S.J. Lomas

Christine would never have considered herself new recruit material for a secret U.S. agency. Until recently, she’s just been an ordinary girl graduating from high school and wondering if a friendship with Gabriel, a mysterious coworker, would grow into something romantic.

When Christine’s fascination with Gabriel leads to her discovery of dreamworlds, she learns that she’s anything but ordinary.

Now, Christine and Gabriel must choose their allegiances and face corruption, conspiracy, and the complexities of love in order to save themselves and everyone who matters to them – or die trying.

 

 

 

Author Bio

I've been making up stories as long as I can remember. I started writing them down in 2nd grade and have never stopped. I've been influenced by gothic novels and authors like Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Gaston Leroux, Nathanial Hawthorn, Edgar Allan Poe, Beth Revis, Kelly Creagh, and Michael Lawrence. 

When I'm not writing, I'm working part time as a Social Media Librarian at a public library, doing book reviews, organizing craft and vendor events, attending PTG meetings, or shuttling my 2 kids around to their various activities.

I love books and have a to-be-read pile long enough to last several lifetimes. 

Interesting S.J. trivia: I love Paul McCartney and have seen him in concert 7 times. My favorite animal is the sloth because it's perpetually smiling and they're just so weird. My favorite color is red. My favorite places in the world are Disney World in Florida, Oxford England, and Hartwick Pines in Michigan. 

I don't know how to swim and have no piercings or tattoos. 

  • Critic Score:82/100

    Our Review Ranking:

    A Great Read

 

Our Review

Cover:

The cover is a work of art in still life.  This story:"Dream World," has a poppy field in a predominant scene.  And it sets the reader's mind to "The Wizard of Oz"  and the poppy field there.  The arrangement of buds, flowers, and finished pods foretells of a coming mystery.

Book Blurb:

As a blurb, this one for "Dream World" is satisfactory.  However, the story tells as if it is a sequel to last summer, with retells of the events that have already taken place.  Tfhe blurb sounds more like it iis describing that first book.  In this story, Christine and Gabriel are romantically together.  They have also already decided that the agency is corrupt.  The blurb needed to say a little more about how they handle the situation.

Formatting :

The author, S.J. Lomas has creatively set up the book to be in Chapter of Christine and Gabriel, with each chapter illuminating the action from the point of view of the named character.  In addition, Christine's actions are written in the simple past, Gabriel is written in the simple present tense.  While the idea is creative, writing in the simple present tense is difficult.  Life does not really exist in the simple present: you sit down and then you have sat, and something else happens.  It also leads to errors like, "I'm sitting up."  It would be better as "I sit up."  Otherwise, it implies a second action coming.  Also, a couple of times, Christine's past view is written before Gabriel's present.  However, this reader enjoyed it.  And it moved the action along with many details that would have been tedious without this selection.

Grammar & Spelling:

Spelling was excellent.  It may have been the publisher or a poor editor that allowed many typos.   Beginning with page two, "a just a segue"  with a repeated.  Page 148, "Whoever thought this crap would do . . . has another thing coming."  It should be "think".  Or it may be the fact that this critic is an English professor, who delights in phrases like  (page 99) "Releasing each other, her face . . . ."  This means her face released them.  This is a common error because that is the way we speak.  As a whole, the grammar used was easily readable, descriptive and appropriate. 

Character Development:

Character development is well done. Much of the character development is shown through conversation, an excellent choice, The reader first meets Christine, a typical, "I just want to have fun" high school teen ager.  However, she is faced with an impending responsible decision.  Gabriel is developed more slowly, with bits added due to memories of Christine and himself.  Having gone through a difficult childhood, and being a typical "I can do anything" young man, he works hard to prove himself in the dream agency.  Both are well developed with no big leaps necessary in the reader's perception.

Plot & Structure:

The plot was excellent, with some unique quirks that keeps the reader fascinated or surprised.  Teens, high school graduates, evidently live a normal life.  However they can enter a dream world where anything can happen: a person may suddenly disappear or appear, objects can dissolve, someone can suddenly be in an entirely different setting.  In this version of a dream world, dreams are used by a secret agency to stop potential terrorists, murderers, or suicides.  Or does it?  The mystery and action unfolds around the agency and whether or not it is using it's power for good.  This is excellently done, and the reader can relate it to actual life's secret plots. 

Pacing:

The only lag in pacing was at the beginning, but at the same time, was a necessary part of Character development.  Action was good throughout the story.  Conversation kept the rest of the action moving. 

Use of Language:

Language use was good.  However, near the beginning, the author hugged each newcomer and "breathed in" a few too many times.  Also, descriptive language went a little too far in describing "coconut shea butter lotion"   This reader felt as though it was going to continue into an add for Avon.  An excellent use of language was,"she smelled like summer - like all the lost summers".  And as mentioned above, "Everything can change in one summer. One day, it stretches out before you like a lazy, yawning cat. The next day, the claws come out and tear away the veil separating you from the lies you’ve grown up believing."

Originality:

"Everything can change in one summer. One day, it stretches out before you like a lazy, yawning cat. The next day, the claws come out and tear away the veil separating you from the lies you’ve grown up believing."  Dream Frequency has beautiful original language, as seen in this sentence.  An exceptional way to set up the coming conflict.  It differs from other dream novels due to the introduction of a secret agency and "dream control."

Overall Readability:

"Dream Frequency" was  a lively, unique story.  Teens and preteens would enjoy the story.  Even adults, who want a mystery without bad language and multiple horrors, would enjoy this book.

A Note From the Critic:

I wish the editing had been better.  Otherwise, this was a lively, easily readable story of suspense and science fiction.  I do recommend it to preteen, teens and adults alike. 

Comments

"Dream Frequency" has a unique plot because it takes place in a secret dream agency, whose objective is to stop future terrorists, multiple murders, and suicides.  But has someone in the agency changed the agenda for an ulterior reason?  Christine and Gabriel have chosen to find out, risking their lives confrontating superiors in a dream world, where if you die, you are dead in real life.  The agency is white; white walls, white floors, shite ceilings,  The language in the book makes the reader see it so clearly, one gets really sick of seeing that white.  The sentence, "Everything can change in one summer. One day, it stretches out before you like a lazy, yawning cat. The next day, the claws come out and tear away the veil separating you from the lies you’ve grown up believing.", is an excellent preview of the story.

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