Also by this author: The Promise, The Drummer Boy, Sinner, Green, The Dream Traveler's Quest, Into the Book of Light, The Curse of Shadownman, The Garden and the Serpent, The Final Judgment, Millie Maven and the Bronze Medallion, The Warrior and the Archer, Out of the Darkness
Series: The Dream Traveler's Game #5
Published by Scripturo on October 17, 2023
Genres: Children's, Fiction, Fantasy
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Three years have passed since Theo traveled to another dimension and discovered his identity in the Light. He’s more mature now and terrible trouble has swallowed him once more. When all hope seems to be lost, Theo is sucked into a virtual reality game set in an entirely new medieval world that is descending into chaos, as a small group of rebels seek to rescue their kingdom from the dark lord Marsuuv's rule. There, Theo, now a member of the rebels, must discover who he really is beyond the game—a fourteen year old boy in Florida who is a child of the light. A thrilling discovery of truth, perfect for young readers in today’s chaotic world. Ages 8 and older.
And we’re off! Book five of The Dream Travelers picks up three years after the events of The Dream Traveler’s Quest. A lot has happened in Theo’s life. The spiritual connection to Other Earth and the physical connection to his friends has vanished. The Book of History is gone. His parents have died. He now lives with his grandma in Florida. Three traumatic years. But then Theo sees a new game installed on his gaming console. Curiously, he opens it. And another adventure begins.
Theo finds himself sucked into the game and standing before Talya—a recurring figure in Dekker novels—who explains to him what’s going to happen. He must rescue the princess and save the world of Viren from Marsuuv…and also find a Book. Theo has forgotten who he is and this game might help him remember. He’s then thrust into a medieval world as a 14-year-old bard traveling with a group of rebels trying to save the Princess and overthrow Marsuuv.
The main plot of The Boy and His Song is a journey into the Dark Forest to find the antidote to a poison that is clouding the King’s mind. Along the way they meet Leah, an herbalist, who just may have some connection to Theo. It all leads them to the palace where there will be a showdown between Theo, Leah, and Marsuuv. Will they be able to save the King?
There are a few clever twists to the plot, but overall The Boy and His Song is fairly straightforward in terms of its plot. The characters’ dialogue is choppy and does not sound natural at all. At first, I thought it might have been the fault of the audiobook narrator but I got the same feeling reading the book as listening to it. There are enough connections to the world of the Circle, that it raises some expectations only to not do much of anything with them. Indeed, most of the novel’s problems seem to stem from “well, that’s the way the game works” instead of it feeling like a natural part of the story. And just as soon as things get interesting, the book is over.
The Boy and His Song has to do the work of setting up the entire series and with the series’ complicated structure in terms of explaining how the game works, introducing the characters, and so on, the pacing of the book struggles and feels uneven. This book is fifty pages or so longer than the other two in the series and it still feels like not much happens at all. Even by the end of the book, I’m not entirely sure how the system of the game is supposed to work or why the story wrapped up where it did, but we end in a waystation with one-third the journey over—the King not saved and Marsuuv alerted to the presence of Theo…and someone else.