Book Jacket

 

rank 590
word count 66929
date submitted 04.08.2010
date updated 29.08.2013
genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
classification: universal
complete

Dreamscape

Rachael Cox

Strange dreams unfold a story of discovery and intrigue, and initiate a journey beyond this world to uncover a family’s dark past.

 

A distant planet explodes, hurtling its shattered remains through space with unknown effects. Eventually fragments find their way into our solar system, settling where they make contact.

Fifty years on and fourteen-year-old Carly sets out on a quest to learn her true identity and to find her twin. Carly was put into care as a baby and her identity hidden, why she does not know, but intends to find out. She has strange visions and dreams, that feel like they come from a previous life. They lead her on a journey to discover herself, her family and the dark secrets within it.

The alien rock is always present and always relevant to this quest for truth and may also pose new possibilities which impact on Earth’s future.

In a society controlled by the Authority and administrated by the Corporation, there are many barriers to overcome in Carly’s quest; for anyone else this would be near impossible. But with visions to guide her and the help of her “gifted” friends, Carly will not give up until she discovers the truth.

 
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tags

dreams and visions, quest, science fiction, twins

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156 comments

 

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Kari2010 wrote 1174 days ago

Rachael ...
This was so easy for me to get into, even though i hate reading off the computer. you've managed to separate the paragraphs with ample white space that makes it easier on the eye. but more importantly, you've written well! most of the time i find it difficult to get into a story, it may take several pages even chapters to feel vested. not in this one ... nope, here i got vested immediately. one of the reasons i think is that you introduce the characters slowly and carefully. i'm not wondering who the heck is so and so and who was that again. its so easily spelled out here. wonderful!

then the beginning was just magical for me with three year old Carly chanting "the man on the moon was ennuye" aww ... i thought she was just cute.

then we move on to her when she's 14 and we get to learn of her recurring dreams which become more elaborate with time. you've done such a wonderful job with that. it was so vivid for me ... her looking at herself (she later realizes its her twin) and running for the elevator.

i want to give you suggestions ... but i really don't know what :) ... the plot is interesting, the pace is wonderful (of the two chapters i read). and yes, the reader is interested enough in carly to want to know what becomes of her hunt for her parents and her sibling. so i must retire here and say ... great work (in my most humblest of opinions) showered with stars and backed v. soon for the YA fans that'll be reading this in print one day soon.
happy writing!
kari

Bill Carrigan wrote 1161 days ago

Dear Rachael, This is a fascinating tale that kept me reading through all twenty-nine chapters. A "dreamscape" it is, especially at the start, and as Carly gains insight into her identity, it becomes a science-fiction fantasy. The characters are well developed, and we are held in suspense as new ones enter and the mysteries unfold.

A few suggestions to make the writing more acceptable to editors and readers are to break up the longer paragraphs and the sentences that run together. Many scenes could be enhanced with dialogue. Also a future date should be given early, since the space travel mentioned toward the end (going through wormholes, etc.) couldn't occur with today's technology. The story shows a rich imagination, and the main theme--a young girl's yearning to know her origin--has a strong emotional appeal. On my shelf tonight.

Bill Carrigan
"The Doctor of Summitville"

CarolinaAl wrote 1316 days ago

Well-crafted science fiction. Great theme. Masterful imagery. Interesting, complex characters. Realistic banter. Excellent sense of place. Thought provoking narrative. Well placed twists. Inventive plot. Surefooted writing. A captivating read. Backed.

Miles A wrote 1316 days ago

What a wonderful blend of Sci-fi and spiritual shamanism. This is an excellent book for expanding youthful consciousness and the possibilities that lie “outside of the box”. It is an imaginative, well crafted, thought provoking and entertaining endeavor. We’re all Carly in various ways aren’t we? Backed.

Miles A. Robinson
Song for Mt Father and Loud Lucy Ludlow

Kami K wrote 1280 days ago

A really interesting and intriguing story. Your voice is calm, unusual and oddly futuristic sounding. I love the whole premise and was instantly drawn to Carly and her situation. The atmosphere of the book kind of reminds me of a cross between Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go' and 'The Matrix' ! Love it. Backed with pleasure x

Karen Eisenbrey wrote 189 days ago

Rachael,

Awhile ago you asked me to take another look at Dreamscape, which I finally gotten to -- thank you for your patience!

You have a strong pitch that hints at both a coming-of-age/discovery-of-self story and a fantasy/sci-fi adventure with psychic powers and alien influences. The opening setting of a school for gifted children has parallels to X-men and Harry Potter -- good company to be in!

Carly is a relateable protagonist with common school/friends/identity issues, with the added interest of special abilities and mysterious origins. The dialogue with her friends is good -- they speak in character and sound like teens.

I hope what I write next doesn't come off as too harsh. You have a strong premise and enough skills as a writer to pull it off, but there is still work to be done and I want you to do it and not give up! I struggle with a lot of the same issues, so I'm partly talking to myself here, too:

I had a feeling this time that the story takes a long time to launch. There's a lot of exposition at the beginnings of all of the first three chapters. The casual reader (or editor) is not likely to have patience to hang around until things get rolling. (I've had to deal with this in my own writing, too). As the author you need to know all the backstory and explanations, but how much does the reader really need, and when? It's better to begin in the middle of something happening and trust the reader to keep up. If the story is compelling enough, they'll keep reading and will soon either figure things out or will be there when things are explained.

The opening scene takes place far enough in the past that it's more of a prologue. It's a pretty scene, but I can't tell what purpose it serves. If it's important, so be it. I wondered if the poem could stand alone as an epigraph, without the dialogue around it.

