Title: In Time I Dream About You
Author: Gene Gant
Publisher: Dreamspinner/Harmony Ink Press
Length: 108 Pages
Category: Teen Fiction, Time Travel
At a Glance: In Time I Dream About You is gritty, unflinchingly honest, and yet allows for the dream of a better life to be realized in the end. It is an excellent novel that I recommend to you.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Gavin Goode was a star athlete and a good student until one catastrophic decision destroyed his future. As a member of the savage street gang the Cold Bloods, Gavin ran afoul of the leader, Apache, a bigot determined to punish Gavin for his sexuality. After being framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Gavin faces a prison sentence—and the promise of relentless rape and torment. With his spirit almost broken, Gavin learns his beloved father has suffered a near-fatal assault. But a friend appears when Gavin needs him most. Cato has been masquerading as a prison guard when in reality he is a time traveler—one with the ability to wipe the slate clean for Gavin… and his father.
But changing the past will threaten the future for many innocent people. Gavin finds himself trapped between saving his father and himself or accepting the steep price of preserving the time stream.
Review: Gavin grew up in poverty, with a caring father who loved him and strove to make a life for them that would lead to a better future for his son. Having lost his mother to cancer at a young age, Gavin looked up to his dad with both respect and love, but, unfortunately, that was not enough to make their lives stay the course. When Gavin is forced into joining a violent street gang, or face crippling consequences, he secretly embraces the life as best he can. While he is never happy with the decision, he sees no other way out. When he starts up a relationship with the gang leader’s cousin, he is so very careful to hide it—but somehow the two are found out, and the end result lands Gavin in prison, taking the rap for killing his boyfriend. Not only that but he has committed the ultimate mistake of snitching on the gang leader, which lands him in a cell with three other gang members bent on making his life a living hell. And they deliver in spades, as the guards turn a blind eye to it all. When a strange, unknown guard appears in his cell during a stint in solitary confinement, and offers him something he is desperate to have, Gavin is sure he is hallucinating. But Cato is very real…and from the future to boot.
Gene Gant never fails to deliver compelling characters that are immersed in overcoming real life situations. While there are pieces of this novella that are incredibly brutal to imagine, the author carefully introduces the scene and gives you just enough to understand its magnitude before taking the rest of the action off-page. This is what I admire most about this author—no part of his writing is anything less than deliberate. If there is sex, it is off page; violent physical abuse is introduced and scuttled off. Each time, the parts of this novella that could either be triggering or emotionally devastating for some to read are carefully acknowledged but never lasciviously displayed. And yet, we are intimately aware of the damage and horror each incident leaves behind. We are privy to how Gavin attempts to survive the life he, by his own admission, fell into and had to endure. The searing sense of defeat and despair that rolls off this young man is terrible to read, and yet it is a key window into how incredibly brave and resilient he has become.
While Cato appears as an almost dream-like character who seems mature beyond his years, the ending of this story allows us to experience his hopes and dreams about Gavin, and reaffirms how young he actually is. He offers up unconditional compassion and love to a drowning Gavin, so you can easily understand how Gavin longs to get to a place where he can explore what it might be like to be in love with this man who appears too good to be true. I so respect the decision this author makes to play toward a more realistic ending rather than leap to a false happy ever after. In this novel, you will find more of a happy in the future vibe—a hopeful nod toward a life that can be found if Gavin works hard to process what has happened to him and how it has left him so very damaged. In my opinion, this was perhaps the best way to end this story.
The tenderness Cato offers Gavin is incredibly sweet, and you can feel the yearning that pours from Gavin to accept what seems to be the unimaginable. Alongside the sci-fi-esque plotline in this novel, there is room for a tender look at first love, and it is quite magical to read. While Cato may have been created as a fantastical character, his emotions were grounded in reality, making him believable and the premise for his existence easy to swallow. He is the shaft of light in a dark storyline, and that goes a long way in making this novel easier to read. His care for Gavin is really lovely and is a much-needed respite our hero so desperately needs. The two young men together were just lovely to experience.
In Time I Dream About You by Gene Gant is a searing look at one young man’s struggle to survive in an untenable situation, in a life that is bent on destroying him despite his best efforts. It is gritty, unflinchingly honest, and yet allows for the dream of a better life to be realized in the end. It is an excellent novel that I recommend to you.
You can buy In Time I Dream About You here: