Grigor Fedan

Outskirts Press, 2003
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood

Metaphysical Fiction

Martin Devon has a life made for prozac. In fact, his psychiatrist has prescribed antidepressants, to bring him up to where he can deal with his problems. But Martin doesnít want drugs. He just wants his wife to stop yelling at him, people to stop sabotaging his businesses, his cat to return to life, and that horrible empty feeling inside of him to go away. The only good thing in Martinís life is his teen-aged son, Adam.

Then he finds a sick old man waiting for a taxi that isnít coming. Feeling like a pushover, Martin takes old Percy and his friend Mojo to a hospital. Mojo seems to have a strange power to give Percy strength. When Percy dies, Mojo switches his attentions to Martin, and Martin finds himself impelled on a pilgrimage to find his lost peace.

In Hawaii Martin finds the Kahuna waiting for him. The Kahuna guides him into the past, to Britain of 464 A.D., where he lived in a previous life. As a disembodied being, Martin is able to follow along with people he quickly comes to care for: King Joannes and his sons Philippus and Ambrosius, and the monk-teachers Nicolaus and Mowan. He discovers to his surprise that a woman named Maria Lerna can actually see him in his immaterial form; she seems to already know and respect him. These people and others, with Martinís help, need to fight off the threat posed by brutal Caledonians raiding down from Scotland. It is their job to prepare Britain for the time when a great king will bring all its kingdoms together.

Martin wants to know and the Kahuna wonít tell him: Who was he in this previous time? He feels such a warm connection with this group of friends who mostly canít even see him. When Martin learns the secrets of Marius, Maria Lernaís brother; of King Julius of Dunum, King Joannesí enemy and Maria Lernaís ex-fiancť; and of Cassius, Juliusí brutal friend, matters temporal and spiritual all come to a head at once. Martin is ready to know the truth about himself.

DREAM MAKER begins slowly with a freezingly accurate portrayal of a man in deep depression. As the non-corporeal Martin comes to care about his corporeal British companions, the reader cares increasingly about the story. The mystery of Martinís identity is allowed to develop quietly under the surface, but it creates a string of suspense pulling one gradually through the book. With the crises of Maria Lernaís brother, and Caledonian assassins hunting Joannes, the tension rises and the speed of the plot accelerates.

Author Grigor Fedan knows depression, no doubt about it. He has also studied closely with spiritual teachers, there is no doubt about this either. Many of those teachings are introduced into the story throughout DREAM MAKER. This makes DREAM MAKER a book for students of metaphysics, especially those in seeker stages.

Fedan writes in a reflective narrative style, using a predominance of long sentences with many clauses, which keeps the reader watching the action from a distance. From this viewpoint the reader must think about what is being taught. You canít fly through the story and miss the spiritual teachings, reading at this pace. Even if you arenít reading to learn, what will hold you to the book is that you will care about the characters nearly as much as Martin does. These are people who always strive for the highest, even when they arenít equal to the challenge. They make us want to do the same.

Author Grigor Fedan says DREAM MAKER is based on a dream that helped him through a crisis. I applaud him for deliberately rejecting drugs in favor of dealing with a problem directly. While written for a specific audience of readers who are open to metaphysical beliefs and techniques, DREAM MAKER is also an enjoyable story which reflects a certain familiarity with the history and culture of pre-Arthurian Britain. The spiritually-inclined reader will be left with the desire to pick up and deal with his own next layer of challenges, encouraged by Martinís example.

Nov 2004 Review


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