I am a little embarrassed to say that I put this book down for a couple of months after reading the third (fourth?) sentence, the one with the caramel and ice cream analogy. I didn't think I could take the book seriously after that. Then I figured that maybe I wasn't supposed to be taking it seriously, so I picked it up again. I still don't like that sentence, on more than one level, but I'm so glad I read more! It gets pretty exciting immediately after that.
I love the characters in this book. Other than the obvious ones, I was really into the secondary characters. Slavarien was a true and perfect villain that I loved to hate. He made my skin crawl and I love that the author was able to make me react to him in that way. I simply loved the little detail that he was the most handsome older man that Audra had ever seen. That just really cemented him in my mind, somehow making his injustices all the more diabolical.
I adore Maggie and Ray. Margareta has some amazing strength for everything that she had to endure and my imagination was running wild with how it all was effecting Ray. I don't want to give anything away by mentioning too many of the characters, as there are some enjoyable twists in the story that I don't want to ruin for any future readers, but I am looking forward to reading more about them in the next book.
The dialogue was a little stale in some places and a bit contradictory in chapters 4 and 5. However, I very much enjoyed the action and pace of the story. I really liked the plot and I just loved the dream sequences and what they all meant in the storyline.
There were a couple of neat concepts, in terms of the science fiction element of the book. I liked how Audra related things to what she'd seen on TV. I'd probably do that too, if I were in a situation like that. The comulator was a very cool concept and I loved the little detail thrown in about how one person has an older version of it, thus showing the technology is improved over time, much like iPhones and devices like that.
There was a lot of fun, well-placed humor. I laughed out loud several times throughout the story. "Hiding in clear water is not a wise plan." LOL! That threw me into giggle fits!
The ending seemed a little rushed with abrupt scene changes, but I'm betting that everything else that needs to be said and done will be in the next two books. Thinking about it, though, it could be seen as things happening very fast for the characters themselves. They were running out of time for something that had to be done and there was a lot going on at once, so things were happening very fast and abruptly for them too. I bet they'll be happy to find time to rest after all that, or worry themselves to death once they can process that huge revelation, lol.
All in all, I enjoyed reading "Centauri Dawn" and am looking forward to reading "Centauri Twilight." (Actually, I couldn't wait...I've already started.)