“Dreamer’s Cat,” by Stephen Leather (Plus Secret Bonus Review!)

Since reading about ebooks in this month’s Writing Magazine, specifically Leather’s article, I’ve wanted to read Dreamer’s Cat. Partially because the publishing houses hadn’t touched it because it contradicted an establishing brand. Mostly because it sounded cool.

Leif Ableman, who writes and creates commercial Dreams and is one away from completing his contact and retiring, must solve some in-house deaths.

Leather’s one sentence pitch was better, but it isn’t here and I’m not fully awake yet.

I really enjoyed the story – it feels like a mix between Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash and the early Michael Marshall Smith books (One of Us at its opening, Only Forward at its conclusion and some central parts). This is good company indeed, and the (e)book stands up well amongst it. I started reading it yesterday, had to sleep, and finished it in the laundrette where my clothes still dry.* The pacing is good and it builds well, and the Dream pieces are really interesting in their narration. I found myself reacting similarly to Leif’s response to the Dreams in my response to Leather’s writing.**

I found myself guessing the possible perpetrator part-way in (around 40% I believe) but that’s most likely because I have read so many similar books. Nonetheless, the denouement was exciting and enjoyable when it came.

The sci-fi elements were subtle and the only jarring exposition came from the lift’s prattling. If you could be persuaded to enjoy sci-fi, give this a go. It’s a simpler concept than Stephenson or Marshall Smith, and as such a great gateway.

SECRET BONUS REVIEW

This was the first book I’ve read on a Kindle. It’s not mine, but rather my mother’s. I found it odd to hold at first, but that was mostly because of my mother’s leather case, and so I sometimes page-turned by accident. Easily fixable though.

It’s too soon yet to fully judge, but my initial concerns were that the unfamiliar style would serve as a barrier to the story. Never mind that, for at one point I tried to turn the page as if it were a real book!

I like the fact that you can alter the typescript and size to suit. The progress bar is interesting (especially its session marker) but doesn’t quite equal the middle-point-cresting of a traditional book.

The jury is still out for me.

* By the time you read this they will have dried.

** If you’re reading, Steve, nipple?

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“Dreamer’s Cat,” by Stephen Leather (Plus Secret Bonus Review!)

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