Agents Of Dreamland: Caitlin R. Kiernan
Reviewed By Steve Stred
‘Agents of Dreamland’ was a book that was highly recommended to me by BP Gregory and Steven Gomzi. In fact, those two were so convincing in believing I’d want to read this book, I bought this one and the sequel without really reading much of the synopsis. Described to me as an X-Files style book playing in Lovecraft’s mythos, I was sold.
What I liked: ‘Agents of Dreamland’ is my first book by Kiernan. The story follows an ageing, jaded (disgruntled) agent of a mysterious group that is investigating something that’s been found in a farmhouse.
I really can’t state more than that without giving away any of the twists and turns. Kiernan writes with a really sly writing style. As though with each new paragraph we may learn all of the secrets that have been held back… but we don’t. And we want to.
The story bounces between our jaded agent, a figure who appears to be immortal (and is excellently creepy) and a group of people worshipping what has been found in the farmhouse. With each new chapter, Kiernan both narrows the scope of the horrors to come but also blows the landscape wide open with possibilities and expansive back story. I was hooked and flew through this, the story so engrossing.
What I didn’t like: I’m gonna come off as a literary snob here, but I wasn’t too keen on the POV shift from 3rd to 1st between some of the chapters and groups. It threw me off each time and I had to work to remember just what was going on.
Why you should buy this: Kiernan has set up a really amazing series here. Like the first episode of a TV show that keeps you saying ‘what!?’ this hooked me and pulled me along. I’ll be diving into book two shortly and I can’t wait to see where this goes and learn more about the world this inhabits.
Really great stuff.
Agents Of Dreamland
A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.
In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible — the Children of the Next Level — and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.
A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from ‘other’ sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.
And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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