Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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

Release Date: April 27, 2012
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Source: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

"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 Thoughts:

This is the kind of book where the summary caught my attention, but I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from it. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and action packed and there was even a touch of romance involved. Also, cannot forget the science fictiony goodness. This book had my inner nerd jumping up and down.

The main character, Jonathan Chaulk, is not your normal hero. He is extremely self-sufficient and a loner. When I say loner, I don’t mean he doesn’t have many friends and chooses to stay in. No, he is seriously alone. Jonathan lives on an island by himself after his family has passed away with his sole neighbors being the Phoenix Institute. He has no friends until McKenna Dupree comes along. McKenna is the stepdaughter of Dr. Serpa, the institute’s main man. The two strike up a quick friendship and maybe even something more. I really enjoyed their banter, especially some of McKenna’s comments. That girl is seriously talented in the wit department. Speaking of McKenna, she was probably my favorite character. She is a fighter and she has no problem speaking her mind. She does what she feels is right and doesn’t let anyone stand in her way.

The plot quickly introduces that there is something out of the ordinary going on at the Phoenix Institute and naturally Jonathan and McKenna end up smack in the middle of it.  The two witness something that should stay secret and in their snooping they land themselves into seriously hot water. However, when McKenna gets sick the story really gets moving. Dr. Serpa claims to be the only one who can save her and he whisks her away to the Institute. This is where the story starts to get going and Jonathan’s character shows. He goes to extraordinary lengths for McKenna. From here on out, it becomes very hard to put down the book. Chapter after chapter delivers more and more action. Over these chapters, Jonathan really starts to grow. He learns to trust others and learns just how far he will go for someone he cares about. The reader also learns that his past still haunts him every day. The absence of his family still gnaws at him. It shows the reader that he really could not bear to lose McKenna as well.

While I really enjoyed this book as a whole, there were some things that bugged me a bit. I did not understand the initial attraction Jonathan had for McKenna. Not because I did not like McKenna, but because Jonathan did not even know her yet and she was already the “girl of his dreams.” It was just a bit too “insta-love” for my taste. However, once the relationship developed, I did really like it. Also, once the book hit the climax it became very back and forth. It went back and forth between the good guys having the upper hand to the bad guy having the upper hand numerous times. The power constantly kept switching and I had a hard time keeping up with it. It went from good guys to bad guys to good guys again to the addition of another villain and then the good guys are saving the initial bad guys. Needless to say, I was a bit confused. While I was confused, I was still engrossed. By switching the power up constantly, it gave the book an element of surprise. As a reader, you never really knew what was coming and it kept you on the edge of your seat.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this to science fiction fans. The story is engaging from beginning to end and I found the story-line different from a lot of books I read. I will definitely be reading the next installment in this series.


  1. I haven't heard of this, but it sounds really good! Thanks for putting it on my radar. Great review!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  2. I haven't heard of this one, but by reading your amazing review all I can say is WOW! ha! It does sound good, and definitely interesting!
    I also hate when the attraction between characters doesn't feel 'real', I'm glad though it got better for you.

    Great review girl!

    Magen Corrie

    1. Once you get past the insta-love, it is a good story. I was pleasantly surprised.

  3. I haven't heard of this one either..but I do like the sound of it. And I can't resist there's that! LOL ;p Awesome Review, Teresa! Can't wait to check this one out.

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

    1. Thanks! This one is not lacking in the action department! It does not have a full moment.


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