Dark Sleepers by Kate Sermon #Review
Posted by brriske
Dark Flows the River Trilogy
Genre: Young Adult Magical Realism Paranormal
Word count: 71,000
Page Count Print: 326
About the Book:
“You are astral travellers now. Able to project your spirit out of your body at will and enter the realms. You are not the only ones. Some people come here in their dreams without even knowing it. Some purposefully decide to travel here to find answers to questions they can’t find on earth… And some pass over… Die.”
Kezia’s world implodes after her dad dies. She can’t cope any more, and then she discovers the ability to leave her body. She drags her best friend, Ben, with her into other worlds to find her dad, but what she finds along the way, she could never be prepared for…
“Kate Sermon’s writing is truly sublime. She creates characters to care for; whether it is dealing with friendship in our own world or grief in the astral planes, Kezia and Ben remain real people with hopes and flaws. Dark Sleepers is a startlingly imaginative debut.” ~ Dan Metcalf, Children’s Author
Kezia was struggling even more. The memories that threatened to overwhelm her had waned, dispersing like vapour from a boiling kettle. But they had been replaced by a fear that she guessed was not her own, even if it was hard to tell for sure.
She lay down on the dirty sand and closed her eyes. It was an instinctive action and at once she knew that it was a good one. She breathed, as her mum had taught her when she was stressed or worried. She could hear very clearly her mum’s soothing voice say “Darling, just breathe. That’s all you need to do.”
It helped. Her heart rate slowed and a sense of herself began to emerge from the jumble inside her. As she concentrated on her breathing, she began to hear a tiny whispering sound like mice behind skirting boards. It came from deep inside her head. And it definitely wasn’t her own thoughts. It must be the girl’s.
Then it occurred to her – maybe she could talk to this child. Maybe find out something that could help. Just like the day her dad died, she found that words weren’t needed. Her thoughts traced patterns of light through the blackness.
“Who are you?” She asked.
Almost immediately she got a reply. A quivering voice, barely audible, said: “I don’t know. I’m… I’m scared.” It sounded desperate.
“Please don’t worry. I’ve been to this place before, it’s not so bad. I can help you.” She hoped this was true. “What’s your name?”
“I don’t remember… wait, I think it may be Rose. Can you really help me?” The voice brightened. “But he was chasing me. I needed to get away. It all happened too fast.”
“I’m sorry Rose. I don’t understand.”
Confused for a moment… but then a light bulb pinged on. It drenched all the confusion in bright, white light. She suddenly realised she knew what was going on – what this place was and why the children were here.
Kezia is an odd duck, but her parents are far from normal as well. She always thought she was a daddy’s girl until her father dies in a car accident, which very well could have taken her life as well. In the accident she feels herself become detached from her body and is looking down on the scene with no emotion. That is until she sees a form rising from her father’s body. He tells her to go back, but they will see each other again and she gets does get her goodbye. Months pass and the anguish she feels will not relent. She tries to meditate and feels that similar sensation and is pulled from her body and feels free to move about with no judgement and no cares, no one can see her spirit. She returns to her body and immediately informs her best friend, her only friend Ben, but he blames it on her mourning and head trauma. She lets it pass, but tries it again later and finds herself in what she feels a safe-space with another being who parts with some knowledge. She learns that she’s an astral traveler and she has a journey to go on should she chose to but she cannot go alone, Ben must join her. She names this being Hugo and he tells her that he can only guide and protect her so far, it must be Ben to be at her side. This may be a way to see her father again. She finally convinces Ben that it’s not her imagination and they make a few trips, but it scares Ben. He wants no part of it. He gives Kezia an ultimatum, astral travel or his friendship. It’s a decision she can’t make. She’s finding out more and more about her life and it’s not like she thought. She needs answers before she can give it up, but she can’t give up Ben either, he’s her only friend. How can she do both without losing everything she has?
***Reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock***
About the Author:
Kate lives with her family and other animals in Devon halfway between Dartmoor and the sea.
She’s done a bit of journalism; writes a bit of poetry; has published some short stories, teaches creative writing, and is currently ensconced in a MA Creative Writing. Alongside, she’s writing the second book in the series.
As a teenager Kate traipsed the moor imagining herself in some version of Wuthering Heights. Nothing much has changed.
5 Kindle copies