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Ceres Dreams by Jon Kalantjakos

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Jon Kalantjakos’ science fiction novel, Ceres Dreams, had us anticipating stepping into a whole new world.  Reading about one young man’s first experiences of being out on his own with the twist of moving to a completely different planet was intriguing.  Unfortunately, slogging through a large number of unimportant and uninteresting details simply did not satisfy our desire for sci-fi.  The main character occasionally had odd dreams that seemed life-like.  Often, it was confusing to discern whether or not he was dreaming or actually experiencing the events in his waking life.  There had been a hint about his excessive dream experiences before he left Earth, and how he needed medication to prevent those types of dreams, but that part of the of plot seemed to wither as the story continued.  Eventually, Kalantjakos puts the main character into a more intense sense of crisis, but this did not happen until nearly halfway into the story.

With hints dropped here and there about prisons, corrupt governments and odd dream experiences, the story felt disjointed to some extent.  It was as if there were puzzle pieces missing or pieces that just didn’t fit into place now and again.  Ceres Dreams left us wanting far more than what we got.  We were ready to explore a new planet and a variety of new life forms via the author’s imagination.  Page after page, we kept waiting for these more exciting scenes, and unfortunately the narrative just didn’t deliver.  The fascinating idea buried within Ceres Dreams never came to its full potential.  As we read the last few lines, we were again left wanting more. Although we feel there is a great story buried here, it was never able to fully break above the surface.