Roc, Sept 2001, 5.99, 368 pp.
People can enter the Dream, a mental plane of existence where thoughts are communicated to others though their bodies might be light years apart. Only the Silent may actually enter the plane of the Dream, but they can also take over the mind and body of another Silent if that person is willing. On the planet Rust, a new phenomena surfaces when teenage Sejal has the ability to take over the mind and body of Silent and non-Silent alike, up to eight at a time.
Agents of the Children of Irfan look for Sejal because they know if knowledge of him reaches the other Silents or the public at large, the ancient history Salem witch trials on Earth will look like a picnic. When they manage to locate and get Sejal to leave Rust, human and other species that can enter the Dream State have already learned about this unique individual. All have a use for him but the only people willing to listen to Sejal's wishes are the children of Irfan and even they doubt he should be allowed to live.
DREAMER is a fresh, original story that will interest readers who want something different. The plot has so many twists and turns that nobody will be able to predict what happens next. Steven Harper has created a clever concept tightened by the issue of the needs of the majority vs. the rights of one (similar to killing or exploiting instead of isolating Typhoid Mary) and weaves an exciting tale around it. Let's hope Mr. Harper is not silent about the Silent in the near future.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner