Neon Fever Dream by Eliot Peper (@EliotPeper) was a really good page turner that once I finally started I couldn’t put it down as I wanted to know what would happen next (I probably should have read about one month ago but kept putting it off until Monday night). This is another book of his that I can’t recommend enough as I have tried to read every one of Eliot’s books since he first published Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 a couple years back.
In full disclosure, I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of the book a while back. However, at this exact time, you can’t read it yet but can Pre-Purchase it. In fact, even though I received the advanced copy I still decided to purchase it as well.
The story starts out by getting you acquainted with the characters over the first couple of chapters to give you a good backdrop of the main character so you get a sense of her background. Then everything is turned upside down in an instant with Asha and as a whim of trying to take control of her own life she ends up heading to Burning Man with her new best “friend”.
However, just when everything seemed to be getting on the right track, Asha realized she doesn’t know the people she is with as well as she thought and she needs to quickly figure out who to trust and who is telling the truth. Once sorted out is only the beginning as the bigger story of a criminal take down brings more twists and turns to the past of hers and the people she decided to trust. Each page will make you question if she is trusting the right people from her current situation or her people from her past from long ago. Will they still be able to take down the criminal empire? (Come on I can’t tell you the whole story here, check it out yourself, trust me it is worth it.)
Most of the story takes place at Burning Man, which I have never been to and not sure I ever will in my lifetime. However, with Eliot’s style of writing, I felt like I was there. With my little understanding of the event and layout, I really did feel like I was walking or biking around the playa visiting the various places. In fact, one specific part of the book detailed out the author’s thoughts on the event that shows you the amount of detail he added:
This was a city built and dismantled in a week—a collective piece of art as beautiful and fleeting as the mandala they had watched the monks create with such painstaking care. Calling it a festival was a slight. It was more than that. It was an experiment, an exploration of what it meant to be alive.
One of my favorite quotes of the book that kept on popping up (four times I think) was:
You cannot control the world, but only you control how you react to it.
Finally, if you are a fan of Eliot’s other writing you might find the “easter egg” in the book where a past character might have made an appearance. I wish I could say I would have realized it all on my own but prior to reading the book I had read the book review by Brad Feld (@bfeld) and already knew it was coming so was on the look out of for it.
Update: If you are looking for some details on what inspired the author to write this book check out his post title A dark secret hides in the swirling dust and exultant revelry of Burning Man, where he talks about it. I always think it is interesting to hear how/why an author wrote a particular book.