Book Forty-Eight of 2014: EXACTING ESSENCE by James Wymore


Remember waking up late in the night after a nightmare? Your mother holding you tight and whispering everything would be all right? She lied.
Evil clowns haunted Megan’s dreams for years. Even though nobody ever said she was crazy, she knew they were all thinking it. With her life falling apart, she turns suicidal until a new therapist suggests the impossible: dreams are real. Nightmares are living, breathing predators, feeding off dreamer’s fears by exacting essence.
Most, of course, forget theirs as soon as they wake up. Megan is not so lucky. She is also not so powerless.
But is even a power nurtured in her dreams enough to fight off the horrors lurking just beyond the veil of sleep?

I had never thought clowns were creepy until I started reading this book. The horror elements were amazing, it makes me wish Wymore had written more of a horror than the fantasy I read. However, even the fantasy was great.

EXACTING ESSENCE reminds me of the movie INCEPTION. It is based on dreams with people who have certain abilities and who can change the dreamworld. The world in EXACTING ESSENCE is like ours, but in a dream. There are Realms, which are like A.U (Alternate Universes) to the dreamworld, and then there are dreams. The residents of the dreamworld are what you would think: creatures made from essence, known as Nightmares, and the people who live their day lives here and night lives in the dreamworld.

The world is intricate, not to mention the intricacy of the plot with the evil business people. What is great though is Wymore doesn’t just put all the information in there to confuse the reader. The reader learns through the viewpoint of Megan, a teenage girl learning what it means to dream, and through the views of Carrie Gretsch. With the different viewpoints, Wymore successfully keeps the reader going and gives them important information about the world.

When I first saw the cover and read the blurb, I was thinking Young Adult. It made sense. But, once I started reading, I saw that the book was more to the adult audience. It’s not that teens can’t read this or the content is too adult, the content is fine and teens would love this book. It is actually with the style of Wymore’s writing. In the case of judging a book by its cover, if you just push it aside because it looks like a YA book, you are missing out.

The story has an intricate world, evil business people, a giant ape named George (Furious George to be exact), a teenager trying to find herself, and a whole lot of action. It’s a fun read. You even see a minor character and learn his name once you get to the end of the book (that may sound messed up, but Wymore did it wonderfully). You know what makes this book better? A sequel. And guess what? He’s planning on that too.

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