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I remember this book from my early teen years, although what I remember makes it seem incredibly bizarre, but from what I remember, it was really enjoyable. I'm sure I read it before I read the "Mister Monday" series, by Garth Nix. I don't believe all of the series was available, if that helps narrow down a time frame. I have a feeling this book was part of a series too. And it is based around a young male protagonist and, soon, a girl and another boy, whom he befriends. I believe the first chapter of the first book starts with the protagonist answering a phone call. One of the questions he is asked is; How did the dinosaurs die? He initially believes this to be one of those radio shows, so he tries to be funny in his answer, which is; they died laughing. I'm sure they ask him about his sleeping habits, and he admits to falling asleep very easily, almost on command. This leads the boy to being recruited by an organisation which uses sleep as a way of entering and exiting some sort of world, or other time. There is something dangerous about it too, as I remember something about: trying to go deeper, or further, caused the person's heart to race to the point of an attack. When he first travels to this place, it's like the beginning of time. The place is beautiful, and untouched. The protagonists male friend befriends a black panther cub, which I'm sure follows him around when they return.

This is when I lose track of the story and just remember snip bits;

The male friend is a skilled drummer and is able to tap into the 'beat' of the world, and stop time from travelling backwards - I believe this is in the second book. The female friend is a skilled debater with unmatched logic, and during an argument with (some sort of boss bad guy), she uses the argument of a never ending cycle, a snake biting its tail. I'm sure she also had a bracelet of a snake biting its tail too, with green eyes? There is a point where they are traveling through a cave of jewels. The protagonist collects some. They then come to a seemingly dead end, however, by giving up everything they covet, such as the jewels, the characters are able to ascend to the village above.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought adding as much as I know might spark an answer from someone. :).

Thank you for your time.

  • 5
    Don't apologize; although I don't know the answer, I know from experience here that the more details you can provide, the better a chance of getting an answer you have. Plot points are good. Characters are good. Names are excellent.. But any details are helpful; often the answer has come from a memory of cover art. Bring 'em on! – K-H-W Mar 26 '13 at 0:36
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I found it! This can almost not NOT be it! You are looking for The Dream Merchant, a Dutch novel by Isabel Hoving. It's original title was De gevleugelde kat (translated: The Winged Cat) It was first published in 2002.

For some reason your description of the snake bracelet triggered a memory, but I'm 100% certain I've never read the book before :)

Twelve year old Joshua Cope is contacted by a corporation called Gippart International one day late at night. Joshua and his friend, Bhasvar (Baz) Patel go to Gippart and meet Max Herbert, a talent scout. Josh is sent into a dreamworld to sell products. But dreams also come with nightmares...

Umaya, the collective dream of everyone at that point in time, is caught between dreams and reality. Josh, Baz and a fellow associate Teresa cannot get out of the dream-world, where time is running backwards due to a Gippart employee attempting to break into real time rather than dream-time. Along his adventure, Josh meets his dead twin sister Jericho, who has been attempting to get in contact with him for 350 years. But with Jericho comes Lucide, a guardian who makes sure that no one crosses the borders of life and death.

The members of this troop find themselves with powers that they cannot explain. Baz, the first to find his powers, can control dream time by listening to the rhythm and matching it, causing it to slow, stop, or even rewind. Teresa changes Umaya with words, influencing people and surroundings to her will, she is the group storyteller. Josh is a thief and can change the very nature of things just by looking at them. However, they are trapped in umaya, the dream-world.

The four children must find Tembe at the end of time and fulfill Siparti's last promise to Temberi. They learn about each of Siparti's six kids and put together the clues that each of them hold.

After a harrowing ordeal, Josh, Jericho, Baz, Teresa, and Mervin Spratt manage to find their way to the edge of time itself, where the Tembe people live in a crumbling Fortress. The Tembe, descended from Temberi, have been trapped at the edge of time for over 1000 years. Luckily, the Tembe are friendly people, and show the associates how their Fortress is slowly being ripped away into the hurricane whom they have named Satura. Using the powers they gained in the journey, the children manage to find their way through the hurricane back into the real world.

I found in on Google using this search query: "book dreamworld snake bracelet"

  • Oh my gosh! Thank you so much, you amazing person. ;D. It never even occurred to me to look for 'Dreamworld'. Thank you again. I've ordered the book, and it's on its way. :D. – Megan Apr 25 '13 at 9:52

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