Guest Horror Novel Book Review by Nicholas Grabowsky

 

T Isilwath

Holly Catanzarita: Dreamkeeper

Holly Catanzarita: Dreamkeeper

Title: Dreamkeeper
Author: Holly Catanzarita
Publisher: Scroll Publishing (2003)

One reviewer hailed her as a female Stephen King.

A downside of [self-publishing] is that a very high percentage of these writers produce works that are far less than perfect and sadly unreadable for a vast number of reasons, and works self-published by authors generally have a bad reputation because of that, under the umbrella of the traditional publishing industry and their millions of seasoned readers that need their fix of a popular book by a popular author.

Holly Catanzarita blows that reputation and stereotype off the planet, and her Dreamkeeper is the first example I'd like to show here that there exists tremendous and truly marketable talent in the self-publishing arena. In a matter of time, keeping up with such a heightened caliber of storytelling in future works, Catanzarita will find herself a best selling author at the top of the barrel. She has already seen much praise of her works, published three novels, and has been included in a number of anthologies. She is the senior editor of Sinisteria, a reputable horror webzine. One reviewer hailed her as a female Stephen King.

Dreamkeeper takes place in Taft, Georgia, a typical southern town. A strange force is wiping out the people there, one by one, in increasingly horrific ways, and like a spooky carnival ride through a house of horrors, it's all done with mirrors. Literally. The sight in the corner of one's eye of a formless shadow of death looming back at them through the looking glass is a harbinger of doom for a majority of highly believable characters. The story surrounds Antonio Valenti, a police detective whose dreams of a quiet little life on the force in a small town are shattered when numerous sightings occur of a mysterious and ghastly presence haunting and stalking through all the town's mirrors. With the assistance of a town reporter looking for the one scoop that will make his career, Valenti joins with a down-on-his-luck ex-gambler and a young man with a sixth sense in hot pursuit of an inter-dimensional demon of death summoned out of an underground room of mirrors to kill and to steal dreams.

The story is both simple and complex, executing the right twists and turns essential to a gripping novel. The author explores the human condition on various levels such as schizophrenia, the desire for dreams to come true and the price to be paid for fulfilling such wishes if one wants their dreams bad enough. Catanzarita's angst-filled characterizations are the trademark signs of a writer's blossoming into a master storyteller, for it is character and story flow that reveal whether a writer has what it takes for success in their craft.

I find myself suddenly struck by the novel's haunting and recurring phrase, "tick tock tick tock what's cooking in the pot......." and it occurs to me that what's cooking is indeed a brilliant author whose career is more than worth keeping an eye on.



Review Details:
This is a guest review. The reviewer doesn't belong to Litarena.com at all. In fact he's a bestselling author and a Hollywood scriptwriter. And he reviews books for his own website called downwarden.com

Review by Nicholas Grabowski, January 2008

 

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