by Rita Trevalyan
A young professional woman is pursued by an alien monster that she cannot see or face. She wanders from one planet to another, only to have it appear again and again. What is this that she cannot face, and who is the man who is also pursuing her? Is she running away from an actual threat, or is she trying to escape her true destiny?
Ms. Trevalyan's 'Takuhi's Dream,' takes us into the Kenderited sisterhood, and the life of dedicated kulturologiest Takuhi. Discussion of sexual mores, enticing dress, and the invention of new psychotropic drugs all mark this a society far apart from Earth-norm. Takuhi recognizes the differences between herself and her sisters in the cloister, and from the first is confident enough to allow herself 'classic' tastes.
Society in this otherworldly place begins to feel familiar to the reader, and the culture and world we take for granted, somehow, we will see through distant eyes. As we quickly discover,Takuhi, the people she trained with and even her teachers are not human, although they have chosen to adopt human form. They train and dedicate themselves to the preservation of other cultures. Takuhi is one of the best of these - but she fears that the recent onset of nightmares indicate a psychic weakness.
She puts her worries aside to attend a party - only to discover her worst nightmares waiting for her there. Sanctuary may be her only answer - and she must count on family and friends to keep her safe. And still... the monster appears.
Takuhi's strange, exotic world and lifestyle are well-imagined, and presented. Trevalyan's character's are vibrant - not only Takuhi, the main character, but many others, including her parents, her 'sister' Sosumi or the handsome Erikaan, and the apparently well-meaning Cahill. More important characters share deep, moving relationships. RevMa, Kenga Chang- all swirl around Takuhi, and we can never be quite sure of who to trust - although neither can Takuhi.
The storyline of Takuhi's Dream is complex - at times, perhaps too complex - but for the paranormal reader, this story definitely presents many original points. Interestingly enough, Trevalyan manages to present a very different perspective on our own (Earth) cultures. More importantly, this is a journey of self-discovery, that for Takuhi, might turn into self-empowerment...but for that truly disgusting monster.
Review by Snapdragon