Doorway To Your Dreams

Fiction - Thriller - General
573 Pages
Reviewed on 04/12/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Doorway To Your Dreams is a psychological thriller written by John P. Goetz. Although everyone in Vietnam refers to him as Spooncake, Tim McAllister is all-too-aware of the McAllister family background and the strange inheritance that passes from father to son. Everything changed dramatically on that day when he found his father dying from a self-inflicted bullet. Suddenly Tim could hear people's thoughts, and the constant noise was likely to have driven him as insane, as it had driven his father, except for the fact that his grandfather had come to his aid. He knew what the young boy was going through and realized that Tim would be lost if he allowed his fear and anger to take control. Tim's grandfather became the father he had never really had, and he showed Tim that it was possible to shut out the noise and take control. Now a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Tim's R&R is spent by the Mekong River in the company of the camp's mascot, Dinner. His gunner, Hammond, opted to go to Saigon and enjoy a leave’s revelry, but a drunken and foolhardy decision finds him in prison, and he's compelled to accept the treacherous offer made by a strangely scarred man with albino coloring and black eyes.

John P. Goetz's psychological thriller, Doorway To Your Dreams, is a fast-paced and enthralling story that starts out in the jungles of Vietnam. Tim McAllister and his nemesis, Oban DeCarlo, are, oddly enough, related by blood and both come from dysfunctional families. The dynamic between the two of them makes this thriller crackle with tension and irony as the damaged DeCarlo seeks to make his cousin as tormented and broken as he himself is. DeCarlo is macabre and sinister, though somehow less so than his government cohorts on Plum Island who are working with him to make Spooncake into the perfect dream warrior. Linda Fisher, a gambler whose telepathic skills have earned her the attention of the bosses in Vegas as well as that of DeCarlo, is also abducted and used in DeCarlo's program: Operation Traumland. Doorway to Your Dreams is well-written, and it reads like a dream. The Vietnam sequences are poignant and compelling, though ironically less chilling than the goings-on in that insignificant building on Plum Island. This complex and harrowing thriller is thought-provoking and, ultimately, very entertaining. Doorway to Your Dreams is highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Doorway To Your Dreams is a science fiction thriller novel by John P. Goetz. The plot focuses on Operation Traumland, the brainchild of the sadistic evil genius Oban DeCarlo, whose desperation for power sees him on the hunt for supernaturally gifted humans. He discovers Spooncake, a soldier who perceives the auras of friends and foes by colour, and Linda, a Vegas gambler who is able to predict the hands drawn no sooner than the deck’s been shuffled. DeCarlo plans to use Spooncake and Linda as his two figureheads to begin developing a deadly new weapon for US Black Ops, and only the victims’ bond and desire for revenge on the madman will see them through this harrowing and action-packed adventure.

I always enjoy seeing science fiction that’s set amongst history, so opening Doorway To Your Dreams and discovering the war-torn landscape of Vietnam in 1967 was a vivid delight. John P. Goetz represents the mental state of soldiers at this time extremely well, alongside the dangerous cocktail of ‘victory at all costs’ in the mentality of their superiors, and crackpots such as Oban DeCarlo. I also really enjoyed the portrayal of Linda, who plays her advantage as a ‘dumb’ blonde to fool plenty of chauvinistic men that characterised the time. Doorway To Your Dreams contains everything you’d expect from a great science fiction adventure, but it’s also a vivid recollection of a dark little pocket of American history and a true story of unlikely heroes overcoming great evil. Overall, a recommended read for action, wartime and sci-fi fans.

Mamta Madhavan

Doorway To Your Dreams by John P. Goetz is a thrilling story that makes a compelling read with its intense plot, ingenious story telling and striking characters. The story spans several years and different continents. The book starts with the protagonist Tim 'Spooncake' McAllister and his days in Vietnam. Oban DeCarlo has plans that are frightening. He intends to create weapons of mass destruction and Operation Traumland is a funded program that operates from Plum Island, New York. As the story progresses, we see Oban DeCarlo ready with his version of an eagerly awaited weapons system.

This is a gripping novel. The plot is frightening, the twists and turns are provocative enough to keep readers riveted to the happenings, and will leave them intrigued and surprised. The character of Oban DeCarlo is well sketched. There is power in him, and he is highly charged so that there is something very ominous yet subdued in the way he operates. Tim 'Spooncake' McAllister, on the other hand, is the nice guy whom readers will like, although he has his faults. The other characters complement the plot beautifully and give the story the much required ambiguity, reality, adventure and controversy to add to the suspense. The author captures strife-torn Vietnam vividly, along with a bit of American history. The book is definitely a must-read for all those who enjoy action, war and thrillers. With its three-dimensional characters and action, this story has an esoteric vibe that grabs the attention of readers and keep them glued to the pages.

Carine Engelbrecht

Doorway to your Dreams by John P. Goetz will take readers from the sweltering monsoon jungles of Vietnam to a top secret facility most Americans would dismiss as highly unlikely. Despite the combative edge it gives, a war zone has to be one of the worst possible places for a gifted empath, but that is the reality combat pilot Spooncake, a.k.a. Demon, a.k.a Tim McAllister, lives with. It is also this ability that earmarks Tim as a primary subject for Traumland, a diabolical government Black Ops program that aims to hone psychic power like his into a nightmarish weapon to be deployed in combat. Chief of the operation is the psychopathically damaged Oban DeCarlo, Tim's own cousin. His only hope seems to be Linda Fischer, another subject in the program. But few are aware of another entity entering the fray, one that seems made of pure entropy - Spooncake's dark half, and it seems as hungry for control as DeCarlo and his cohorts.

If you like your fictional warfare to be gritty and graphically violent, Doorway to your Dreams by John P. Goetz contains enough scenes that will keep you teetering on the edge of your seat, but not all of its battles take place on solid ground and in the here and now. The story matches outer struggles with groundbreaking inner exploration. One aspect that sets the book apart is some truly top notch characterization. While the hero is portrayed as a multi-faceted individual who is easy to root for, readers will also gain insight into some of the events and factors that shaped the story's villains and, ultimately, the darkest corners of the human psyche. A well told story.

Katelyn Hensel

Doorway to Your Dreams by John P. Goetz is the convoluted story of a man, a plan, and bitter wars between nations. In a pseudo reality where humans with supernatural powers exist, Oban DeCarlo is attempting to create weapons of mass destruction by harnessing these humans' powers and using them to further his own ends.

The mix of science fiction and thriller genres is expected, yet somehow unique from both genres. This is a dark, gritty world with characters that remind me of those from the sci-fi drama on Fox: Almost Human. I could almost see Karl Urban taking on the role of Spooncake and throwing in his signature scowl as some of the more dramatic plot points happen!

The writing is one hundred percent personality at all times. I felt like there was constant witty banter, constant quips and little digs being made, even when it was just the narrator speaking. While the tone is somewhat dark and somber, there was an ever-present, underlying dry humor and almost sarcasm to the writing that kept me hooked, even when I wasn't sure where the plot was heading.

The story kind of meandered a bit, leaving me wondering what was going on and what would ultimately happen between Spooncake and Linda. I did really enjoy their interactions on the island and found that John P. Goetz is really great at adding a crazy ramp up of plot near the ending of his stories. This last pump of adrenaline really pushed Doorway to Your Dreams over the top and left me excited to see what else Goetz has out there.