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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Review: Madman Dreams (Book One: Reanimated) by Keith A. Ferstl

Genre: Young Adult (Science Fiction)
Date Published: June 1, 2010
Publisher: The Edge

The Blurb:
After suffering the loss of his family from an avian flu pandemic, seventeen-year-old Jonathan Chaulk, meets McKenna Dupree, the girl of his dreams. Living in a remote cabin on Bear Claw Island, Jonathan’s sole neighbor is the mysterious Phoenix Institute. With the heart and soul of an intrepid adventurer, Jonathan’s surreptitious exploration of the Institute’s underbelly reveals shocking and deadly secrets that renowned resident scientist, Dr. Sandor Serpa cannot allow to be exposed. Thanks to the murderous act of the madman, Jonathan discovers that his one chance to save McKenna’s life will come only after her death.

My Review:
Reanimated is book one in the Madman Dreams series by Keith A. Ferstl. This was definitely an original story, and not at all what I expected. The beginning was slow for me. I had a hard time staying focused, but once the action started, it didn't stop. To say the second half was fast paced would be an understatement. Things just kept happening and before I knew it I had finished the book. The main character it endearing and really grows as a character as the story progresses. He starts off as a this loner boy who's had a rough, sad life and he matures into this strong, brave man. I really liked him. McKenna takes a little getting used to. She's a spunky girl who grows on you. She keeps drawing the short straw in this story, the poor thing. This was a clever little story, and once it got going, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

Madman Dreams (Book One: Reanimated) by Keith A. Ferstl  was provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

The Excerpt:
The arctic air that churned down across the Canadian border bit into Jonathan’s face. The cold wind exhilarated him. McKenna, snuggled in the cockpit beside him, shouted with excitement as the Raven flew across the ice. They’d been crisscrossing the lake for almost two hours when they spotted what appeared to be a naked man stumbling toward them. Jonathan jerked his head up and yelled a warning, but the man didn’t hear or chose to ignore him. He swiftly steered the iceboat into the wind. The sails flapped like sheets on a clothesline as the boat skidded to a stop. They scrambled to the crumpled figure and watched helplessly as he collapsed and curled into a fetal position.

Jonathan yanked off his parka and draped it over the man’s exposed body. He dropped to his knees beside him, pulled off his glove and pressed his fingertips to the man’s neck, searching for a pulse. McKenna knelt next to them. “Is he alive?”

He pushed the panic down. “I can’t get a pulse!” He tried to roll the body over to begin CPR, but the man’s contorted muscles refused to relax.

McKenna suddenly pointed toward the island. “Someone’s coming.”

Looking up from the body, he saw a black Land Rover heading in their direction. Was it from the Institute? He didn’t have time to dwell on the questions that popped into his head. Were they watching us? Were we under surveillance? Is that why they were so quick to respond? Or had they been pursuing the man? Right now he didn’t care about the “why” surrounding the

cavalry’s arrival. He only hoped the rescuers reached the man in time. He forced himself to look at the man’s face, twisted upward, eyebrows and eyelashes coated with a thick layer of ice crystals, bloodshot eyes frozen open, lips a dark blue.

The vehicle’s wide tires crunched to a stop a few feet away from them. Two figures, wearing orange hazmat suits, exited the vehicle. McKenna’s gasp mimicked his own.

The taller of the two orange suits handed each of them a black rubber mask. A clear plastic hose connected it to a stainless steel canister. “Put these on, and step away from the body! Do it now,” he ordered, “or you’re dead.”
About the Author:
Keith Ferstl was inspired as a young boy to write his first story about a planet-munching monster after reading a story his father had written in his teen years. His dad always had a book within easy reach, influencing Keith’s love of books. His experience includes acting and playwriting. His play, HOW TO START AT THE BOTTOM AND STAY THERE, a comedy, won the Masque of Temple Terrace’s national playwriting contest. ROARIN' JUDY: DEAD OR ALIVE, starring Dawn Truax, was produced by Tampa’s Stageworks, Inc. His interactive murder mysteries, co-produced with Peggy Kehoe, amused and entertained guests at the Gibson Inn in Apalachicola, Florida, and other cities for many years. He and his wife live in Tampa. With ten grown children—his, hers, and theirs, plus five dogs and two cats, he still appears to be sane. He looks forward to entertaining his readers with the debut of his first two books in the series: Madman Dreams, Book One: Reanimated and Madman Dreams, Book Two: Revenge.

To learn more about Keith A. Ferstl and his books, visit his website.


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