Chapter 1 begins with a lot of telling about Carly and her questions. It might be more effective to jump into the actual conversation with Miss Osborne, dropping in information as necessary to demonstrate that they've spoken on this topic before and Carly is frustrated that Miss Osborne doesn't give her the answers she seeks.

I have an uneasy feeling that these two characters are telling each other things they both know for the benefit of the reader. Is it possible to make this the first time Carly has seen her file, like before she was too young but now she's old enough? She'd still be frustrated at having no answer, but it would be a weird kind of progress. Later, she bursts into Miss Osborne's office for no well explained reason, and Miss Osborne is suddenly able to provide a name of someone who might know something. I have trouble buying that this is the first time Carly has asked what her special gift might be. It might work better to integrate these two conversations into one.

The dreams stuff is the most intriguing aspect up to this point. Opening with a dream scene is often frowned upon, but with your title and theme, you might be able to get away with it. Especially if it was obvious the dream is a dream, and something really interesting is happening.

If you can avoid it, don't introduce information about characters if the characters aren't present in the actual scene. They don't seem real if I'm just told about them without actually seeing them in action. You can intersperse some of what Carly knows of them into interactions and dialogue with them.

This sentence gave me a little trouble:

Her directness caused Miss Osborne's eyebrows to rise, betraying a startled expression.
Careful of spelling out what caused an action. Just have the action and reaction. Your protagonist shouldn't be analyzing everything that happens, but experiencing it.

Although it's Carly's POV, at one point in ch 3, she "seems a little distracted." That doesn't make sense if it's her POV, and I'm not sure distracted is the right word, anyway. I think what happens is she has a sudden thought of something to ask Miss Osborne and runs out and bursts in on a meeting with a teacher. She excuses herself as distracted here, too, but it's more like her attention is so focused, she can't think of anything else. It's very convenient that Jane understands and goes out, but I don't buy it. Wouldn't Miss Osborne make her wait, just to teach her discipline? Why is Jane even there if she's just going to leave? (Is Jane Miss Wilson or Miss Watson? I think I saw both names). Another reason to conflate the two scenes with Miss Osborne into one. Also, in this scene with three female characters, there's some pronoun trouble with undifferentiated she's.

There are little punctuation issues scattered throughout that could be cleaned up with a careful line edit:
Missing commas and stray capitalization in dialogue;
missing periods at the ends of sentences;
its (possessive) when you want it's (it is);
series of complete thoughts connected by commas when they could stand alone as sentences.

Keep at it! This is a worthwhile project that deserves some tough decisions and polish.

Karen Eisenbrey
CRANE'S WAY (newly revised!)
ENDURANCE (new cover!)
TIME SQUARED

Software wrote 220 days ago

Sci-Fi with a difference. Author Rachael Cox explores the the psychological side of dreams as a precursor to revealing revelations about main character Carly's family. This is an interesting twist on the Sci-Fi genre which sets Dreamscape apart from the standard clichéd themes associated with Sci-Fi ventures. Dreamscape is deep and multi-dimensional. It reverberates with a sense of impending doom for Carly and her trek, but somehow she always manages to overcome her challenges. Well constructed and narrated with punchy dialogue. High stars and WL'ed. Bookshelf candidate hen space becomes available.

Clive Radford
Doghouse Blues

Nanty wrote 311 days ago

Dreamscape.

Man in the Moon.

'Be in big trouble...five year old Carly.' - five-year-old

The little girls, obviously in an institute of some kind, which I assumed was an orphanage before reading to find they're one of a kind that was quite unexpected.
This passage might be better as a prologue since you've fenced if off with asterisks, and Carly is much older in the next section.

'She was fourteen and as far back as she could remember the Institute has been...' - had been?

'Though Miss Osborne's....did seem to (be) thin...

Miss Osborne tapped (on the keyboard of the computer?)

'She continued...' - perhaps - she paused for a moment before continuing - otherwise why not just tack this sentence onto the one before it?

'I don't think they can...untraceable (,) Carly.'

Good hook at the end of this chapter.

Central Institute for Gifted Children.

The dream sequences work well, especially as Carly's dream-self grows older as they progress with lab assistants working away at computers, which I'm assuming she's hooked up to in some way. Quite eerie in itself, but even more when she realizes she's looking at herself.

Butterfly Lady.

Someone trying to hack into the Institute's system, unsuccessfully as it turns out.
Who is Butterfly Lady and what does she want? To get access to someone perhaps?
Miss Osborne, not quite the obstructive person she seemed to be, is going to take Carly to see a woman named Maxine Dorell, who used to work in a nursery unit. Is this as innocent or as helpful as it seems?

Lots of question posed in the opening chapter read, that will eventually be answered as the story progresses, but I'm sure the strange rock the twins found in Carly's dream will have more than a little to do with what has happened to her/them.
The Institute, though wearing a guise of normality, feels quite dark to me, and who are the the shadowy 'they' who seem to have so much control over the lives of the people and children living there. Possibly their influence extends to the world?
The author has cleverly given the opening chapters of the story the feel it's going to be cute, perhaps hard-done-by-children dreaming of a better life, but no, it's nothing of the sort. Throughout the three chapters read, there is a steady withdrawal from this initial red-herring, which is perhaps a clue, overlooked as a reader is immediately involved with the small children.
Carly, fourteen when we met her next, is frustrated and that frustration comes across well, as does her determination, evidenced by her continual enquiries to the enigmatic Miss Osborne, despite knowing what the answer will be before she puts the question. Obviously, since the author is busy building Carly's character and describing the strange, recurrent dreams she has, other characters are little more than a thumb-nail sketch at the moment, but Carly, being well-fleshed now, I have little doubt the author will do the same for Marty and the boy, sorry I've forgotten to make a note of his name, as the story unfurls and gives up its secrets.
Starred.

