REVIEW: The Dream Beings by Aaron J. French

The Dream Beings, the latest novella from Aaron J. French, opens with action. We are immediately drawn into a ritual style murder, but we quickly learn this is no...

the-dream-beings-by-aaron-french-2370006788744The Dream Beings, the latest novella from Aaron J. French, opens with action. We are immediately drawn into a ritual style murder, but we quickly learn this is no “typical” crime. Bizarre clues are left at crimes scenes. There are horrific injuries to the victims, and a sinister, secret world emerges from behind the worlds.

French often writes in the classic Lovecraftian vein, and The Dream Beings fits into this style wonderfully. Phrases such as “soul eater,” “herculean movement,” and “vibrational atmosphere” create that haunting longing that Lovecraft captured so beautifully. French’s characters long for answers, but the truth comes coated in that sheen of terror of the unknown that Lovecraft mastered so well.

Our protagonist, Jack Evens, has a gift, if it can be called as such. This “gift” cracks the veil, thus allowing an unnatural, albeit necessary, awareness into places humanity has yet to breach. Reality slips as this veil between worlds shimmers, and ultimately fails. Using the most basic principles of String Theory, French weaves a complex tale of multiple, Lovecraftian dimensions. Evens is a psychic into other worlds; frightening, mysterious worlds. Creatures so unthinkable live within a whisper’s breath of us. They want us, but for what? Read on to find out.

The Dream Beings is an excellent Lovecraftian story. French captures Lovecraft’s sense of the monstrous while at the same time, very effectively creates his own voice and style within the genre. The concept of multiple dimensions alone will stir the imagination long after the novella is finished. The Dream Beings is a chilling, thought-provoking tale of monstrous proportions.

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Alex Scully is a historian of Irish Identity and the Victorian Era. Her research into the dusty tomes often intersects with the Gothic literature of the 1800s. There are dark secrets in the stories, poems, and novels of centuries past; secrets that have yet to be revealed to modern audiences. Yet the haunting charm and sinister fears that transcend time, so masterfully captured by the Gothic masters, live on in a new generation of writers. Our nightmares are not as far removed from the terrible undercurrents of Victorian society as we might want them to be. The past and present, side by side, are mirror images of the same ghastly face. All historians know one cannot forget the past. Nor can one ignore the present. Look them both in the eye and be afraid. Be very afraid.
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