The Olympus Cloud

Adventures of a Dreamer

Fiction - Animals
230 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2014
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Olympus Cloud: Adventures of a Dreamer is animal fiction written by Stephen Randel. The main character in this series of adventures is a white French Bulldog named Maximilian, Max for short. Max lives with his master, an elderly, retired doctor in Austin, Texas. They have a house with a big backyard where Max keeps the pesky squirrels and an occasional armadillo under control. Most of Max's great adventures, however, occur while he's asleep. When Max is sleeping, his mind and imagination take him to foreign shores and desperate situations. In one dream episode, Max is a hard-boiled detective, down on his luck and suffering a morning hangover, when a sultry and curvaceous mouse-lady enters his office with pleas to help free her husband from the dastardly Chen the Chinese Rat. She's willing to meet Max's fee of bones and even offers him a bonus.

Stephen Randel's canine-centric short story collection, The Olympus Cloud: Adventures of a Dreamer, kept me reading and smiling from the first page to the very last. The adventures are fabulous, literally, leading the intrepid dog up to Mount Olympus in outer space where he helps the Olympians defend against an attack by Loki, and down through a basement hole into the Witch's garden, where he attempts to solve the mystery of her death. Readers will also encounter dinosaurs, lion prides and a Scottish graveyard as they follow Max's exploits. Author Randel is endlessly inventive in these stories which never descend to being overly cute or cozy. They're rugged tales about a rugged little bulldog, and they work quite well.

Lit Amri

“The white French bulldog snatched up one of the boots in his mouth and scampered upstairs with it. Leaping up onto the bed with his stinky prize, Max placed his head down on top of the boot. He slowly inhaled a deep breath before releasing it with a loud snort. He closed his eyes and took a nap. Within a few minutes, his paws began to twitch away in dream…” Ever wonder what a dog is dreaming about when its paws twitch and kick? Stephen Randel’s The Olympus Cloud: Adventures of a Dreamer might have the answers for you. Max is a pugnacious French bulldog who lives in Austin, Texas, in a big white house with his elderly master Bennett, a retired doctor.

In Max’s dreams, he is the ultimate adventurer. He bravely rescues a calf from drowning in a river and solves the mystery of a murdered witch. He also becomes a lucky charm for the Minnesota Twins baseball team, the good-luck pup. This is my favorite chapter of the dog’s dream adventure. The Twins’ winning streaks tie them up in the standings with the Chicago White Sox in first place. Max is even kidnapped Mafia-style because someone known as Big Sal is betting on the Sox to win, so the lucky dog must be taken away from the Twins. However, everything always ends well in Max’s dreams.

The writing is mostly straightforward, but The Olympus Cloud is an undeniably entertaining and enjoyable read, which kept me turning pages until I reached the end in just one sitting. If you are a dog lover then The Olympus Cloud is highly recommended.

Bil Howard

Is all of that twitching and whimpering that a dog does when he is asleep all for nothing? Stephen Randel tells us that there is a lot more to it than we could ever imagine in The Olympus Cloud: Adventures of a Dreamer. French bulldog, Max, has vivid dreams of numerous adventures throughout this book. Through his dreams, the reader can take a quick trip into several parts of the world and times to explore some of the most exciting adventures imaginable. Go along the cattle trails or solve a mystery among trolls, goblins, and witches in a fantasy land which lies beyond the reach of your imagination. Wander the plains of Africa or see action on the battlefields of France. Zombie accountants, gangster rodents and numerous other mythical creatures will capture your attention as you live vicariously through this heroic mutt.

Stephen Randel allows the reader to wander into adventures that they have previously only imagined in The Olympus Cloud: Adventures of a Dreamer. Along with Max, there is no place and no period of time that is off limits. This is a wonderful way to explore and see this world and other fantasy worlds through the vivid imagination of a French bulldog with plenty of grit and wit. The adventures are not only lively and often suspenseful, but packed full of education as well. Creative, adventurous and fun, The Olympus Cloud: Adventures of a Dreamer is the perfect way to stir your imagination and enjoy several adventures of your own.