This novel is a hidden treasure, 15 April 2012By SusanThis review is from: Treehugger (Based on a Dream) (Kindle Edition) At first, for about a quarter of the book, because of her predicament, Chloe/Star, the heroine, comes across as somewhat grumpy, self-absorbed and even whiney at times. To her credit, she knows she is doing this but cannot help it. She realises she acts as though she is carrying the world's problems on her shoulders - when in reality her problems, although horrible, are trivial in comparison to what others are going through. I did start to feel as though it was getting a bit `all Shawshank and no redemption'. I wanted something good to happen for Chloe/Star and, fear not, it does when one of her closest friends, CK, returns from his year-long mission.
Chloe/Star came across as believable and I liked her, flaws and all. (Early teenage years can be such a nightmare and, although I did not see it at the time, looking back I know I was at my grumpiest, most self-absorbed and whiniest at that age. I suspect I am not alone.)
At first, the book reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, in the sense that it seemed like Chloe/Star was dreaming, rather than actually experiencing off-world events. This changed for me when CK arrived and the narration switches to him for part of the story. Then it began to read more like a sci-fi novel. When Leada makes an appearance and the narration switches briefly to her, the book becomes more intriguing because of the contrast between her attitude towards Star and Star's affection for Leada.
Criticisms? Well just a couple and trivial ones at that: (1) the grown-ups all seem to be villains. The only one remotely descent is Tarthimum, but even he kept sending Star, Leada and CK into dangerous situations, while he sits back, free of danger. (2) some of the names of characters were a bit tongue-twisting - then again, they are from other worlds.
I was intrigued by the complex relationships and was full of questions: like, what is the story with Star and her former mentor Niik? Why is there such tension between Leada and Star? Why won't Star's ethi heal her? And the most nail-biting of all, what's going to happen with scary Professor Kroter, the mad scientist? Some of these issues are covered and, at the same time there is scope for continuation for a series. Highly recommended and I hope there will be a book 2.
Loving an awesome review today! Sometimes you just know when a reader really "gets" your characters and the themes you are trying to introduce. Many thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to read and review "Treehugger" regardless of how you felt about it.