symbols for their own gain, but who would believe a boy followed by dark omens? A brave girl, his only friend, convinces him that his truth awaits him in the forest, for that is where the crows come from… No one enters the forest alone. It is a mysterious land of madness and illusions – a place where animals talk, a prison where banished villagers survive, and a darkness so convincing that a person’s fears can manifest without warning. A beautiful lotus, born out of a dream, has the potential to light the way to the true meaning of existence. Corvus must consume the hallucinogen not only for himself, but also for the world he belongs to. If the villagers don’t awaken from their illusion soon, the murder of crows will transform the village, and the forest, into a waking nightmare.
I have a keen interest in lucid dreaming simply because I'm a lucid dreamer myself. Although upon reaching adulthood, my lucidity wavered off because there's only little wonders left to the mind of a relatively old person (unlike when you're still so young, there's just so many things to explore). So, I want to be back in that world, a world that's full of wonder and awe, a world of magic (for the lack of a better word). And The Dreamer's Lotus provided that magical feeling for me.
Take note though that I've read some books about various metaphysical disciplines (in my teens) that for some reason, I find the story regurgitating. That's just me really. Of course, to other readers, the experience in reading the book must be something new and that whatever the book tries to impart should be an eye-opener. But then I just thought that I'm too old for this. Besides, my beliefs in life change over the years that I've just simply lost the awe-factor. My point? I later got bored. If only the romantic aspect is compelling, I wouldn't have minded about it. But the protagonist of the story, Corvus is just a 13-year-old child who was just beginning to open his 'grandfather' eyes for the universe, you can't simply push for romance. But by the end of the book, he started growing his own beard and became taller so I guess the author should put more romance by then. Romance always works in a book, you know, even wholesome other than that dirty route.
The book tried in the romantic aspect but to me, it didn't click. It felt forced as if it was put there just for the sake of romance. Because the way I see it, if I were Corvus, I'd just leave the village, enhance my dreaming ability, get overwhelmed by the power of it and forget about the past. Love interest will then be the last thing in my mind. There should be more between Celina and Corvus.
This book is a middle grade material. So for this kind, I had to compartmentalize my thinking yet again. And this time, I just thought I'm just a kid on my early teenage years. It kind of worked and I saw the appeal. I'm sure kids will enjoy it.
The story has lots of meaning, telling a lot of things in life. Overall, it's not just a fantastical book for kids. It even tackles on issues like indoctrination, people's reluctance to learn on their own or learn something new and the lack of use of free will. But instead of doing the scientific way (i.e. being rational in life or using scientific methods), this book do it the mystical way e.g. interpreting signs, giving new meaning to signs and physical manifestation of things by an act of sheer will through dreaming. Though mystical in nature, it does so with good sense.
I have another issue though. I'm a bit disappointed with how the Great City was described at the epilogue. I thought it best for the author to delay showing the Great City until the second book so readers will keep reading out of curiosity (for people with my mindset). You see, where I come from, if you're a rural person, going to the city would feel like a dream. It should be that as Corvus, though powerful in nature, being just a kid, seeing a city with all its complications, he must feel awed by it. Even though just initially. I get where he's coming from, he's like an eco-warrior. But the lack of feeling just ruined it for me. The ending was a lackluster experience. He was too focused on his mission, he was not even spared a little bit of wonder especially for a youngster his age. Just because on this last part, I give this book: