*Adham’s control and deep spirituality are such a sharp contrast to Roman’s chaos and hopelessness. There are a lot of new characters in this story who serve as a mirror for Bryn and Adham’s presence offers Roman’s character a chance to reflect as well. Not only on what it means to be a hero but on what it means to be a partner.
*Not only is Adham a friend for Roman when he needs it most but he also delivers one of the most important lines of the entire series. Roman is constantly wrestling with whether he’s good or evil and here Adham gives him the answer. He doesn’t accept it at first but I suspect that when Roman needs to reach a level of strength he never thought possible, it’ll be Adham’s words that help him find it. Adham’s spirituality also gave me a chance to explore some of those themes within the novel. This isn’t a story with some kind of religious agenda but it is a story about good vs. evil, which are very human issues that often cause us to think about things like right vs. wrong, morality, and life after death. As a writer, I don’t have definite answers to a lot of life’s big questions concerning spirituality or what makes a person truly evil but I’m hoping that by crafting such complex characters and forcing them into these highly emotional situations they’ll end up discovering the answers for me.
*Bryn redefined her definition of “soul mate” after meeting Stassi and her brother Domingo. By introducing Cole and Adham’s relationship I was trying to challenge those assumptions again. What would happen if someone (Cole) who’d always viewed themselves as straight suddenly felt this unexplainable yet inevitable connection with someone of the same gender? This is not me making some kind of observation or comment on what it’s like to be closeted or me trying to say that people can become gay at some point later in life. Again, this story does not have an agenda and I’m not trying to make any definitive statements about anything. All I wanted to do was explore this question and all of the other ones that go along with it. What does it mean to be someone’s soulmate? What is attraction vs. connection? Can a relationship like Cole and Adham’s transcend labels altogether and just be? In today’s world I believe that the answer to that last question is yes. As a society we’re slowly getting to the point where labels mean little and connection trumps everything. And it’s been a privilege to write about two characters who are on that journey towards enlightenment.
*Bryn’s journey through her nightmares starts with revisiting her childhood home and reliving a moment she wished she could forget. The nightmares she’d faced with the other Dreamers were more like tests, everything colliding into some fear factor style obstacle course. But those were physical adversaries and in order for her to truly find her way back to herself she has to face the feelings that are scarier than any monster. Bryn’s journey back through her nightmares; back through time isn’t just about survival or finding a way out, it’s about healing. Because the only way to truly conquer your fears is to heal the wounds they leave behind.
*Since this post is mostly just me raving about how awesome Adam’s character is, did I mention he’s also hilarious?
*The El Dorado legend as presented in this novel is half made-up and half not. There have been disputes over the most accurate translation of the term (which fit nicely with Roman’s whole made of fire thing) and the Chibeha and Chibcha tribes were real and did have their own versions of the legend. And that’s pretty much where reality ends.
*Like Oswald, I had a childhood obsession with aliens (okay, I still do) and every year my family would stop in Roswell on our way to Ruidoso to visit the alien museum. I remember my parents would always try to get me to nap in the car (I still can’t sleep in the car) but I refused for fear of missing out on an alien sighting and would stare out the window the entire 4-hour car ride waiting for a spaceship to go by.