(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Dr. Cass Baros is haunted by dreams of an alien world…
…and will do anything to find it.
Relentlessly, she works her science team–along with her co-project leader and fiancé, Dr. Julian Saunders–in order to create the first lab-contained wormhole. Their boss, Dr. Janson, has a secret agenda. He adds a military contingent, which expands their six person team to twelve and increases tensions between the members. Egos will clash, agendas will cross, and their worlds will be undone as they travel through the wormhole.
The team, unable to return home and facing numerous dangers–conflicting desires, burning suns, cannibalistic monsters–is plunged into an adventure beyond their control. They struggle to unravel millennia old secrets in an alien world where nothing is what it seems. While Captain Lewis’ leadership strengthens, Cass deals with her destiny as the Brajj queen, and the Brajj, Jeamon, questions his lifelong beliefs and loyalties.
Cass and her team wrestle with her royal status to the Brajj, while being tossed between love and betrayal, genius and madness, and a jealousy frightening enough to cause the destruction of worlds.
*Rated Mature 18+* Science Fiction/Romance/Adventure/Aliens, zombies, romance, some time slipping and a wormhole all wrapped up in a mystery! (Serious sci-fi with a mature romance, violence, language, and some gore–this is not a fluffy bunny)
[Full disclosure: I requested and received a free ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.]
Dreams of the Queen is one of those books that you intend to sit down and read a few chapters but then you realize it’s three in the morning and you’ve just finished it. It really sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. I have to say that in my nearly three years of reviewing I have never read a book as unique as this one by Jacqueline Patricks.
Sure, on the surface it seems like Patricks has cooked up a pretty conventional “follow the wormhole to an alien world” story but it’s really anything but that. The alien world is far from what it initially seems and there’s intrigue lurking around every corner. No one (and I mean no one!) is as they seem in this story and everyone is hiding something: from Cass hiding her dreams from Julian, from Julian hiding the fact that he has a much darker side and all the way up to the Brajj king and his trusted lieutenant Jeamon. When you compare it to lots of other stories, the characters aren’t the most sympathetic but in Jacqueline Patricks’ dark imagined world they are. More importantly than being sympathetic, they are all very interesting characters. You may not like all of them, but you do want to find out what happens so Dreams of the Queen ends up being a psychological thriller as much as it is an action/adventure novel.
As for the world-building, wow. I really can’t describe things too much without giving away some of the plot twists, but the alien world Cass and the others land on seems to be a pretty stereotypical medieval-esque fantasy world. When you get down to the guts of it, that’s far from true however. The alien world hides it secrets well, even from its supposed queen. One of the more fascinating features of the world was the zombie-ish creatures that attack the living out in the forest while the Brajj contingent brings Cass and the others back to the city. They act like zombies, they look and smell like zombies, but they’re not the zombies that we really know from conventional stories. They really do have a much more fascinating background; they’re not just there for the scare factor.
The characters and the world-building had a pretty high wow factor, so how was the plot? Well, it was spectacular. There’s really no other way to describe it. Just when you think you know something is going to happen, it doesn’t. You may be able to correctly predict a couple of the twists, but you won’t be able to predict the big, horrifying reveal at the end. And that’s not really me being dramatic—it is horrific. Jacqueline Patricks isn’t kidding in her blurb when she says it’s for 18+; trust me on this one. This is a very dark science fiction/psychological thriller that will leave you breathless. There’s never horror for horror’s sake, but many of the scenes in the book are nevertheless shocking. It really fits in with the darker tone the story takes as it winds on, drawing you into it until there’s no hope of getting out until you finish it.
Like I said, I can’t really tell you much about Dreams of the Queen without giving away some of the amazing twists and turns that you’ll want to discover for yourself. All I really can say is that the plot is not all that it seems, the characters are highly unique and believable and the world-building will wow you. If you get a chance, go pick up this book. It’s not for everyone, but if the blurb or my review has intrigued you I highly recommend it.
I give this book 5/5 stars.