PUBLICATION DATE: July 3, 2012
hoped in this second outing Davis would build on the shaky foundation of Book of Dreams, deepening his characters and shoring up the world he had created.
Unfortunately, in Hidden in Dreams he neither supplies character layers nor does he build on the first book’s foundation. Instead, he lifts his protagonist Dr. Elena Burroughs, out of her triumph and plunks her down into another setting turning her into a victim.
Things have gone horribly, terribly wrong for Dr. Burroughs in just twelve months. Her team, the team that sacrificed together, bled together, and struggled against impossible odds is no more. Her love interest has turned cold, Oxford has fired her, and the house that she lost at the climax of the first book can’t be replaced for her because the insurance company has decided it was her fault that it went up in flames.
The only positive of this plot and character reset is the fact that you do not have to read Book of Dreams to pick up Hidden in Dreams. Davis fans can ignore the first and start with the second, as connections between the two are tenuous at best.
The characters in Hidden in Dreams are a whole separate disappointment. They’re two dimensional paper cut outs, with their roles practically written across their foreheads; there’s love interest option one and option two, the insecure executive, the blow-hard, the doubter, and the charismatic villain. None of them come across as anything more than stock creations hired out for a period of time to fill the pages of a book.
Hidden in Dreams story starts with the downtrodden Elena teaching at the Atlantic Christian University in Florida. She has this position thanks to its president, Reed Thompson, who rescued her from her pathetic state and a particularly nasty television debate with other experts in her field. She has ‘loser’ and ‘victim’ stamped over her on every visible place.
Rachel Lamprey, a powerful player in the SuenaMed company, accosts her after her classes are over for the day seeking her help and her expertise in dreams.
An individual enrolled in SuenaMed’s trial of a drug that helps to short circuit ADHD has had a dream, and several other SuenaMed workers have had the same dream. While Elena and several others are working on understanding what is happening, the shared dream becomes reality. The bank that failed in the dream fails in reality when its depositors rush to withdraw their money. Dr. Burroughs and SuenaMed’s staff urgently work to find a link between the people experiencing this shared prophecy, but before they make any headway, Elena joins the circle of those plagued by nightly visions of doom.
As the dreamers continue to receive these horrifying prognostications, the time between the warning and the event happening in the real world, shortens. The sense of urgency which this creates is disrupted by the pacing of Hidden in Dreams.
The book vacillates between plodding scenes and hyperactive action sequences that are more confusing than exciting. Finally, the characters come to the conclusion that the dreams are not from the Lord, but are being manufactured and given to the dreamers.
As the story continues, plot devices from Book of Dreams surface; Dr. Burroughs is once again pushed into the spotlight she abhors, she assembles a team to deal with the crisis, and there is a shadowy conglomerate of individuals determined to bring about a global banking system.
With the introduction of a two potential love interests for Dr. Burroughs, several new villains, and a cloying sense of deja vu Hidden in Dreams hurtles towards its lack luster and predictable conclusion.