BookBrowse Reviews The Dreamwalker's Child by Steve Voake

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The Dreamwalker's Child

by Steve Voake

The Dreamwalker's Child by Steve Voake
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2006, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2007, 320 pages

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The U.S. debut of an exciting new fantasy author. Ages 10+

From the book jacket: Fifteen-year-old Sam Palmer’s life is dull—until a bizarre bicycle accident leaves him in a coma. Sam awakens in Aurobon, a world eerily similar to his own, only to discover that his “accident” was part of an elaborate abduction by a ruler with a deadly agenda. Now Sam must team up with a fearless girl pilot to outwit the enemy. Otherwise, dark forces will invade his own world on insects the size of fighter jets. But that’s if the terrifying marsh dogs don’t kill him first.

Comment: The Dreamwalker's Child, Voake's first book, was snapped up by English publishing company Faber & Faber in 2003, following a bidding war between four major UK publishers. Voake says that he has always been fascinated by insects, but it wasn't until he was tracked and bitten by a horsefly that he got the idea for The Dreamwalker's Child. It took him 18 months to write, getting up at 3.30 in the morning and working until dawn, in order to fit his writing into his busy work and family life.

The Dreamwalker's Child is a fantastic read, and one that I strongly recommend. Our son, then aged 12, read it first and spoke so highly of it that I moved it to the top of my reading pile - I planned to read it quickly in order to get the general gist of the story (having already had the thumbs up from a key reviewer in the right target market!) but found myself slowing down to enjoy the full impact of this adventurous fantasy story - even though I'm quite a few decades older than the intended audience!

Next is the series: The Web of Fire was published in the UK in January 2006 and is due to be released in the USA this month (March 2007).

Steve Voake grew up in Midsomer Norton, near Bath, Somerset. His early ambitions were to play football for England and to be a bomb disposal expert so that he could blow stuff up. His favorite pastime was racing home made go-carts (and crashing them) with his friends.

When he left school he studied for a degree in philosophy, and sold ice-creams in the south of France before becoming a primary school teacher. He spent eight very happy years as head teacher of Kilmersdon Primary School, in Kilmersdon, Somerset (which is known as the 'Jack and Jill' school because what is said to be the original well from the nursery rhyme (see sidebar) can still be found in the playground at the top of the hill).

He has been writing full-time since 2005. He is married with two children, a guitar and a small rabbit. His daughter Daisy was the inspiration for Skipper, the feisty heroine of the novel.

This review was originally published in April 2006, and has been updated for the March 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



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