Nanty - The Sphalerite of Almandine.



Seringapatam wrote 373 days ago

Rachel, Very well put together and even better that you thought it out before hand. I loved loved this and although this isnt my cup of tea normally, I can see a lot of readers sinking into this and being interested. So well done and good luck for the future.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

MJStar wrote 389 days ago

Rachel,
You did a great blind of introducing the character in the beginning. Carly's insecurity of her identity of who she was and melting into sci-fi was truly a dreamscape. I found myself spellbound into your story of magic realism in this intertwined story of sci-fi.
Great job!
The characters and dialogue were flawless and believable in my opinion and the pace like I said truly drew me in.

MJStar
Lovely Dark Fallen

Charlotte12 wrote 409 days ago

Hi,
So I'm following up with our read request agreement. :) Overall, I think the opening chapter could use a little bulking up. Lots of details are missing which I think would enrich the reading experience, like details about where they are (bedroom, the sitting room, the city). Even atmospheric things like the sounds she hears or what's going on in the background while she waits for Mrs. Osborne could set a mood or prepare us for the kind of interview she will have, as well as tell us a lot more about the MC and the kind of person Mrs. Osborne is, for examples. There are also a few punctuation things that could be looked at to improve readability.

In the second section when Carly is asking herself all those questions about who she is, and the sentence is followed by a statement saying something along the lines of 'some days she didn't know who she was', I found that to be redundant. Perhaps you could delete the last line or specify if there was a specific part of herself she wondered about more than another.

'caused her eyebrows to raise, betraying a startled expression' is redundant. We know she is startled because you say it: 'the directness of the question' led to the rasing of the eyebrows. You could simply delete 'betraying...' and make a tighter sentence.

I like Carly and I adore the idea of a black heroine in a sci-fi story. :) I am curious to know what the mystery is surrounding her parentage and why she was taken from them at birth, so you have successfully gotten my attention. Oh, and I like the last line. Very direct and it definitely begs for the reader to go on.

Oh, one last thing that came to mind: I'm not sure why Carly would ask Mrs. Osborne to define the terms 'protection order' and 'review status' if she has heard them before just to get upset about it? Her response would seem to make more sense if those details were new, something she had not expected, I think.

I hope you found my comments useful. Please remember these are just my opinions so you are free to accept (or reject) what you want. :)

Best,

Dyane

Jacoba wrote 410 days ago

Hi Rachel,
Well I made it and have read the first four chapters.
Carly is an interesting and vivid character. I like the way you began the story with the poem, I enjoyed that.
Her recurring dreams and the mystery around who she is and how she came to be at the Gifted institute is carefully woven into the story. The chapters end well and leave the reader wanting to turn the page to find the truth.
I was also curious about the Corporation and how that whole system works I think there may be something sinister at play there.
I thought at times the dialogue could be a little snappier, but that's just a personal preference, grammatically it was all good from the chapters I read.
All in all its an interesting story, with good characterisation and an unfolding plot.
Well done.

Daniel6394 wrote 418 days ago

Rachel:
I read two chapters. Very well done, and very well written. I like it all, but especially Mr. BLUNT. Great name. I'm going to read more so I'll add to this right away. . . . Well I'm back. I read chapters 3 and 4, then I sampled several chapters at random, also your last chapter. All very good. I enjoy your straightforward style of writing. Your book should do very well. Six stars and a place on my WL.
Daniel
The Makers

maretha wrote 466 days ago

CHIRG REVIEW
Dreamscape/Rachael Cox
I thought your introduction was different and the poem highlighted the genre of your story quite well. Here we are introduced to two main characters Marta and Carly, whom she tries to protect. Carly cannot seem to settle and she often asks Miss Osborne about her family - to no avail. I think this helps to move the plot, because the reader is hoping that Carly will get some new information. Her dreams also help to move the plot, because as she get older, she remembers more detail and this detail includes the possibility of her being one of a twin. Where the hook is for me is during one of her most vivid dreams she hears, "It's her! Look." Due to some very serious constraints on my reading time I unfortunately cannot read more at this time, but I'll be back, hopefully soon. :-)) For what I've read thus far, I must give you many stars and hope to see Dreamscape go from strength to strength this year.
Maretha
African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends

Warrick Mayes wrote 473 days ago

Rachael,

I've read your first two chapters.

A lot of time passes from looking at the moon with Marta, to Carly discovering that she probably has a twin. The moon poem was really enjoyable, thanks!
Now I see why this is called Dreamscape. So it looks like she is not seeing herself in tha lab, but her twin sister. Is this s memory - unlikley - or is it a prediction of future events? Tantalising!

Very well written. A lillt clunky in the early part of chapter one, but once you get into your flow, the narrative becomes extremely easy to read and very enjoyable.

I found one small niggle for you to look at: "...they do not expect the situation the change..." should probably be "...they do not expect the situation to change...". I guess this is the consequnce of a re-write as this has been on the site for so long.

It is difficult to imagine the cruelty of the authorities, of bureaucracy, especially when dealing with children. How much harm can come from the child knowing the truth? How muc protection do the parents deserve?

