Had Good and Bad Parts
3 out of 5 stars
I picked this one up for three reasons. The first being that cover – it just blows me away, it’s so gorgeous. Second was its length. I like to sprinkle in novellas into my reading since it allows me to quickly finish them. But, I also really like the kind of storytelling that’s done in novellas. Usually short and succinct. There’s no room to mess around. Finally, I picked this audiobook up because Chelsea Stephens was associated with it. I wanted to hear her do a seemingly science fiction/horror hybrid.
Agents of Dreamland was one of those books that I’m unsure how I feel about it. I think that Kiernan did a good job writing a “full” story into this short format. But I still have questions once it’s done (due to the fact that it’s not a standalone novel). There were also some parts of the book that I would listen to and have to go back and re-listen to because they were beautifully written but at first listen I couldn’t figure out what she was trying to accomplish. Usually in a shorter format like this – that sort of writing is skipped for a more to the point way of writing, but Kiernan didn’t do that. She still wrote almost flowery paragraphs but unfortunately for me it sort of took away from the story instead of adding to it.
The actual premise of the book was good and I honestly felt like the not knowing part of it (that suspense) was really where Agents of Dreamland shined. I kept reading it to figure out what was going to happen (or what happened?). I needed to know and I was kept along for the ride as the book kept going on.
Overall, an interesting book that I still can’t really tell how I felt about it. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I feel right in the middle about it. There were parts that I really enjoyed and parts I could have done without.
Thankfully, the narration really added to the story – it redeemed it in a few areas as well as I probably would have walked away from some of the ways that the author wrote certain scenes. Danny Campbell and Chelsea Stephens knocked their performance out of the park.
A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation but which haunts the Signalman.
In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea, a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible – the Children of the Next Level – and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming, and they will help to usher it in.
A day after the events at the ranch house, which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from “other” sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.
And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.
Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Narrator: Chelsea Stephens, Danny Campbell
Length: 2 hrs and 39 mins
Series: Tinfoil Dossier #1
Published by Tantor Audio on September 1st 2020
Genres: Science Fiction