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Things seem to be going well for Liv Silver: she's adjusting to her new home (and her new family) in London; she has a burgeoning romance with Henry Harper, one of the cutest boys in school; and the girl who's been turning her dreams into nightmares, Anabel, is now locked up. But serenity doesn't last for long.
It seems that Liv's troubles are far from over--in fact, suddenly they're piling up. School gossip blogger Secrecy knows all of Liv's most intimate secrets, Henry might be hiding something from her, and at night Liv senses a dark presence following her through the corridors of the dream world. Does someone have a score to settle with Liv?
Romance, adventure, and danger abound in Dream On, the second book in the Silver trilogy.
About the Author
Kerstin Gier is the New York Times-bestselling author of the Ruby Red trilogy, which has been translated into twenty-five languages.
Read an Excerpt
By Kerstin Gier, Anthea Bell
Henry Holt and CompanyCopyright © 2014 Kerstin Gier
All rights reserved.
CHARLES REALLY HADN'T made it hard for me to find his dream door: it had a life-size photograph of Charles himself printed on it. The photo showed him wearing a broad grin and a pristine white coat, with the words Charles Spencer, DDS on its breast pocket, and under that: The best dentist you can find for your teeth.
However, I wasn't expecting the photo to burst into song when I touched the doorknob.
"Working hard to keep teeth clean!" it warbled with great ardor in a fine tenor voice, to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Startled, I looked around the corridor. Good heavens, couldn't it turn the volume down? I already felt I was under observation, although there was no one in sight except for me and the photo of Charles, only doors stretching down the corridor as far as the eye could see. My own door was just around the next corner, and in fact, there was nothing I'd rather have done than run back there and call off this whole operation. My guilty conscience was almost killing me. This was kind of like reading someone's secret diary, only much worse. And I'd had to commit theft to embark on it, although opinions might vary on whether or not that was as immoral as it sounded. Legally speaking, yes, it was theft, but the kind of fur-lined trapper's cap with earflaps that I'd taken from Charles suited very few people indeed. Most anybody wearing one would look like an underexposed photo of a sheep, and Charles was no exception, so in that light, I'd even done him a favor. I only hoped no one would come into my room and see me lying in bed with that silly cap on. Because that was what I was really doing: lying in bed asleep. With a stolen trapper's cap on my head. But I wasn't dreaming anything nice; I was spying on someone. Someone who might well be in the process of breaking Lottie's heart, and Lottie was the best creator of crazy hairstyles, baker of cookies, dog whisperer, and comforter of susceptible teenage girls in the world. And as no one had a softer heart than Lottie (who officially was our au pair, by the way), that absolutely mustn't happen. So in this case, hopefully, the end justified the means. Didn't it?
I sighed. Why did everything always have to be so complicated?
"I'm not doing this for me; I'm doing it for Lottie," I said under my breath, just in case an invisible observer was listening in, and then I took a deep breath and pressed the door handle down.
"Now, now, no meddling!" The photo of Charles wagged its forefinger and broke into song again. "Working hard to keep teeth clean, front and back and ...?"
"Er ... in between?" I suggested.
"Perfectly correct! Even though it sounds much nicer if I sing it!" And as the door swung open, Charles went on warbling cheerfully. "If I brush for quite a while, I will have a happy smile!"
"I really can't think what Lottie sees in you," I murmured, slipping through the doorway, not without one last glance at the corridor. Still no one else in sight.
Luckily I didn't find a dental practice waiting for me on the other side of the door, but a sunlit golf course. And Charles as well, in 3-D this time, wearing a pair of check pants and swinging a golf club. Greatly relieved that I hadn't landed in some improper dream (according to studies, over 35 percent of dreams are about sex), I quickly adjusted my outfit to the scenario: polo shirt, linen pants, golf shoes, and — because I simply couldn't resist it — a peaked cap. I strolled closer as casually as possible. The door to the corridor had closed gently behind me and now stood in the middle of the grass like a surreal work of art.
After landing, Charles's ball went straight into the hole with a single elegant movement, and his companion, a man of his own age with strikingly good teeth, cursed softly.
"What do you say about that, then?" Charles turned to him with a triumphant smile on his lips. Then his eyes fell on me, and he smiled even more broadly. "Hi, little Liv. Did you see that? It was a hole in one. Which means I've won our match by a huge margin."
"Wow, that's great," I said.
"Yup, it is, isn't it?" Charles chuckled and put an arm around my shoulders. "Let me introduce you. The guy there looking so grim is Antony, my old friend from university. But don't worry, he's all right — he's just not used to losing to me."