Best wishes
Warrick
"Sleeping With God"

Kirstie wrote 526 days ago

I enjoyed reading this and found it an unusual idea.

Carly is a very likeable character who I found it easy to sympathise with. The other characters are also sympathetic and the 'baddy' is obviously 'the corporation'. The opening chapter leads us straight into the story question making the reader ask wil lCarly ever find her family. The end of chapter one provides a great hook.

Chapter Two
This has a great introduction to some of the other characters, to the institute and to Carly's dreams, The line 'be careful who you voice these opinions to, you know what I mean don't you' is very intriguing and suggests an underlying threat to Carly's security

Chapter Three
I like the little details that show we are in a very different world - like communicator instead of phone.
Chapter Fouradds to the growing threat that I could sense coming from the corporation. Why were they taking away so many children. This story seems to be broadening from the tale of one girls search for her identity to a darker tale about the operations of the corporation.

The more I read of this the more I liked the story. I think that perhaps the reader would benefit from a little more of the scenes being fleshed out, for example learning about the characters as we meet them rather than in a list and experiencing Carly's dreams as she does, with the emotions that the dreams might bring - but other than that I can find nothing I would change
High stars from me
Kirstie
The Girl who Ran with Wolves

Mark Cain wrote 539 days ago

A well written story, as much a mystery as it is a science fiction. I've read the first nine chapters, all I had time to for now, though I hope to return later for more.

You keep your reader on the hook very well, by playing out small bits of information, clues that we are compelled to follow.

The study of lucid dreaming is coming more into prominence, and I was glad to see this be such a prominent element in your story. It's a fascinating topic, and you do the most with it.

High stars and on my watchlist. Congrats on a fine job!

LCF Quartet wrote 553 days ago

Hi Rachael,
I read Chapter 5 this morning, and here are my comments.

It's one of the most dynamic chapters where you add more depth to the story and characters. I like the way Carly speaks, and the part about controlling dreams was exciting. (This is my genre and I'm interested in the subject personally.)

A few minor issues;
"Come on" Carly said, and started to follow her. (a comma is needed after Come on)

The first paragraph is strong but needs to be tightened up a bit. Maybe a shorter, punchy sentence will do. And refrain from being repetitive with 'her face.'

Please consider doing the same touché for the last paragraph. You've done a great job by ending the chapter with the name of the woman, so you can easily fix it with the help of a period and a comma.

When she woke, she thought about nothing but this woman. The name 'Aleesha' (italic) sprang into her mind. Yes, that was her name, Aleesha!

You have an interesting story along with great characters here, and I like the way the story flows.
6 stars remain!
Best wishes,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints

Cas Meadowfield wrote 555 days ago

CHIRG

Enjoying this but it begins slowly... Beware of info dumping. Try to see the view point of the reader and ask does my reader need to know this... If so: drip feed , conversations are good and you do these wonderfully.
Ch4
The paragraph 'after that miss Osborne' needs to be described : like a conversation as it feels like a flash forward... Corporation is ... Present tense try 'Corporation's' as the 's' could be 'was' or 'is'
Ch5 ... use your navvi, were lost... 'we're'
Ch12 turning to will ... 'Wil' ?
Lovely scenery
Ch13 do we need to know all Will's case history?
Ch17 how does Jane get on with Aleesha?
Ch18 the back ground on Aleesha needs to be more woven in the story . Maybe putting the section in Aleesha's viewpoint?... Your mother was Femi and... Needs commas before and after' Femi'
New line needed between ..go?" and "Oh, quite...
Needs new line before ...Jane smiled at her warmly, ...
Lovely description of the finding of the stone, dream story.
Ch21 they found Ife.. Exciting ..
Ch24 arrange the meting ... Meeting?

So we just lost touch... Needs " at the end
Ch28 the group had departed from Luna at two... Luna should be 'Alpha' ...? And what follows confused me , was Milene on alpha or some where else?
Ch 30 ...it has existed for millennia ... Millennia = 1,000 years how about 'aeons' = millions of years..?
Ch 32 ife and Carly... The knew ... Needs a 'y'.

Cas
The Wind Maker

LCF Quartet wrote 559 days ago

Dear Rachael,
I continue my read from the second chapter, and it's good to see that the pace is as dynamic as the first chapter. I liked it that you added a few well-structured paragraphs for a back-story- it was needed.

On the 3rd and 4th Chapters, the conversation between Carly and Marta set the tone of the plot. It was realistic and the dialogue scenes usually get me hooked in more.

I also think you did a great job by adding more depth to Maxine Dorell and Miss Osborne here. I enjoy reading Dreamscape and find the story very interesting in terms of concept, characterization and its timely pace.

6 stars from me and look forward to reading more,
Best wishes,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints
6/6

spadge wrote 564 days ago

CHIRG Review
Hi Rachael, thanks for allowing me to read and review your work.
I found the story fairly easy to get into although I could suggest you put a bit more speech into some of the paragraphs to show rather than just tell. Having said that, you do need to tell some stories and when introducing facts it's imperative. I feel there could just be a little more interaction with the characters telling the story.
It's a good read though and I think the tale sucks the reader in so that they require more and more and more..that's the way to do it!
Good luck, I've given you some good stars.
Regards

Steve
'Merlin's Cave'

Mommy Lynn wrote 568 days ago

Rachael,

"Dreamscape" has a very interesting premiss - one that I'm sure many teens would enjoy. Your characters are believable. It is easy to relate to Carly's vulnerability and frustration. It would be difficult to not know where you came from and who your parents are.

