Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hidden in Dreams: Book Review

After a couple late nights recently, I’m excited to post this review for the second of Davis Bunn’s newly released novels, Hidden in Dreams.

My conclusion?

It’s a bizarre world that Professor Elena Burroughs enters.

It’s a world which can twist a person’s mind with fears and confusion—and above all, with dreams.

Elena has landed at a private university in her own field of psychology. It is her refuge after her world shatters under the stress of a controversial book with an even more controversial claim—that God can use dream to warn people about the future.

Then Elena has her own dream that demands her attention and the attention of the entire world.

Think banks and stock markets are boring, not to mention confusing? Throughout Hidden in Dreams, Davis Bunn ties the diverse threads of economics, financial panics, and psychology into an amazing brain thriller. After she and fourteen other Dreamers receive identical dreams—warnings, they believe—Elena Burroughs finds herself back on the national stage, the last place she ever wanted to be, and she’s trying to stop the ultimate disaster.

It’s not nuclear fallout, but a financial meltdown that’s coming.

Along the way, Elena experiences a personal waking, as she recovers from her husband’s death years before, and discovers a new life and hints of a new love. Hidden in Dreams continues Elena’s story from the first book in this series—The Book of Dreams. Hidden in Dreams hints at these previous events in Elena’s life, but I had no difficulty in following the plot without having read the earlier book.

I would rate this book a full five stars—the story and characters captured my imagination. Yesterday, I posted my review of Bunn’s other new release, Rare Earth—originally, based on the descriptions of the two books, I expected to prefer Rare Earth as an action-based story. Both books actually have a similar balance of action, investigation and introspection. Both also focus on the protagonist’s internal and external quests for healing, but Hidden in Dreams takes the prize for its depth and brilliance. I was intrigued by my first quick breeze through the book, and found it even more enjoyable with my second, deeper read.

By the end of the story, the question isn’t whether God can work through dreams, but whether man can recognize his need and rely on God.

I would recommend this book to any of Bunn’s fans, or anyone else in search of a strong, fast read.

You can read find out more about the book at Davis Bunn's site,, or read the first chapter of Hidden in Dreams here.

[My thanks to Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schusters for the complimentary copy of this book that I received. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 25.]


Bonus: Q & A from Davis Bunn

Q: How much research did you have to conduct to write this intriguing story?

A: In a way, I suppose you could say I’ve been researching this story all my adult life. I did my studies in international economics and finance. Observing the difficulties our nation and economy has faced over the past three years, as well as what we personally have endured, has been tough. It really was great to have this chance to give voice to what we increasingly hear, that the people at fault need to be brought to justice, and the risk of another economic collapse needs to be halted.
Q: In writing a sequel it’s always a challenge to include enough back story to satisfy those who haven’t read the first book while still making sure the book stands alone. How do you approach this dilemma?

A: You’re right, it can indeed be troublesome, but this time it all fell together very easily. The structure just flowed. That sometimes happens, where the story seems to create itself. I wish it was true all the time. I can’t even say why it was such a smooth process with Hidden in Dreams. But there was a sense of impatience about the back story, as though I needed to fit in just a few paragraphs, but I couldn’t allow myself or the reader to be drawn too far from this new story’s flow.
Q: Why do you write fiction?

A: I became a believer at age 28. Up to that time, ever since graduating, I had been working in international business. I came to faith while working as a consultant in Germany. I started writing two weeks later. Up to that point, I had never picked up a pen in my life to write anything longer than a business report. But I had always been an avid reader. And the moment I started, that very first instant, I had the sense of invitation. It was the first time I had ever experienced that incredible sense of being drawn in a new, divinely inspired direction.
I wrote for nine years and finished seven novels before my first was accepted for publication. Simply because I had received a sense of calling did not mean I was ready to serve. First the diamond had to be polished. Hard and painful as that was.


Anonymous said...

Hi Audrey!

I have enjoyed reading many of Davis Bunn's books over the years. Your reviews of his books have me looking forward to reading these newest ones!


Amy said...

Audrey, Wow! Five stars! And until now I'd not heard of Davis Bunn. What have I been missing out on? I just checked my local library and they have several of his books. I'll be checking some out soon. Have you read others of his that I can read until they get Hidden Dreams?

Audrey said...

Thanks Mom! I hope you will enjoy these also.

Amy--I can't remember, sadly, whether I've read any of Bunn's other books, but I checked with Mom and will send you an email with some of her recommendations. Thanks for stopping by!

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