Dreams Of Shreds & Tatters
Release Date: 7 May
320 pages | Paperback/ ebook Author: Amanda Downum Publisher: Solaris
For many, the name
HP Lovecraft means tentacled, sanity- bending monsters, but the legendary horror writer’s work also headed in more lyrical directions, especially in tales like “The Dream- Quest Of Unknown Kadath”. It’s these peculiar stories that serve as the inspiration for new urban fantasy Dreams Of Shreds & Tatters – though the end results are somewhat frustrating.
The plot follows Liz Drake, a woman who has bizarre dreams connected with the disappearance of her artist friend Blake. When she finally locates him, he’s comatose in hospital, but the trail leads her to Blake’s mysterious artist friends, and a series of unsettling secrets.
It soon transpires that strange dream- creatures are overseeing these events, all in the service of something monstrous called the Yellow King, but while Lovecraft and True Detective fans will appreciate the references, Amanda Downum’s take on urban fantasy is heavy on atmosphere yet light on substance.
Despite evocative images and ambitious ideas, the storytelling lacks edge and impact, and this rambling supernatural saga fails to be more than mildly unsettling. There are occasional flickers of the challenging book Downum is trying to deliver, but unengaging central characters and an over- reliance on dream logic leave this fantasy struggling to make it out of second gear. Saxon Bullock Downum has made a “soundtrack” to the novel including the likes of Bat For Lashes and The Cure: http:// bit. ly/ dreamsST.