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Born in Israel in 1980, Daniel Arenson lived in Manitoba and New Jersey before settling in Toronto, Ontario. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and enjoys painting in his spare time.
He sold his first short story in 1998. Since then, dozens of his stories and poems have appeared in various magazines, among them Flesh & Blood, Chizine, and Orson Scott Card's Strong Verse. Firefly Island, first published in hardcover in 2007, is his first novel.
on April 14, 2011 :
Written by Daniel Arenson, "The Gods of Dream" is an epic fantasy with an exquisite and surreal feel. The author has a talent for description, and it's easy to picture the worlds of Dream and Nightmare. They're everything you thought they may be, and maybe even more. The storyline has a bit of a Biblical feel, a feeling which is heightened as the two sides draw closer to the battle that will determine the future of both realms, as well as the future of all humans. Each realm has a variety of different regions, and those in Nightmare almost felt like Dante's circles of hell. Each of the areas in Nightmare presents a different type of horror to be experienced, just as each area in Dream provides a special type of pleasure. The author has crafted his characters nicely, and the gods of each realm are distinct and fascinating. The hierarchy of the gods in Dream mirrors those found in Nightmare. The relationship between the various gods is somewhat reminiscent of the relationship between the Devil and his minions, and God and his angels. While I loved those two worlds and the characterization of each world, I wanted to understand a bit more the relationship between these realms and Earth.
The story started out somewhat slow for me. It took me some time to really get a feel for what was going on and where we were going. As I read on, my interest grew and I became much more entranced by, and committed to, the story. Taking such ethereal creations as dreams and nightmares and transforming them into actual physical places to be experienced and explored puts a new and exciting spin on something we only experience while we sleep. Although the story did drag for me at times, as we battled with all the lesser gods of Nightmare and walked for days and weeks and months, it was worth the read. The story itself didn't totally "wow" me, but the creativity of concepts and the beautifully flowing writing left me thinking about the ideas long after I'd finished reading. I wasn't completely captivated by the plot, but I was entranced by the worlds the author created. The gorgeous cover of the book really captures the feel of the story. I suspect I'll be thinking about the imagery and concepts woven into this story long after I've forgotten about Cade and Tasha and the details of their quest.
4.5 /5 stars @ MotherLode blog
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 07, 2011 :
A very moving tale that perfectly captures the essence of dreams and nightmares. A beautiful surreal and epic fantasy in the vein of Lewis and Tolkien, with a light-hearted touch.
After reading The Gods of Dream, I can't wait to read the rest of Daniel Arenson's novels!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)