Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams


In Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams A young girl takes on the mighty powers of the government but is sidetracked by challenges of the academy she attends, the new boy, and keeping her secrets safe.

She will do anything – forfeit her identity, friendships, even love – to be humanity’s champion.

As the U.S. government prepares to take over the world, MC infiltrates one of their elite academies that trains future leaders. MC must rise to the top in the Cube training grounds in order to be placed high up within the government so she can stop them in their takeover.

MC is a character who can easily see faults in everyone but herself.

It is not until her fourth and final year at the academy that her top-student status is threatened by the sudden arrival of Li, the new transfer student. MC is completely focused on her self-created mission until she gets sidetracked by Li, who might be bad news in more ways than which she bargained.

A Young Adult, Dystopian, Not-So-Distant-Future Adventure Novel with a hint of sci-fi and a bit of romance.


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more about the characters
more about the Academy professors and classes
more about Ataxia slang
more about the timeline of the novel
more about the rules of the Cube
more about the world surrounding Ataxia

Praise for Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams

“This marvelous and well-written book artfully sucks in the reader and leads us and the characters upon an unexpected path. This book is quite enjoyable for teenagers and adults alike. Highly recommended!” – Loren Lockner

“Overall, this was a nice read, recommended for people who are craving for a fantasy world or are having a harry potter/divergent withdrawal.” – Mango

“A fascinating story line that keeps you at the edge of your seat (if you are sitting). Rachel has a unique writing style, an unsurpassed descriptive writing skill with a knack to paint a full picture in words with her imagination. Utilizing a superior grasp on the English language, Miss Barnard not only describes all the peripheral vision(s)in any scene, but actually expands your own vocabulary. I can absolutely see “Ataxia and the ravine of lost dreams” as the next blockbuster movie.” -Paul.

“I liked being inside MC’s head. The action scenes in the Cube. Love!” – Anchor

“The Cube is the crown jewel of this book. Brilliantly imagined, with a unique combat system and technology, it offers limitless variety, wonder, and the drama of face to face confrontation with enemies and friends. The Cube is one of the prime tools of the Academy in assessing the students – but it also holds a secret. This book is brilliantly original and has a very well executed concept. Cube combat, the changing world within it, and the different approaches to its tests, were constantly fascinating. The story is gripping, the pace is lively, and I really enjoyed it.” – D.B. Rose

“What I liked about Ataxia was that it had a lot more to it than your typical teen dystopian read. On the one hand there’s a young heroine, driven yet flawed. MC is at once down to earth and worldly, given a perspective that sets her apart from the other at the academy. The story’s love interest, Li, isn’t just there for eye candy either. He’s smart, inquisitive, and frustrating at the same time. It’s believable that he draws MC away from her important mission.” – Cloud

” This marvelous and well-written book artfully sucks in the reader and leads us and the characters upon an unexpected path.” – Oregongirl

“Author, Rachel Barnard gives a glimpse of a dystopic reality steeped in teenage angst and a young woman’s grappling with world-shaking ambitions and an ever-present tug-of-war of hormones, intellectual pursuits, and finding her identity. MC’s admirable and rather cocky attempts at greatness put her in danger of losing her life and the mortifying danger of embarrassment in front the object of her begrudging crush. Yes, she has to admit she’s enamored by Li’s charms. She’s human after all—and I love her for it.” – Sheri J. Kennedy


“Fear is both the ultimate motivation and the most deadly shackle known to man.”

“When emotions lead to actions, mistakes are made.”

“If only life were as simple as a boot toss.”