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DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

PAST THE SIZE OF DREAMING
by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Ace/ $21.95/ 336 pages
ISBN: 044100802X

With PAST THE SIZE OF DREAMING Nina Kiriki Hoffman continues the story of Matt (Matilda) and Edmund she started so well in A RED HEART OF MEMORIES (1999). This sequel may not exceed its original, but it at least equals -- and that's more than enough. Although RED HEART was concerned with the rediscovery of dark secrets, magic, witchcraft and included a ghost in a haunted house, Hoffman's auctorial intent seemed to lie in bringing comfort and reassurance rather than in creating an atmosphere of fear; her disruption of the "normal" world brought solace instead of terror. Gracefully written, A RED HEART OF MEMORIES glowed with a gentle glamour that was -- until its sequel -- uniquely its own.

Cover Matt Black and Edmund Reynolds are reintroduced in DREAMING with "Matt Black smiled. She had found Edmund three months earlier in a pioneer graveyard, and she had stayed with him ever since." In that three months the pair discovered they were both witches and found Edmund's childhood friends, Nathan (a ghost ) and Susan, a girl rescued from abuse. The haunted but compassionate House in which Nathan lives, explains that they must seek out other children from Edmund's past in order to confront a growing force of Evil.

They gather Deirdre, a veterinarian who seems to have no magical abilities; Julio, damaged and transformed by an encounter with a demon-master; and twins Tasha and Terry, whose witch-powers are at least partly trained. All are, like Matt and Edmund, brave kind-hearted beings who must find and free something within themselves before gaining the strength to free others. Although the transformative metaphor in DREAM is magical, its a gritty magic and requires both individual knowledge and the ability to trust others to do its work. Once again Hoffman touches the heart with her lyrical words and whimsical warmth. PAST THE SIZE OF DREAMING is a dream of a fantasy. (March 2001) -- Paula Guran (From "Waves of Fear", Cemetery Dance #36

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Copyright © 2002 Paula Guran. All Rights Reserved.