"Too true." Antony shook hands with me. "I'm the kind of friend who's simply better at everything: I had better marks when we were training, I drive trendier cars, I run a more successful practice, and I've always had prettier girlfriends." He laughed. "And unlike Charlie here, I still have all my hair."
Ah, so it was that kind of dream. I felt even worse about having to disturb it.
As Antony ran the fingers of one hand through his luxuriant hair, the triumph disappeared from Charles's face. "Some women find a man with a bald patch very attractive," he murmured.
"Oh yes," I quickly agreed. "Lottie, for instance."
And my mom. After all, she was in love with Charles's bald brother, Ernest. Although presumably in spite of his bald patch, not because of it.
"Who's Lottie?" asked Antony, and I was just as interested in the answer as he was. Now we'd see if Charles was serious about Lottie.
At least he was smiling again when he said her name. "Lottie will — Hey, what's that?" He had been interrupted by a high-pitched sound suddenly ringing out over the golf course.
Now, of all times! "It's too early for the alarm clock," I murmured, and when Antony added, "Sounds more like a smoke alarm to me," I made for the door in a slight attack of panic. If Charles woke now, the whole dream would collapse, and I'd fall into a void, a very unpleasant experience that I wasn't keen to repeat in a hurry. As the high note went on swelling, while cracks were already appearing in the sky, I sprinted back to the door and grasped the handle just as the ground threatened to give way beneath me. With one last stride, I was safely through the doorway and out in the corridor, closing the door behind me.
Done. But my mission had obviously failed. I still didn't know how Charles really felt about Lottie. Even though he had smiled at the mention of her name.
The photo of Charles on his door struck up its tooth-brushing jingle again.
"Oh, shut up," I snapped, and the photo of Charles fell silent, looking hurt. And then, in the sudden hush, I heard it: a familiar, unpleasant rustling only a few yards away. Although there was no one in sight and a sensible voice in my head told me that, after all, I was only dreaming, I couldn't hold back my fear. The feeling was as nasty as that rustling sound. Without knowing exactly what I was doing or who I was running away from, I took to my heels.CHAPTER 2
MY BREATHING WAS so loud that I couldn't hear anything else, but I felt sure the rustling was right behind me. And coming closer. I scuttled around the corner into the next corridor, where I'd find my own dream door. To call the sound a rustling wasn't quite right — that sounds more like a harmless rat, and this rustling was anything but harmless. It was the most mysterious rustling I'd ever heard, like a curtain being drawn back to reveal a hollow-cheeked chainsaw murderer with a bloodst —
I slowed down abruptly. Because there was already someone waiting for me beside my door. Luckily not a hollow-cheeked chainsaw murderer, someone much better-looking.
Henry. My boyfriend for the last eight and a half weeks. And not just in my dreams but in real life too. (Although it did seem to me that we spent far more time together in our dreams than when we were awake.) He was leaning back against the wall, as he so often did, with his arms folded, and he was smiling. The very special Henry smile that was just for me and always made me feel I was the luckiest girl in the whole world. Normally I'd have smiled back (with what I hoped was an equally special Liv smile) and flung myself into his arms, but at the moment there wasn't any time for it.
"Nocturnal fitness training?" he inquired when I stopped in front of him and hammered on the door with my fist, instead of kissing him. "Or are you running away from something?"
"I'll tell you inside!" I gasped, still hammering. The flap of the mailbox opened, and someone pushed out first a piece of paper and then a pen, infuriatingly slowly.
"Kindly write down today's password, fold the note correctly, and post it back through the flap," my friend Mr. Wu said in dulcet tones from the other side of the door.
I cursed quietly. My security system was brilliant at fending off unwanted strangers, not so good when I wanted to get to safety in a hurry myself.
"There really are more effective methods than running away in a dream, Liv." Henry had taken a good look around the corridor and now reappeared beside me. "For instance, you can simply fly out of danger, or turn into something so fast that no one could catch up with it. For instance, a cheetah. Or a moon rocket ..."
"Not everyone thinks it's as easy to turn into something else as you do, especially not into a stupid moon rocket," I snapped at him. The pen in my hand was shaking slightly, but my fears had subsided a good deal in Henry's presence. I didn't hear any more rustling. All the same, I was sure we weren't alone. Hadn't it turned darker? And colder?
"You were such a cute little cat the other day," said Henry, who didn't seem to notice anything different.
