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Caught in a Moment

Caught in a Moment is a YA fantasy by Martin Dukes.

Teenage Alex Trueman slips into daydreams – lucid, awesome daydreams that are way more interesting than the lesson at school or the supermarket as he shops alongside his hard-working Mom.

But it’s during his daydreams that something strange starts to happen.

Alex begins to notice a stutter in time. For a moment, everyone is stationary – and then with a shake of his dazed head everything is normal.

When the stutter starts to go longer, though, Alex takes advantage. A little showing off, a little harmless fun against the bullies that insist on tormenting him… nothing too terrible. And it impresses his friend.

But Alex’s enjoyment of the oddity with time comes to a screeching halt when it causes him to enter the bizarre world of Intersticia – where time has stopped moving altogether.

Trapped, there’s a panicky feel to walking amongst people frozen in time – the quiet is terribly loud.

When Alex meets fellow teenager Will and pretty Kelly he’s relieved there’s people about. Yet it leads him to fellow dreamers that have become trapped in Intersticia – all of whom are led by the disconcerting Ganymeade who hands out strange, seemingly pointless and often cruel tasks to perform for food.

It’s not long before Alex finds out that his ability to manipulate the motionless world around him, as in his earlier pranks, is supposed to be impossible. And that this ability may put a dangerous series of events in play…

Caught in a Moment really, really impressed me! Martin Dukes writes with rich imagery that gives you the sights, smells, and sounds of Alex’s day even just as the story open’s during a dull school lecture which suddenly gets much more exciting when time freezes for a moment – great hook!

Alex’s vivid daydreams come suddenly and vibrantly and were very well-written. Kinda unlike anything I’ve read before…

Trippy, cool, and creepy, Caught in a Moment provides a fascinating concept that is self-aware of its own inconsistencies and peculiarities and works with them through the main character. It’s perplexing, engaging, and mysterious as we soak up various ideas as to how an immobile world would work.

An interesting turn of events later on in the novel made me look at things from a different perspective and see a deeper layer to the book. It constantly morphed, adding levels of plot and continuing to be inventive, intelligent and happily puzzling!

Caught in a Moment was very, very good! Martin Dukes is publishing a sequel by the end of the month titled Worm Winds of Zanzibar, and next year a third book called Angelic Upstart. I’m very interested in reading them!

To be honest, I’m kind of saddened that Caught in a Moment is not fortunate enough to have a more eye-catching cover or general knowledge in the book community. I really hope that all you awesome bibliophiles check it out and spread the word!

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