I loved the scene at the beginning with Marta and Carly. It was very endearing. You ended chapter 1 perfectly as well. There's nothing like a mystery to hook a reader.

However, while I thought your book had much to recommend itself, I felt that it still needed some work. The pacing was a bit slow, and, to me, it lacked an emotional pull. There were also a number of typos that need editing. Following are some thoughts I had while reading:

- Please(comma) Marta(period) Please!

- ... but come on(period) Get into bed.

- ... as far back as she could remember(comma) the Institute HAD been her home... - You had a tense switch in there.

- "Though Miss Osborne's patience... - This sentence was a bit awkward. Also there was an incorrect use of the word "to." Should have been "too."

- matronly way? - Maybe you could describe what it means to walk in a matronly way so that we, the reader, can get a clear picture.

- I don't think they can(period) Someone...

- ... sitting room(comma) and made her way to the...

Carly couldn't help but think why. - Maybe "wonder" would be a better word than "think" here.

Overall, I like where you're going with this. I think it's got great potential.

Lynn
Surviving Sunset

J C Michael wrote 571 days ago

Hi,

Just read through your first two chapters and this is very well written. I spotted no typos, the writing flowed well, and your layout also made this an easy read.
Plot wise you set out a good mystery on two levels; the personal level if your MC and also the meaning if the dreams, and how the two are related.
If I have a suggestion it is that there is a shade too much telling at the start of chapter 2. For example you tell us about Will but this doesn't actually play a part in the story at this point. I'd either leave it out until Will comes into the story or alternatively show us a scene that illustrates his intellectual ability, even if he's just helping the girls with an assignment or something similar.
Although it isn't my genre I can see no reason why this cant build up a following amongst the YA crowd and I both expect, and hope, that you do well with this.
Best wishes,
James

LCF Quartet wrote 573 days ago

Hi Rachael,
I usually read the first chapter of a book to have an overall feel, and here are my first impressions.

I got hooked in to the story immediately, and I liked it that you introduced Marta, Carly and Miss Osborne from the beginning. The pace is timely and your style is authentic.

I wasn't expecting to read a poem in the first chapter, but the content of it was interesting and added some spice to the plot.

You have a great sense of balancing dialogue and description on a logarithmic scale, and the ending of the chapter was as hooking as the beginning.

High stars from me and look forward to stay in touch in the long run,
Best wishes, Lucette Cohen Fins

Tarzan For Real wrote 574 days ago

Rachel you made these first two chapters a joy to read! Honestly don't change a thing with these two chapters.

I wasn't sure at first with the pitch what direction the story would go. But Carly is a well thought out character and she comes across likeable and compelling.

Dialogue has been strong too. I feel real people are talking of events instead of just dragging a plot to conclusion. The children's dialogue with Carly's friend Marta and the dialogue with Miss Osbourne is also very strong.

Your use of that wonderful poem at just the right moment was well done. I am using my own poems in "The Devil Of Black Bayou" and "The Wings of the Seraph" to set the atmosphere for those tales so I enjoy seeing another writer use this technique. You drew me into your tale quickly by bringing the combination of those together.

It's great to find hidden treasures like these on Authonomy. I'll get "Dreamscape" to my watchlist and shelf shortly. Great writing and I highly am enjoying your writing.--JL

Tod Schneider wrote 609 days ago

This is nicely laced with mystery, wondering what the dreams are all about. The characters are nicely drawn, and the story moves along nicely. Critique-wise, if I was to tinker I'd look for ways to increase the amount of SHOWING, through dialogue and action, in the first couple chapters anyway, to ease up the amount of TELLING. You explain a lot, rather than let us experience it as we put on Carly's identity, and this holds us back, I think, from getting as far into her character as would be ideal. But that's just me -- nice story overall, with a good dose of dreaminess, as is only appropriate. Best of luck with this!
and as clearly have an interest in children's literature, please take a look at my novel, The Lost Wink.
Thanks,
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Debbie R wrote 633 days ago

Rachael
I have read the first 3 chapters and thoroughly enjoyed them. I thought the opening scene with the two girls looking at the moon, followed by the poem, was very nicely done.
The story is full of questions and mystery right from the first chapter with Carly wanting to know how she came to be at the Institute.
Chapter 2 flows along well with details about Carly's dreams. I especially liked her vision in her mother's womb with another baby staring back at her.
In chap 3 we learn more of Carly's physic ability. These dreams are a great way of letting the reader discover more about Carly and her past. The end of this chapter gives us a link with the past in form of Maxine Dorell.

An engaging story with plenty of mystery to keep the reader's interest.

High stars and wishing you well with it.

Debbie

krose wrote 643 days ago

Happy to put this creative book on my shelf. It comes at the recommendation of my sister, Faith Rose.

subra_2k123 wrote 671 days ago

Sci.fi. you are talking my language. Interesting plot. Backed and rated with pleasure.

Mr. Grassroots wrote 701 days ago

You start off with a great pitch that manages to grab the reader (and me too). This is one of the best pieces of children's literature I have come across here on authonomy, and that is saying a lot. You should always start with your strengths to hold the reader and the "Man in the Moon" does just that. Read through chapter 19 and this book retains its strength throughout. Great job. I intend to come back for the rest.

sandy-1 wrote 705 days ago

Fascinating story which I've already backed.
Its well written and the dreams are so well described. What an amazing imagination you must have!
Ruby Middleton
'Will Ryan'

Dianna Lanser wrote 712 days ago

Hi Rachael,

Sorry it has taken me so to get to your book, I appreciate your patience and your past support of my book.

I really enjoyed the first three chapters of Dreamscape. The opening scene is really sweet and the poem added a sense of childlike charm. This may be a dumb question but what is a ennuye? It wasn’t in my computer’s dictionary.

As the story unfolded, it captured my imagination naturally and just like Carly, I wanted the answers to her past as well.

You do a great job developing your characters I felt sorry for Carly because of her sense of not belonging, but you remedy that with some good friends and a seemingly safe and trustworthy Ms. Osborne.

I liked reading the different dream sequences and wondered how they were all going to eventually fit together. At this point, they add a lot of intrigue to the story.

Your manuscript is very clean of typo’s. I only noticed one in chapter three:
When Calry (Carly) got back to the institute, she went to look for Marta.”

“The Corporation” really has me curious. I has a strange feeling what ever or whoever it is, it is up to no good.

I liked what I read and if I had more time, I would definitely read on. Highly starred!

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

Cara Gold wrote 713 days ago

{Dreamscape} – Rachel Cox

Beginning at the beginning, your pitch was great and I love the idea you put forth!
Chapter 1 is beautifully written and I particularly like how you use the song of the man in the moon to set the scene and build the mood :) very nice transitions.
You begin the characterisaiton of Carly well, and the reader really feels her questioning and desire to have answers, also the hint of loneliness. Good development of reader attachment to character.

Chapter 2 brings in some more mystery to the story with Carly’s dreams. Particularly, the description of being in her mother’s womb and seeing another baby – a twin – captivating!
Small suggestion here; when she wakes up feeling ‘a little confused, a little stunned’ I’d eliminate the word ‘feel’ and just expand on describing how she feels more… just to heighten that connection of reader and character

Loved the title of chapter 3 and I like the continuity of the dreams. Also will take the opportunity to mention now, your dialogue reads smoothly and very natural. I like how it is snappy but we are still able to follow it clearly, knowing who says what. I’d describe Will in a few differing ways; his ‘cheeky’ look/smile appears twice in the space of a couple of short paragraphs
Also, I like the snappy, shorter sentences that finish your chapters and act as hooks to pull the reader on into the next… particularly end of chapter 3 with the question ‘who exactly was she?’
Overall this is a lovely piece of children’s sci fi that I would highly recommend.
All the best I, hope to read more when I clear up some more reading debts :)
Cara
Dawn of Destruction

Pandora11 wrote 718 days ago

Interesting & unusual. It's an interesting spin, using an Institute for the gifted instead of just a children's home and it was nice to read something based in the Midlands rather than London etc for a change. The bizarre mix of drama, sci-fi and the 'twin thing' feeds your curiosity entertains you but keeps you wanting more.
Starred & added to watchlist so i can delve deeper into the story at a later date.
Best of luck.

junetee wrote 720 days ago

I love this story Rachael and you probably know why. It is a great blend of recurring dreams, astral travel, outer body experience and spiritual forces which I too cover in my own book Four Corners.
You dwscribe them well, and your storyline is amazing. I was so hooked from the beginning that I couldn't stop myself from reading.
Dreams are a difficult thing to explain so fancy descriptions can muddle the reader. You have written it simply and extremely well.
There is just one small area that sounded confusing to me, it was a paragraph near the beginning of the third chapter;.
'There was something she always found strange about these dreams in particular, more so than the others...'
I read the first three chapters and I am keeping it watchlisted to read more in my spare time. I want to know what happens.
Highly starred
Junetee (FOUR CORNERS, book one, The Rock Star.)

JMF wrote 722 days ago

I have read the first three chapters as part of our reading swap. I hope you find these comments useful. I try to be honest so please take what you will of my comments and ignore the rest!
I like the premise - the idea of a missing twin and a mystery Carly needs to solve. The problem is got to quite quickly so the reader has plenty of questions that need answering.
In your first chapter I think you could do more to build up the moment before she sees the face behind her closed eyes. A little more dramatic tension is needed here to create a bit of suspense.
In Ch 2 I think there are too many dreams described - you could just describe one in greater detail, again to build up the suspense and to describe exactly how it makes Carly feel. As it stands at the moment it feels a little laboured and drawn out. You could explain that it is a recurring dream.
In Ch 3 again I think this could be described in a more dramatic manner - make us feel what she is feeling, describe her emotions.
Anyway, just a few ideas. If the story is a bit more tightly-paced it will provide a good, interesting read for YAs. Well done so far and good luck with it.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

patio wrote 727 days ago

Dreamscape is mind bubbling. That's after I read first paragraph where your characters looking through window. One reciting poem and other dream. I know its fantasy but you could make your opening sound realistic. In normal circumstance, if a person reciting poem the other would take interest. Unless it was boring. And if its boring the other would move away not dream

brerandall wrote 727 days ago

Hi Rachael,
Just read your first couple of chapters and loved it. Very vivid, your pitches were great. This is a very relatable story, dealing with so many things that kids wonder about. You have a gift for drawing the reader right it. Great work, six stars and I'm adding it to my WL so I can read more soon.
Best of luck with it!

Bre
Memoria

CarminaRivera wrote 729 days ago

I have read this before and rated it highly! I have come back to read it it again and I am finding that it is one of those books that a person may read again and again and seems to never get old. I have put you on my watchlist shelves so that I may move it up when any of my shelf books make it to the ED desk.
May you have an enjoyable Friday!
Carmina

A G Chaudhuri wrote 802 days ago

Dear Rachael,

Here’s my review of ‘Dreamscape’. Please pardon me if I come across as a little blatant, but I’m just a first time writer. I’d request you to consider my comments as honest feedback from an eager follower who is genuinely hooked to your story.

‘Dreamscape’ has a very intriguing premise. The pitch is very well written. I can’t imagine a genre-fan not wanting to read more. As a minor suggestion, I think you can remove that last paragraph. The pitch will look sleeker without it. Of course, if you want to put in the Big Brother angle, you can do so in the second paragraph itself. The opening is very nice and the poem is an excellent idea. The narrative is simple and flows effortlessly. The dialogue is real and plausible. I enjoyed the first two chapters immensely.

Reading on I was a wee bit disappointed to find the same thread continuing into the 3rd chapter as well. There’s nothing wrong as such, except that I was looking forward to the narrative taking off in a big way and felt a bit let down by the prolonged dream thing. I felt that it hampered the nice pace of the story. Also at this point, the narrative threatened to lapse into a ‘tell’ mode and you seemed to have given away some vital clues. I would strongly advise you against that.

The Native American shamanism angle is again a very good touch. There is a lot of scope to exploit this plot point by actually ‘showing’ us a few sessions with Carly and Jane, instead of merely mentioning it. Butterfly Lady and Maxine Dorell renewed my interest and I carried on till the end of the chapter. Miss Osbourne is also a shady lady who certainly knows more than she admits. I look forward to reading more. Meanwhile, 6 bright stars to ‘Dreamscape’ and all the very best to you, my friend.

Best regards,
AGC


susanbrauner wrote 841 days ago

Rachael,
Wow, great story! I enjoyed reading the first few chapters, and I'll come back and read some more. I'll put you on my shelf soon!
Susan
The Adventures of Sohi

Nutcracker wrote 853 days ago

Oh poor Carly! It reminded of what happened with my life, I know exactly what some of those stuff meant. The beginning sounded like Dr. Who! It was very imaginative! The story is very weel written, I like you adding the song into it! Will read more soon! :D

Charlotte12 wrote 854 days ago

Hi there!

So I finally got around to your book. As it's close to Christmas, I'm limited for time and only had the chance to read chapter one.

The writing is smooth and reads well. There were no choppy or weird sentences or spelling errors that jumped out at me. You also do a nice job of using dialogue to fill in some of the blanks of Carly's life without breaking the flow of the story or dumping a bunch of information on the reader. I think the only thing I would suggest is to increase Carly's level of frustration about the lack of information regarding her identity. I get that's she disappointed but she still seems a little mellow about it. From what I understand, the answers about her identity are central to the story. That mystery really has to catch the reader's attention as it's the hook that what will carry us through the story. That said, your MC is likeable and I was interested in the mystery surrounding her.

Regarding corrections, I noted a few things. I'm not an expert in punctuation and all that, but these sentences stuck out to me and thought I would mention them. Feel free to ignore what doesn't make sense to you.

'No, really, I can't, as I explained...': This sentence seemed to need to be broken up into two. Like, 'No, really, I can't. As I explained...'

'I don't think they can, someone has made it untraceable...': Same issue here. 'I don't think they can. Someone has made it untraceable...'

'...over four million and they would have changed your name, I really don't see...': Same issue. '...over four million and they would have changed your name. I really don't see...'

'..she just felt that she had seen it before.' :The only thing I wold suggest here is that you end with a stronger phrase which would evoke a stronger reaction and interest in your reader. Something like, '...she didn't see it properly but she was SURE she had seen it before.'

Those are just a few suggestions and you are free to take or leave any of them.

I like this story and believe it should be read by others. So I will star it and back it when I get the chance.

Best regards,

Dyane
The Eagle's Gift
The Purple Morrow

WiSpY wrote 861 days ago

Hi

A few little things caught me. I can give you more detail if you like. If you feel like sending me the first chapter I will do a track changes edit for you so you see what I mean. Have done this for a few people here - some find it useful :)

wispyauthor@hotmail.com

mdws77 wrote 868 days ago

I have read through Chapter 12 so far and I like what I have read. Not as much Sci-Fi as I like, but you tell your story very well. I don't see very many issues. Your chapter transitions are good and most of your grammar is good. I have noticed a few spelling issues, but other than that, this novel is a VERY good read. I have increased my rating to 5 stars.

MrKarats wrote 881 days ago


Rachael,

I got around to your story at last. So here it goes.


Chapter 1
the whole discussion with the therapist seems out of place, as it probably has been done before. You present their relationship going way back and you also mention that they have talked over those matters many times before. Wouldn't it be reasonable for the discussion to be the "afterwards" of the discussion you described? My suggestion would be to either a) have Carly be hesitant to discuss with anyone until that moment, and this way give the facts to the reader, making the discussion longer, or b) rewrite the meeting on a different basis. Not necessarily something new on the facts' side. But present in the dialogue only the feelings and worries of the girl and put the back-info of her status inbetween. Your 3rd person POV has these advantages.

One correction, in capitals is as it should be:
"...WHOSE genes they were."

Chapter 2.
Short , to the point, you added the mystery of the twin. I liked it.

Chapter 3.
Again, here, you introduce action that should have been taken earlier. The whole reasoning process is one that a gifted child would have achieved earlier on.
Correction:
"...was her CONFIDANTE,..."

