May 122015

cover for Amanda Downum's Dreams of Shreds and TattersLibrary Journal: When she doesn’t hear from her friend Blake for months, Liz Drake travels with her roommate Alex to Vancouver where Blake had been living with a circle of artists that included his boyfriend Alain. She finds that Blake is in a coma, Alain is dead, and the artists, especially gallery owner Ranier, are keeping secrets. And Liz has been dreaming of Blake, trapped under water, visions that also reveal a secret world and a yellow king. VERDICT This unusual blend of urban fantasy and trippy horror is particularly notable for its lovely descriptions by Downum, author of “The Necromancer Chronicles” (last seen in 2012’s Kingdoms of Dust). She keeps the horrors slipping in and out of shadows­more menacing for being only half seen. Allusions to H.P. Lovecraft, Robert W. Chambers, and Ambrose Bierce are combined with modern city streets, addictive psychotropic drugs, and a stubborn heroine determined to save a friend.