In Dreams Begin by Skyler White

Although this book isn’t a Steampunk book, it takes place (partially) in the Victorian age and is heavily involved in the occult at that time.  Many Steampunk lovers should enjoy this book as well.
This book is adult.

Details: Paperback, 375 pgs
Published: November 2nd, 2010 by Berkley Trade
isbn: 0425236951 (ISBN13: 9780425236956)

Reading Level: ADULT
Received from: Publisher for review
“Close your eyes tightly—tightly—and keep them closed . . .”

From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power, but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through Hell and across history . . . or destroy it.

“Every passionate man is linked with another age, historical or imaginary, where alone he finds images that rouse his energy.” W. B. Yeats

Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de siècle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls—from an ocean and a hundred years away—passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats’s poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.

With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats—the practical materialist and the poet magus—must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever. 

My Thoughts:
This book had great potential to end up on my favorites list.  This is why: It had time travel (though a bit different then we’re used to), history, and the occult.  Oh, and the present day Laura lives here, locally to me.  It was nice to see places mentioned that I know.   
When I was reading this book I would find myself completely immersed in it.  I would forget to do housework, sleep and care for my kids (ha, ha, like my kids would let me forget them!).   I wanted to know what would happen next.  The thing that would pull me from the story were the interchanging POV’s.  Although Laura is the only first person character, we see many of the other character’s as well as it shifts between them all.  It felt like at times I would just be getting to a really good part when suddenly it was years later (in the past part).   I wished that the flow of years would just go more smoothly and not be so abrupt and hard to follow.  
Laura’s part of the story was much easier to follow though there were parts I did still feel lost.  I didn’t understand sometimes how many times she had traveled to the past.  I felt like I’d missed something.  But her time in the ‘now’ was easy to follow but not nearly as interesting as when she was in the past.  In the beginning I was also wishing that she would spend more time in the past.  It was too fast and not enough went on with her there. 
I felt like the part where Laura and W.B. Yeats actually ‘fell in love’ was mostly skimmed over.  I didn’t believe it.  I didn’t see it and feel it so hearing them declare their love didn’t quite feel real.  As the story went on I think I got used to it and maybe believed it more because of the actions when they were together.  It was just the initial meeting that was hurried and not explained enough for me.  
I liked the characters but I can’t say I felt a connection really with any of them.  They were all interesting and unique though.
This book is pretty steamy.  Some might be put off by some of it.  In the beginning there are some F/F scenes but they were only kissing and a few thoughts.  That was only a couple scenes, I believe.  There are quite a few sexual encounters in the book but none were drawn out or ridiculous.  It is definitely a book for adults though.
The storyline is great and the writing is good.  I would have preferred a smoother and less confusing ride, but I loved that Laura traveled back in time into another woman’s body.  I loved the time she traveled to and how prominent the occult was in those days.  If a few things had been done differently this book would be on my favorites list.  But I still really enjoyed it and give it 4/5 moons.

  You can find Skyler White at her website | Twitter
Disclosure: I received this book for review.  I was not paid or compensated in any way.  The opinions expressed are my own and I wasn’t influenced in any way. 
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