Yes, very true. But in the first place, I'd wanted to turn into a large, dangerous jaguar, not a cute little cat, and in the second place, no one had been following me. Henry and I had just been trying a few things out for fun. It was a mystery to me how you could concentrate and turn into something quickly if you were threatened by a terrifying, invisible creature and your knees were knocking with fright. I guessed Henry was so good at all that transformation stuff because he was never afraid. Even now he was grinning, without a care in the world.
Gritting my teeth, I had finally scribbled Felt slipper pom-pom on the piece of paper, folded it into a triangle, and posted it back through the mailbox.
"Not as neatly written as it might be, but correct," said Mr. Wu from inside the door, and it opened. I grabbed Henry's arm, hauled him in through the doorway, and slammed the door behind us. Then I breathed a sigh of relief. We'd made it.
"Could you be a bit faster next time?" I hissed at Mr. Wu. (I'd never have dared to hiss at him in real life.)
"The tortoise can tell us more than the hare about the road it travels, Miss Olivia." Mr. Wu bowed to me (and the real Mr. Wu would never have done that) and gave Henry a brief nod. "Welcome to Miss Olivia's Dream Restaurant, young stranger with shaggy hair."
We really did seem to be in some kind of restaurant, as I couldn't help noticing, a rather unattractive one with black Formica tables, bright-red runners on them, and orange lanterns dangling from the ceiling. But there was an enticing smell of fried chicken. Only now did I notice how hungry I was. It had been a stupid idea to go to bed without any supper, because that made it harder for me to control my dreams.
Henry was staring at Mr. Wu, baffled. "Is he new here?"
"I am the guardian at the gate tonight," explained Mr. Wu solemnly. "I am called Wu, the Tiger's Claw, protector of orphans and the needy. Give a hungry man fish, and he will satisfy his appetite. Teach him to fish, and he will never be hungry again."
Henry chuckled, and I realized that I was blushing. My dreams were sometimes rather embarrassing. The proverb-quoting Mr. Wu also wore shiny black silk pajamas with a tiger's head embroidered on them, and a three-foot-long ponytail hung down from the back of his head. His real-life model, my first kung fu teacher, would never have gone around like that, even at Halloween.
"Okay," said Henry, still chuckling.
"Thanks, Mr. Wu," I said quickly, abolishing Mr. Wu and the entire restaurant with a wave of my hand. Instead we were now standing in the little park in Berkeley Hills, California, where I'd taken Henry in my dreams a couple of times before. It was the first place to spring to my mind. You had an excellent view of the bay from here. The sun was just setting over it, flooding the sky with wonderful colors.
All the same, Henry looked rather annoyed. "It smelled delicious in that restaurant," he said, "and now my stomach's rumbling."
"Mine, too, but however much we'd eaten we wouldn't have felt full." I let myself drop onto a bench. "After all, this is only a dream. Damn it, I ought to have given Mr. Wu a new password. Who knows — someone might have been looking over my shoulder just now when I wrote today's down."
"I was. Stuffed kipper coupon is a very creative password." Was Henry laughing at me again? "I mean, no one would guess it easily."
"It was Felt slipper pom-pom." But now I was laughing myself.
"Honestly? Your handwriting's a terrible scrawl," said Henry, sitting down beside me. "And now I'd like to know what you were running away from. And why I didn't even get a kiss."
I sobered up at once. "It was that ... that rustling sound again. Didn't you hear it?"
Henry shook his head.
"Well, it was there. An invisible, evil presence." I realized, listening to myself, that I sounded as if I were reading a bad horror story aloud. Too bad. "A rustling and whispering that came closer and closer." I shuddered. "Just like that time when it followed us, and you got us to safety through Amy's dream door."
"And where exactly did you hear the sound this time?" Unfortunately Henry's expression didn't tell me what he was thinking.
"In the next corridor on the left." I gestured vaguely toward the sea. "Do you think it was Anabel? I'm sure she's brilliant at turning invisible and making nasty rustling noises. Or maybe it was Arthur. There's nothing he'd rather do than scare me to death." Not that I could blame him. After all, I'd broken Arthur Hamilton's jaw almost exactly eight and a half weeks ago. I know that sounds bad, so I'll just say (to avoid getting too long-winded and complicated) that he deserved it. Although I'm afraid it didn't do me much good at the time, because out of our whole group of friends at school, his girlfriend, Anabel, was the rotten apple in the barrel. Or anyway, as it turned out, the crazy one. To be politically correct, I should say she suffered from "acute polymorphic psychotic disorder with symptoms of schizophrenia," which was why she was now in a closed psychiatric hospital well away from London, where she couldn't do any more harm to anyone — except in her sleep. Anabel was firmly convinced that a demon had given us the ability to meet in our dreams and shape those dreams deliberately — an evil demon from pre-Christian times with nothing less in view than ruling the world. Luckily for me, however, its attempt to take over the world had failed in the nick of time, just as Anabel, assisted by Arthur, was about to shed my blood as part of the necessary ritual. (I told you it was a long, complicated story!)
