The Dreams of Phillip Aisling and the Numinous Nagwaagan *****
by Brandon Bosse

I listened to an ARC of this audiobook with my 9 year old son while commuting. He and I were both fascinated by the premise. I have lucid dreamed a couple times, mostly about flying, so a story about a boy learning to control his dreams seemed like a great fit. I was right!

My son said, “Dad, you have to give it five stars. The story is so vivid and real, just like Phillip’s dreams.”

He really was immersed. Sometimes if his mom was with us and we were running errands he would try to get me to stay in the car so we could continue listening! I even volunteered to do some of the child chauffeuring so that we could listen a bit more.

Phillip has just turned thirteen and has a lucid dream for the first time. He meets someone in his dream that introduces him to the world of lucid dreaming. Phillip sees the wonders of his inner world and faces dangers that harm him in the real world. Bosse does a great job distinguishing the different characters and the audiobook narrator has a distinct voice for each one. The boy and I had a lot of fun imitating the character Cynthia’s voice. It was as much fun as when Alec Baldwin narrated Thomas the train. His voice for Mrs. Toppem Hat was hilarious!

Not only does Phillip face orange eyed draiths in his nightmares, but in his waking world he faces challenges from teachers who play favorites, older brother and cousin bullying, and balancing his personal and academic life. As a dad, I think it addresses many of the issues I’d like my kid to think about and find ways to overcome. Hopefully the teachers in real life aren’t running hidden agendas and willing to lie about kids grades, but the lessons translate to other real life situations.

The end of the story has successfully closed the adventure while opening the path for the next book in the series. If Bosse does write a follow up, I know my big boy and I will listen to it together!  

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