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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book Review: Scapemaker by Steve V. Cypert

Book synopsis from Good Reads

Matthew is the son of Mr. Nicholas Namely, a local high school teacher. But unbeknownst to Matthew, his father is a dreamscaper whose classroom is connected to the dream-world. From his classroom, his students enter the halls of Scapemaker, a dream-world high school for young dreamscapers.

Following a couple of heartfelt tragic events, Matthew is compelled to investigate the unbelievable mysteries surrounding those events and is propelled into a whole new world. Matthew and his mother, Mae, are soon coerced into moving across the country for his father's strange medical needs. While attending his new school, Matthew comes to know the secrets that Daedree, an annoying girl from his former high school, has locked away. Matthew also meets Amber, a beautiful enigmatic girl who leads him to Mr. Xoner's classroom. While there, he learns the art of dreamscaping (which has been in the Namely bloodline for thousands of years).

Matthew will come to know of Nox Celare, otherwise known as The Sandman, who is after a special element called Magineum. Neck deep in skinwalkers, sandsleepers, zombies, soul feeders, ghosts, dream-world criminals known as “night terrors” and more, Matthew learns he is in over his head. Matthew must not only solve the mysteries surrounding those tragic events, but he will also have to protect the Magineum with his life and find a way to be with the one girl of his dreams. Filled with secrecy, mystery and a forbidden tangle of young love, this new life will lead Matthew to unbelievable characters with the most extraordinary abilities he could never have imagined.

Scapemaker will keep you grounded in the real world while at the same time make the fantastical world around it that much more possible and enduring. This tale of young adult paranormal fantasy will keep you guessing and wanting more.

My review at Good Reads

3 out of 5 stars (It’s a weighted three, a little more but not quite a four)

When I first started reading this book I became a little on the defensive as a reader. It took a couple chapters to get into the book because I felt like there were things that I just wasn’t being told to understand. Then again the main character didn’t know about or understand much yet either. Retrospectively it made the main character easier to understand as he was pretty “out of touch” and confused too. Some of what seemed like parallels to the Harry Potter series were a little disturbing, mainly a group of kids learning their powers at a mystical school and some of the similarities in the characters who ended up not being as similar as the book progressed. But the magic is not simply magic; it’s the magic of the subconscious in some gifted people in a world that visits us all.

The first book in the Scapemaker series is the second book by Steve V. Cypert and you will see some of the rough edges of an independent publisher; some reviews noted typos that were there but not that abundant and there were a couple of places where I reread to clarify who a minor character was and couldn’t find that clarification, but the development of the main characters and the story were sound and well worth the reading.

A couple of days after putting the book down and absorbing what “stuck” from my reading, my opinion is that the book was a good book; the story and characters were memorable and the premise really does make you wonder for a moment in the back of your mind, if this could possibly be actually happening when we sleep and that’s all that good fiction needs to capture the reader.

So if you start the book and feel confused, keep reading. If you start the book and feel like you’ve read the story of kids and a “supernatural” school before, keep reading. It’s not what you think; then again, dreams never are.

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