Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Review - Raising Sleeping Stones, By P.H.T. Bennet

Title: Raising Sleepy Stones
Author: P.H.T. Bennet
Publisher: Dramkeeper Publishing
Pages: 360
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy


Like every kid in Solasenda, Kiva Stone has been far too busy training for one of the five town guilds to think about something as useless as dreaming. But when she and her sister DeeDee uncover a mysterious plot to get rid of them, their only hope lies with a shadowy group of people who wield unimaginable powers drawn from their dreams. As the girls escape with them up the Varruvyen river, they start learning secret Dreaming Way techniques that have been forbidden for centuries. But how can they learn enough to stand against the enemies chasing them? The answer lies in the shattered history of Orora Crona, the lost Valley of Dreams, and whoever can piece it together first will rule for centuries to come.


 So this book was a harder read for me.  I love books that grab you from the get go and keep you going until the last page.  This was took me a while to get into.  I don't think it was any one's fault, it was just not something I could get into.  There were times when I had to go back and re-read something because I was confused.  I know that fantasy novels are usually set in worlds far different from the one we live in, and I know this book is no exception.  I think for me though, this took it beyond that fantasy level.  When I am struggling to picture this world, or the things in it, that is a sign to me that I will have a hard time with the book.

Let me be clear, the book is very well written and the characters are thoroughly fleshed out.  I think for me I just had a hard time putting myself into the story.  And that is what I do, put myself into the story that I am reading.  I picture myself as part of that world, it helps me connect with the whole book better when I can do that.

Kiva is a great character.  She is strong, and knows what she needs to do in order to survive.  She wants more for herself and her sister, and she will do what she needs to get those things.  I love that she wants to learn more, to do more.  I think that is a good thing to have in a book geared toward the middle school age.  They need to see that they can push forward and get the things they dream of having.

The story we get in this book is great one.  The girls have to leave the horrible conditions they are living in before they can start to reach for their dreams.  They can't dream where they are and soon learn that the aunt they are living with is doing more harm them good to them while they are in the home.  The girls are just not thriving in that environment, so Kiva takes her sister and they run off to see what they can find, what they can do outside of the city they live in.

While I struggled with this book, I can recommend it for others.  The book is a great book, and I think the age bracket it is meant for will surely get lost in the story with the characters.


I'm happy to be hosting P.H.T. Bennet's RAISING SLEEPY STONES Blog Tour today! Leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!

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Book Excerpt:
Kiva looked closely at the sun’s golden face. Wavy rays representing shimmering heat radiated out from it. Its cheeks were plump, the lips full and curved, the nose wide, and the eyes were a little almond-shaped, like hers. In the middle of its forehead was a weird circle with six curving parts swirling around a six-pointed star. She’d never seen the sun drawn like that. Wondering what was on the back of the pendant, Kiva turned it over.

The instant she saw the moon’s closed eyes, her hair flew back in the wind, her stomach dropped, and she was pressed back against the cushions of a vessel that was flying just inches above the river. She jerked her head back up and found she was in the back of a crescent-shaped boat piloted by an old man sitting up front. She was about to call out to him when he pointed at a tree that had fallen across the river and shouted, “When you get here, you must take a detour that even old Jacques didn’t know about! Hold on!”

Before she could, though, he turned the boat around so quickly that Kiva was thrown against the side of her boat and the wind was knocked out of her. She only got her breath back when he straightened out and followed the river back down.

“Look there!” he shouted moments later. “Turn right between the tall twins!”

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About the Author

P.H.T. Bennet began exploring his dreams when he was a child and has never bothered to stop. He had the good luck to have two daughters, Juliette and Paola, who not only served as the inspirations for DeeDee and Kiva, the main characters of Raising Sleeping Stones, but also helped him turn their family dreamwork sessions into this book. His lucky streak grew when he married his lovely wife, Mim, who tolerates his turning on a light in the middle of the night to write down ever-crazier dreams and talking about them in the morning as long as he lets her sleep in, first. His favorite dreams involve flying, visiting the dead, and replaying nightmares until they reveal their secrets.

Pratt’s latest projects are editing Book Two of the Orora Crona Chronicles and planning a virtual summer dreaming camp with other dream authors.

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