Dream Thief. Having read his many works based on Celtic lore and fantasy, this science fiction novel was certainly cut from a very different stylistic cloth. It also featured a writing style and approach not wholly polished by experience, more apprentice level than master. This is not a criticism, but an observation of how much I have seen Lawhead grow into the skills of his craft with
his later works.
The main setting is in the near future, aboard the orbiting space station Gotham. There we meet Dr. Spencer Reston, a young and talented researcher who is studying the long term effects of space travel on human brain functions and sleep patterns. Yet while life on the station seems normal, Spence is plagued by increasingly powerful dreams that are slowly beginning to control him. When he stumbles across some anomalies in his sleep research, he begins to suspect that something troubling might be going on in his lab, not thinking for a moment that he is becoming enwrapped in schemes unfolding on a much larger scale and with much greater stakes than he could ever imagine.
To get away from the station for a time, he accepts an invitation on a research trip to Mars. Shortly after arriving he has a blackout and awakens to find himself on the Martian surface with the buildings of the colony nowhere in sight and the plunging temperatures of night quickly approaching. While desperately trying to get his bearings, he finds the entrance to a cave that leads deep into the planet. As he wanders from one pathway to another, he stumbles into the remains of an ancient and long dormant city. This discovery is but the first in a series of radical findings that will forever change the
life that he has known. We are then taken on a tangled web of population mind control, aliens, world domination, the great divide between the affluent few and the poverty of the teeming masses, and the origins of religion on Earth. All topics that are explored from a unique and interesting point of view that are used to tell an enjoyable story, but will also make you think about what you believe and why.