Also by this author: The Dream Traveler's Quest, The Curse of Shadownman, The Garden and the Serpent, The Final Judgment
Series: The Dream Traveler's Quest #1
Published by Outlaw Studios on September 2018
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Children's, Fantasy
What if you could find a way to enter another reality full of wild and life changing adventure? And what if every time you fell asleep you woke up in that other reality? Welcome to the world of Theo Dunnery, a twelve year-old boy who feels alone and full of fear when he stumbles on an ancient book that draws him into another world.
In that world, he learns he must complete a quest to find the Five Seals of Truth if he is to conquer his fears. Facing great odds and many enemies, Theo sets off on the adventure of a lifetime to discover who he really is as the son of Elyon, and overcome the darkness that has haunted him for so long.
Join Theo on The Dream Traveler's Quest, one story told in four chapter books. Read all four and discover the truth for yourself.
The Dream Traveler’s Quest is a four-book series written by Kara and Ted Dekker that pairs with Ted Dekker’s Beyond the Circle duology that released around the same time. Written for ages 7-12, The Dream Traveler’s Quest follows Theo Dunnery, who stumbles upon an ancient Book of History that sucks him into another world. Here, Theo learns to overcome his loneliness and fear through the Five Seals: five statements of truth that Ted Dekker developed in his non-fiction work, The Way of Love. But the journey won’t be easy, evil bats and school bullies will conspire to stop Theo from discovering his identity as the son of Elyon.
Into the Book of Light is our introduction to Theo (Taay-o) Dunnery, but it’s hardly an introduction to the world of Other Earth. Ever since Dekker released The Circle Trilogy in 2004, he has been expanding on this world and storyline. The Books of History Chronicles—novels directly or indirectly tied to the Circle Trilogy and Other Earth—number over a dozen and span a multitude of publishers.
Theo’s introduction to Other Earth comes as the librarian, Mrs. Friend, hides Theo from the school bully (and principal’s son), Asher. While in a special room in the library, Theo uncovers a Book of History, blood from his nose hits the page, and he find himself transported to the other realm.
I’ve a bit of an issue with how he gets transported. In the Circle, individuals cross over when they have an awareness of the other reality and are connected with the blood of Thomas Hunter. The Lost Books introduces use of Books to cross between realms, but it takes three books and is a physical crossing, not a “dream” crossing. The Dream Traveler’s Quest sort of plays fast and loose with the established rules—something that it continues to do as the series plays out.
On the other side, he meets some familiar characters and learns that Talya (see Beyond the Circle) is sending Theo on a quest to discover the Five Seals. Seal One: Elyon is infinite and cannot be threatened by anything, ever. As it introduces Theo to Other Earth and Elyon, Into the Book of Light is easily the strongest of the series.
Theo’s journey to discover Elyon—and the Shataiki’s attempts to stop him—are genuinely entertaining and encouraging. Young readers are going to be a bit shocked, I think, at seeing Elyon portrayed as a young boy. God, particularly to little ones, is seen as a father/authoritarian figure. Not untrue, but not who God is in his totality. Seeing God as a playful child, God as a friend, God who looks like me, helps children reverse that and understand themselves as creations made in the image of God.
Theo overcoming Shataiki through the power of Elyon plays out perfectly for helping Theo deal with his Real Earth bullies—and they’ll help your child as well. Into the Book of Light is a strong start to this series. If you’ve read my overview, you’ll know my issues with it, but those are almost entirely absent in book one. This is a fun read and shows that a children’s Circle-themed series has potential.