Belief in the demon was part of her sickness, and I was very glad that this demon existed only in Anabel's deranged imagination, because I had a problem with supernatural phenomena in general and demons in particular. Not that I could really come up with a conclusive explanation for the entire dream business. For the sake of simplicity, I mentally filed it away under the heading of "psychological and scientific phenomena that are perfectly capable of logical explanation, but can't yet be fully understood in our present state of knowledge." At least that made more sense than believing in demons. Even if my conviction had been slightly shaken again by that rustling sound just now ... But I wasn't going to mention that to Henry.
He was still waiting for me to go on with what I'd been saying. "In the next corridor on the left," he repeated. He didn't mention Anabel and Arthur. He hated talking about those two, because until that incident on the evening of the Autumn Ball eight and a half weeks ago, they'd been among his best friends. "And you were there because ...?" He gave me an inquiring glance.
Excerpted from Dream On by Kerstin Gier, Anthea Bell. Copyright © 2014 Kerstin Gier. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Dream On by Kerstin Gier Book Two of the Silver Trilogy Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) Publication Date: May 3, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Things seem to be going well for Liv Silver: she's adjusting to her new home (and her new family) in London; she has a burgeoning romance with Henry Harper, one of the cutest boys in school; and the girl who's been turning her dreams into nightmares, Anabel, is now locked up. But serenity doesn't last for long. It seems that Liv's troubles are far from over--in fact, suddenly they're piling up. School gossip blogger Secrecy knows all of Liv's most intimate secrets, Henry might be hiding something from her, and at night Liv senses a dark presence following her through the corridors of the dream world. Does someone have a score to settle with Liv? Romance, adventure, and danger abound in Dream On, the second book in the Silver trilogy. What I Liked: What an excellent sequel! There were so many things about this book that really worked for me. This book is classic Kerstin Gier, with humor and a few awkward situations, realistic teenage speech and actions, and a hilarious and yet deceptively strong and capable heroine. Also swoony boys (and NOT in a triangle/square/pyramid "swoony boys" way). This book was a really great sequel, and an lovely addition to the series, and I can't wait to read book three! Liv Silver doesn't dislike her life so much; she's adjusted to living with her mother's boyfriend and his twin children, along with her, her sister, and au pair. Florence (one twin) is awful, but Grayson (the other twin) is actually a nice person, a fantastic brother that Liv never had. And Liv has been enjoying her time with Henry, the boy she adores and has been dating for over two months. And the mess with Anabel from book one is over - or is it? Someone is haunting Liv's dreams, and it's not just Liv's dreams - but Mia's too. And someone's been leaking personal information of Liv's to Secrecy, the school's blogging gossip. And what's more, Henry has been even more secretive than usual. Does it have to do with the dream world? Can Liv seek out the danger before someone gets hurt? I love Liv! She's funny and adorable and sweet - so sweet - and she likes to talk. She's one of those people that talks in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way, and it's hilarious. She's honest and kind and protective of her sister, her au pair, her boyfriend. I like how she seems somewhat absent-minded at times, but she's sharp as a tack. There are so many funny scenes, and also several times when I experienced some second-hand embarrassment. Ha! Henry is her boyfriend, and he's a pretty important character in both this book and Dream a Little Dream. Henry is really good at dream weaving/walking (however you want to call it), and he and Liv meet in the dream world often. Henry is devoted to Liv, and cares about her a great deal. He's affectionate and kind, and also protective. Did I mention that he's pretty swoony? I like him a lot, secrets and all. He has many secrets though, and it drives Liv crazy that it seems like everyone knows more about Henry than she does. I don't blame her for getting irritated about his secrets - they are secrets that affect her. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
I've really enjoyed al of Kerstin's books, so I was beyond eager to get my greedy hands on this one. As always, I love Liv and Mia. Their relationship is filled with banter. Liv is a snark machine and being in her head is a lot of fun. This entire cast of characters makes the story interesting. The downside to the second book in a trilogy is that it's sometimes seems useless. And while I did enjoy this story, I don't feel like any of it was necessary. Sure, we did find a few things out, but mostly it felt like nothing progressed plot wise. Regardless, I'll definitely be reading the next book. I can't wait to see how it all ends. **Huge thanks to Henry Holt for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review**