Sigmund Freud did not know Marie when he wrote the seminal work above. In neat, logical compartments, the master traced the lives of hysterics and gave us unconscious truths realized. Then came Julie Achterhoff with a futuristic vision as intense as Existenze. While reality holds the key to survival, the earth is too unsettled and the dangers too real. There is no separation from the waking and the real in this video game drama for high stakes. Deadly Lucidity is the closest we can get to the sheer terror of our uncertain footsteps. Sometimes, when we cross the streets, do we not wonder whether, despite our most rational intentions,that we may not make it to the other side? It is not a sudden auto that may smash our lives and our dreams away. Perhaps it only a breath, a voice in the wind that paralyzes our steps? A waking dream or a dream awake,Ms. Acterhoff has wrestled with the nightmares Herr Freud more easily imagined. She has taken the terror of the unconscious, brought it to light, to give us greater capacity for horror than we ever want to comfortably imagine, and with heroes like Murphy, himself a mystery, and gremlins and goblins of would be evil men lurking, brought us out of our hot air balloon for a landing safe and worth taking. Wow..Brava, lady. What a ride!
Robert Rubenstein, Author:Ghost Runners
Schopenhauer said that life is like a dream in that the reality a person creates is merely a reflection of mind. Kant said it, too. Probably, Kant said it first… Anyway, this is the philosophy that drives Deadly Lucidity. It is the story of a woman whose actual dream state becomes a tumultuous but also romantic journey that might become, the reader thinks, her reality. At times, I wanted her to escape; at times, I wanted her to stay. The question that drives it all, of course, is what is real? Her dreams or the life she left behind, which becomes a sort of dream in of itself. A great book by a fellow author at All Things That Matter Press. I’m honored to be in such good company.
Marie lives in a dream world. Writing horror novels is her passion. But do they lead to her dreams? Due to her childhood, she is now suffering from a disturbing anxiety disorder and rarely ventures out, except to go see a best friend who is also her therapist. She learned that dreams can take you many places, that some dream in color, that some can remember their dreams and that some forget them the minute they wake up, but for Marie it’s a challenge. She claims to be able to control her dreams and wake herself up. She goes from one beautiful dream to being chased by a psychotic person. She is no long sure if she is awake or if she is stuck in her dream. Where is she at, who is she in reality and who is Murphy the handsome ranger? Why does everyone in her dream keep telling her to wake up and that she is in danger?
“Deadly Lucidity” is thrilling suspense novel that starts out with him…Marie locked in her dreams. Injuries that occur in her dream are real when she awakens. She continues to jump from one dream to another, surrounded by good and evil. As the story progresses, the reader is taken to an edge of the seat suspense as Marie is taken through terrifying events leading up to a surprising conclusion. Julie Achterhoff has written a book that is such an amazing and intriguing thriller. This is a mind challenging book.
Deadly Lucidity – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
`If only she could remember her true real life and what had happened in it to cause her to be stuck in her dreams. Was she even a writer? That thought struck her hard. She could have just created that fiction from her imagination, too. She was having an identity crisis. Who was she really? Was she any more real than any of the other dream images that played through her mind? Then she focused on one of the main themes of her recent dreams – the bad man who had kidnapped her. Maybe that kept popping up because it had a grain of reality to it. Maybe she had truly been kidnapped. Maybe she was still unconscious in this guy’s basement. Oh, God. That must be it, she thought. But she had gotten away from him in every dream scenario, too, hadn’t she? Maybe she had escaped, but was brain dead. No. She wouldn’t be able to dream if that were the case. The only other possibility was that she was in a coma? If so, for how long? Her intuition said that felt right, that she was in a coma. If only she could remember what happened.’
Dreams take us to other worlds and dimensions. But what brings these dream about? Are they pieces of memory from our past? And how much do we actually contribute to what happens when we dream? Are we able to add and delete characters. Even during a nightmare, are we able to defend ourselves by conjuring up defense weapons?
In the case of Marie, where is she? Who is she? Who is Murphy? How did he get into Marie’s dream? Is everything really a dream or is she simply lost in another world? How will she find her way out of her dream and back into the real world? Can Murphy go with her? What is she trying to accomplish and why is everyone telling her she has to wake up?
They say you dream nightly but only remember a few. I have no idea if that’s true but I do know that after reading Deadly Lucidity I’ve found myself wondering more and more about the dreams I do have and do remember. And as with the character Marie, wouldn’t it be nice to start a dream, wake up, go back to sleep and restart that dream? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com Stir, Laugh, Repeat
There are spoilers in this review If you don’t want to have them revealed you better stop reading this article right now and go buy the book. It’s worth it.
Deadly Lucidity by Julie Achterhoff is about dream lives. The concept of this book starts out as intriguing and eventually reaches a higher level than that. The narrator, Marie, jumps from one life to another starting at the very beginning of the story. Throughout the rest of the book she is surrounded by real people who are dreams and threatened by other real people who are nightmares. She is chased by an evil baron who wants her in his harem. This baron is always a threat because he can jump between all of Marie’s dreams. She is also threatened by clowns, wild animals, and gangs of evil men who try to rape her. She is protected by a “ranger” named Murphy, a marksman who always keeps his six-shooters ready.
Achterhoff’s novel really gets going when it is revealed that Marie is in a coma in her non-dream life. Her mother is getting ready to take her off life support. The only way she can come out of her coma is by finding a way out of her dream world and back into reality. She needs to do that before her mother pulls the plug.
Then the book gets even better when Marie discovers that Murphy is also in a coma. He and Clarice, a young girl who is a third coma victim, are all in the same room of the same hospital and all hooked to life support. The dream isn’t just Marie’s. They are all dreaming it.
Deadly Lucidity is a love story and an adventure. But it is the unusual ideas behind the story that make it such a wonderful read.
Caught in a dream world from which she can’t escape, Marie finds herself hunted by a dangerous psychopath. Her situation is far from hopeless, though, as a handsome Ranger named Murphy vows both to protect her and help her find a way back to the real world. Over the course of their shared adventures, Marie looks very much forward to getting her life back to normal – but her growing passion for Murphy makes the prospect of leaving him behind an increasingly difficult choice to make…
Skillfully crafted by author Julie Achterhoff, Deadly Lucidity is an engaging suspense thriller. In it, Achterhoff has crafted a compelling alternate nether world straight out of the darkest regions of any imagination. In addition, as Marie wends her way through a series of increasingly perilous events, you find yourself rooting not-so-silently on her behalf, turning each fresh page in rapt anticipation of precisely what fate awaits her as the story progresses. Furthermore, the genuine affection that she and Murphy feel for one another adds a layer of palpable tension to the overall tale, drawing the reader in even more as this modern twist on the age-old tale of good vs. evil plays itself out in fantastical fashion.
A dynamic, riveting thriller with a host of intriguing twists, Deadly Lucidity is a recommended read for lovers of well crafted fantasy suspense tales.