Review: The Story Makers by Tamara Pratt

What would you do if your family blamed you for the death of your younger brother? Eden Mellor was 13 when her brother, age 3, died tragically. For three years she lived knowing that her mother and sister blamed her. The night Liam died, Eden can’t remember what happened. Deep down Eden knows she didn’t kill Liam, yet the accusations eat away at her. Three years have passed when the Story Makers invite her and Eden’s best friend, Cynthia, to audition to be the next big celebrity. The Story Makers dream-mine all of the candidates in search of stories for movies. The one with the best dreams is turned into a megastar.

Cynthia and many of the other candidates are desperate to have the most intriguing dreams possible so they will become the next superstar. They use the drug euphoria, which is “guaranteed to make you sleep like a baby and dream like an adult. A very experienced adult. I can assure you our dreams will blow their minds,” says Cynthia as she tries to convince Eden to take the drug.

Eden has a different agenda. She doesn’t want to be a celebrity. She wants to prove her innocence once and for all. She hopes the dream-mining sessions will uncover what really happened the night Liam died. Can Eden handle all of the kids on drugs, the dream-mining sessions, and the rigorous audition process the Story Makers put all of the candidates through? Then there’s the fact that what Eden discovers about herself may be more than she bargained for. What happened that night and what secrets have her family kept from her?

In terms of imagination, Tamara Pratt’s young adult fantasy novel does not disappoint. The world she creates is unique, intriguing, and fantastical. Right from the start, the reader is put on edge. Eden is unsure of all of the bizarre events that occur around her and since she’s telling the story, so is the reader. At points it’s hard to tell which way is up. Twists and turns abound throughout the story. If you aren’t paying attention, you may miss some of the clues.

Enough tantalizing morsels are dispersed throughout the story to impel a reader to continue with the story to find out the truth about Eden, Liam, and her family. Some readers who like more believability may struggle some with the story. Pratt’s world-building is told, but not completely explained, which may frustrate those who like to understand the why. Instead Pratt hopes the readers will take everything as is and not delve too much into the possibility that what is happening can really happen. For many readers the story will sweep them up and they may not even notice that some of the key details are not clarified. It is a fantasy novel after all. Fans of this genre will more than likely appreciate the creativity. And many will cheer on Eden as she attempts to prove her innocence.

I give Tamara Pratt’s young adult novel, The Story Makers, 4 out of 5 stars.