Author: Michael S. Fedison
Date of Publication: November 16, 2012
Formats Available: E-Book
Synopsis: A ghost girl with bright blue eyes haunts Mitchell Brant in his dreams, beckoning him to help her. One night, when he wakes up with a scraped knee after another dream about the girl he decides its time to call his friends. To his surprise his friends Joe and Ryan have been having the exact same dream. In search of answers the three boys call up the smartest guy at school, Marc Kuslanski. Despite numerous theories provided by Kuslanski they ultimately decide that Kulanski will observe them while they sleep, checking if this ghost girl is real or just a figment of the boy's overactive imaginations. That night the four boys find themselves pulled into an alternate universe, where things are completely different than at home, yet eerily similar. Once there they discover that the ghost girls name is Monica Tisdale, and she has been kidnapped. To get home the boys must rescue her or they will be stuck in this alternate reality forever.
Despite not really being one for middlegrade novels I ended up really enjoying The Eye-Dancers. Fedison is a great author, capturing the mentality and language of four seventh grade boys perfectly. With awesome writing, an interesting plot, and unique characters this novel held my interest and made for a great read!
Each of the four boys had a distinct personality paired with a distinct flaw, which they learned to control through their time in the alternate reality. Mitchell struggled with his parents growing arguments, his speech impediment, and his need to tell lies to impress others. Joe was selfish and constantly resorted to violence whenever he felt angry or frustrated. Ryan could never make decisions and allowed himself to be led wherever the others went. Marc had a constant need to be right, never allowing anyone to offer other ideas or solutions.
During their time in Colbyville, the parallel version of their home Bedford, the four boys learn a lot about themselves and learn to control their flaws while the work together to search for Monica. With so many different personalities it was easy to relate to at least one of the characters and understand the trials they were going through. Each of them had their little quirks, such as Joe's overwhelming use of the word "bud" or Mitchell's tendency to lie to make himself sound more impressive.
While the kidnapping aspect of the plot had a lot of potential the conclusion fell a little flat. Most of the clues leading to Monica fell straight into the boy's laps and yet the struggled to see what was right in front of them. I really enjoyed the idea of the boys discovering how to improve their flaws and work together but I felt like the kidnapping was a weaker aspect of the novel.
The Eye-Dancers is a great first novel; fantastic writing paired with an interesting story this book definitely caught me off guard. Perfect for middle schoolers who enjoy a good science fiction story with a little mystery thrown in this novel will definitely encourage reluctant readers and entertain those who love to read!
*Note: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.*