Although Lipoarulo’s Timescape (the fourth of six in the Dreamhouse Kings series) just recently released in July, I’m already looking towards January 2010, when book five, Whirlwind, will become available.
In Liparulo’s trademark openings in the Christian young adult series, the King family is plunged directly into the midst of the dire situation readers were left hanging with at the end of Gatekeepers.
The family is off on another set of adventures through the time-shifting doors in their still-mysterious home. Timescape features two scenes that were suggested by Liparulo’s young fans through his “Dream the Scene” fan input contest.
Book four is slanted more heavily towards straight up action and suspense than the creepy, supernatural feel of the previous titles. With more emphasis on vivid play-by-play scenes fraught with danger, and the growing threat of Taksidian towards the King’s I’m surprised that the entire family isn’t jumping out of their skins at every sound – oh wait, they are for the most part.
The themes of loyalty and togetherness continue to develop and play out, providing the bedrock of warm emotional support needed for the family to work through their crucible.
With David, Xander, and Toria’s mother still wandering through time, the children’s shared camaraderie, humour, and clearly demonstrated love for one another shines through all their interactions. Subtle and brief faith-based elements are included in the conversations and musings of the characters, remaining as low-key as the other titles in the series.
While Jesse’s arrival has shed some light on the house’s origins, he’s largely out of the picture in this novel, and much has yet to be revealed in the two final releases. I’m sure that many fans are eagerly anticipating the conclusion of the series, and the revelation of further details surrounding the ultimate purpose of the house, but Liparulo’s playing hard to get.
It’s deliciously aggravating, and tantalizingly frustrating how he dangles a thread here, a tidbit there, but always holds the promise of deeper understanding off in the unforeseen future. With one of my favourite young adult trilogies recently having let me down with a lackluster climax, I’m certainly hoping that Liparulo can deliver the goods by series end.
These books are all lightning-fast reads, but if you haven’t started the series yet and want to get in on the action you’ll need to start at the very beginning with The House of Dark Shadows. You can pick up the first two titles for a song at Amazon – they're currently listed at $4.95 each. If you have any penchant for science-fiction and start reading the series you’ll be captured by Liparulo’s hooky writing and be dragged along to the very end of the trail – just like me.
The only consolation I can offer you is that if you read very, very slowly, you might finish the first four books right around January of next year, thereby sparing yourself the pain of waiting months for Whirlwind to be released.