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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Dreamtime by Barbara Arnett is a fantasy story nourished by an original concept, one that can be translated to an eternal now, but people evolve in it and destinies collide. It begins in 1820 when a homeless boy discovers a murdered girl on the beach. The father of the murdered girl adopts him and has him work on a convict vessel ferrying criminals to Australia. The boy is curious about a particular member of the crew who has snake tattoos on his body. When he suddenly finds himself in 1955, he is surprised that a young girl who looks exactly like the one murdered in 1820 finds him and brings him to her father. He finds himself among the people belonging to the turtle clan, a clan that has been long time enemies with the snakes. But the young boy's new home is about to be destroyed when the snake man appears. Does he have the secret to beating the snake man?
This is a story that is as eerie as a dream yet filled with interesting and well-developed characters. The dream time mission is a concept that is unique, imagined and attributed to a people that readers will want to explore. The conflict is powerful and I loved the intensity with which it develops. While there are many twists in the plot, the author ensures that nothing happens by chance. The descriptions are terrific, pulling readers into the worldview of the characters and capturing emotions in a way that is powerful and vivid. Barbara Arnett comes across as a mistress of the genre, plunging readers into a dream state with her characters and allowing them to experience the thrill of the adventure.