I would like to have been able to give this book more stars as it has a great idea and one that is all too rarely approached from a Christian perspective: that of a person gifted with dreams and visions from God.
But Melody Carlson's characters fall flat and while at moments they shimmer with life and realism, they all too often slide back into their cardboard cutouts, as if they were but paperdolls. And the dialogue is unbelievably preachy. Beyond what is tolerable, even going into the story knowing that it was Christian fiction. I have read a lot of that genre and throwing a mini-sermon at the reader every two pages, if not on every single one in a row, is not the way to get a message across or, in my opinion, the way to portray real people. Many of the most deeply religious and prayerful people that I know pray every day, many times a day, but they do not talk about it constantly. Because it is between them and God. They ask others to pray for them and for others, but that is not all
that they talk about. And to be honest, apart from a few case details almost all the dialogue is taken up with prayers and religious scruples. I am not saying that these should not hold an important part in Sam's life, but as a story, it needs more. A lot more. More story. More focus on developing Samantha's character. I mean, outside of her family and gift, who she is? What does she care about? And the supporting characters are even given less life in the readers' eyes.
So, again, I was pleased to see someone tackling this idea, but I am going to have to wait yet again to see it handled better.