BETWEEN – Kerry Schafer
The Books of the Between
Ace Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0-425-26114-9
February 2013

Washington State – the Present

Having your sixteen year old patient spontaneously combust in your ER pretty much means that her life may not be as tranquil as Vivian Maylor hoped it would be. Her move to the quiet town of Krebston was Vivian's way of avoiding her less than wonderful childhood, as well as her mother's insanity. With her mother safely in a good facility just far enough away, Vivian had hopes that her life would become normal. A boyfriend, a new apartment, and a satisfying position at the local hospital were fairly normal, if you didn't count the crazy dreams she's been having the last few weeks. But now, before she can even assess the young patient, who keeps insisting he was attacked by a dragon, the boy sizzles before her eyes.

A little history about Vivian: she was brought up by her eccentric mother, no idea who her father was, and she's only met one other relative, her grandfather, who told her all. He told her of the Dreamworld, the Between, and the Wakeworld. And he gave her a necklace with a penguin in a dreamweb—her totem. He also promises that when he dies, she will inherit his dreamspheres. Despite her mother's rantings about being careful about dreams and doors, Vivian had little use for anything that didn't have a basis in science. Still, Vivian dreams of dragons and a warrior who is always at her side.

After yet another strange episode in the emergency room, Vivian decides to unwind and go to the town's bookstore. There she meets the man in her dreams, or at least he reminds her of him. Zee gives her some books on dreams, and she wonders just what is really going on in her life? Then a strange woman is in her apartment, claiming to be her late grandfather's attorney. The letter from her grandfather tells Vivian that she is his only heir, and the last of the Dreamshifters. The stranger also brings her the dreamspheres, but then abruptly leaves with them. From then on, nothing will be normal in Vivian's life again.

BETWEEN is the first of The Books of the Between and it's a page turner! Set in the real and dream worlds, readers will be as hard-pressed to know the difference as Vivian is! Be prepared for some violent scenes, but also some poignant and a few humorous ones as Vivian sets off on an adventure she never wanted or anticipated. Whom can she really trust? Are memories something that can help her? Get ready for a late night, as you won't want to put this book down once you get into it. For a debut novel, it's mighty impressive. I very highly recommend BETWEEN, and look forward to the next in the series, WAKEWORLD, and more of Vivian and Zee!

Jani Brooks