Chapter 4
You are going to lose a lot of readers at the very first sentence:
"Carly's dreams had always had a big impact..." I think by now the reader is familiar with the premise of how important the dreams are. Introducing yet another one in the same fashion is already "annoying" (as in "why can't the author invent something else in order to show us the dreams she has?" annoying) , but explaining in a full paragraph that it's all-important to learn about her dreams makes it downright difficult to want to carry on (with all due respect).

So, I decided to stop reading there.

I hope I could be of help.

Yannis

Momma Bear wrote 882 days ago

Hi Rachael,
That is how my sister spells her name!
What a cool story. I love how it begins in this state home or orphanage. Right there you begin the story with a great premise of a cast-off feeling within the little girl. And I love the man-on-the-moon poem you used, that was beautiful. I've never heard it before. I could see a little girl singing it as she gazed out the window.

Few tips from chapter one:

...There must be a way to find out" ... Missing period after 'out'
...there are no parent's details...I think this would sound better as 'details on your parents'
Even the place of Birth...birth doesn't need to be capitalized
What is the point in having a kid... these two sentences (this one and the one after) put in italics to show she is thinking this.

I think your dialogue was great. Some people have a hard time making dialogue seem and feel natural but you were spot on, really perfect. It felt right, great job and big stars.

Rebecca
~Askival
http://www.authonomy.com/books/38264/askival/
Over eleven thousand teens vanish in one day. This is the story of where they went.

mdws77 wrote 884 days ago

Rachael, I have decided to back your book and rate it. I will be reading it next and may change rating when done.

Neville wrote 884 days ago

Hi Rachael.
I like the premise, well thought out, a compelling read that keeps the reader wanting to know more.
This is a book that starts off to be very interesting and continues in the same manner page by page.
A nice character in Carly, with her unusual dreams. She contributes an excellent voice to your book.
With the Sci- Fi element taking the centre stage, I think this is right on course for the Y/A market.
I like your book and your style of writing. I have rated it accordingly with many stars.BACKED!

Kind regards,

Neville THE SECRETS OF THE FOREST – THE TIME ZONE.

Vanille Jour wrote 889 days ago

Hello! You have a lovely story here and I couldn't spot anything wrong with it. The only thing I would say is that it feels more like a children/Middle grade novel to me than YA. I only read up to the first chapter, so I don't know if Carly gets older or not, but here she is 14 and that seems a good age for a MG novel. Secondly, the writing style is more MG/children's and it feels like the subject matter is too. I feel like it would appeal more to that age group, which isn't a bad thing at all.
Happy writing!

orma wrote 918 days ago

Hi Rachael, the read you requested.
This is a really lovely story. It starts off sweet and affectionate.
I immediately developed a liking for Carly and sympathised with her plight.
I've read three chapters and became quite engrossed in the story.
There seems to be a paranormal theme running through, with Carly's dreams and I find that intriguing.
I would say this would be a great story for the YA market you are aiming for.
The only thing I can see that could be improved is, if you adhere to the rule of show don't tell.
I find you are telling too much of the story rather than showing.
EG; A random sentence to explain the rule; The boy walked down the street, he saw a cat and nearly tripped over it. (That is telling)
Showing would say: The boy strolled idley down the street, not looking where he was going. A large cat ran out in front of him and he slipped, nearly landing himself in the gutter.
This is just a rough guide.
I have also had to alter my MS to show more than tell. It does make a great improvement.
Having said that, your story is an excellent one. With some polishing it would be fantastic.
I hope you don't mind me telling you this. It's just that I can see a wonderful potential in this story.
You have really good story-telling skill.
Best wishes, Orma

faith rose wrote 925 days ago

This is a magical, highly creative story! You have crafted a perfect blend of reality and fantasy. 14-year-old Carly is very well-drawn. Readers will identify and find themselves relating well to Carly, especially through your use of internal dialogue ("Who am I?" "What is the point of having a kid if you're not gonna bring 'em up?") Your word choice is lovely and pushes beyond the typical descriptions found in YA fiction ("cityscape," "visual delight"). Overall, this is a job well done on a very imaginative piece! Giving you many stars, and keeping you on my WL to read more!
~Faith Rose
Now to Him

QuinnYA wrote 934 days ago

I enjoyed reading this. It feels very 'now', something that would sell good in this age of dystopia and 2012 looming. I love the plot, it's unique and different and Carly is memorable. I don't read much science fiction but this one grabbed me pretty quickly. The setting is great and so is the pacing. I'm interested to see how her journey turns out. Really impressive writing. Good luck with this. I'll back it when I get a chance, probably not til next week tho.

Missy

a.morrison712 wrote 940 days ago

Great way to craft a novel right here. You have awesome titles for chapters that bring the reader in before they even get into the story. I'm just waiting for a story that focuses on dreams to "hit it big." You've got a real shot at this. Good luck! I'm giving you plenty of stars to try and help boost you up the ranks!

Best,

Ashley
'Maddy Hatfield and the Magic Locket'

Nightdream wrote 950 days ago

Love this story. Carly is such a lost girl right now. She wants to know who she is. All she knows is were she was born. That's it. She doesn't know who her parents are or why they would want to have a child if they are just going to give them up. When she raised that question I felt so bad for her. It's a HUGE question that all orphan kids probably think while they are young. Of course, they understand better when they get older but when they are that young they don't. And this is a great idea. There's no flaws in your writing from what I have seen so far. The lullaby was so refreshing to hear and set such a great tone and mood to the story that it carried on all the way through to the end of the chapter. It fell chill and relaxing. I felt like I was enjoying a nice read while at the beach on vacation sipping on some fruit drink. 6 stars. Back will have to come in the future since I need to get the ones on there now some time.