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Dreams and Shadows - C. Robert Cargill [I received an ARC through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.]At first I was really interested by the synopsis, but reading some reviews as I waited for my copy I was ready to be disappointed. Well, I wasn't exactly disappointed and in fact I was for the most part entertained, but the book did have its share of problems. In some ways I don't think the book knew what it was, or it tried to do too many things and so it was chaotic and a tad messy. And like others have mentioned there were several chapters interjected into the story that were written as either short fairy tales or like textbook excerpts that would explain plot points. I actually think I preferred these chapters over the rest (just stylistically more to my liking), but they did stick out a bit from the overall story and did seem like a cop-out in terms of plotting. I had no trouble getting through the book, so its readability for me was fine. It was the characterization and a lot of the dialogue that I had issues with. I either couldn't connect with the characters, or I just had no interest in their exploits. I wanted to root for the protagonists, namely Colby, but couldn't and on the flip side I found the main antagonist and other characters too hazy and simple-minded. The djinn was probably one of the more interesting characters, but he like the rest wasn't developed enough for my liking. Overall a decent read but it doesn't really offer enough for me to recommend. However, Cargill does have potential as a writer so I'll probably try him again.