Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.
Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book in the least.
I was really excited to read Dreamland when it was first offered on Edelweiss. There were a lot of thing going for this book and I couldn’t wait to dive in. Two things drew me to this book, the cover and the plot. The cover is gorgeous and dynamic! I love the second city hanging over the “real” world. The cover alone gets your heart racing, anticipating what’s on the inside. The plot was equally intriguing to me. I was fascinated by the idea of people with the ability to walk other’s dreams. Why do they do it? Where does the ability come from? Why do Dea and her mom have to move all the time?
But when I actually started reading Dreamland, I realized it wasn’t just about Dea dream walking, but about solving the mystery surrounding the death of her friend Conner’s mom.
What I liked
I think Robert L. Anderson did a great job building the dream world in this story. I truly enjoyed the King’s city with its haphazard design, layering upon itself. Structures like that would clearly never work in the real world, but that was part of what made the dream world great. It was kind of like, if you can dream it, you can make it. I also really enjoyed the question of who had dreamed up our world?
What I didn’t like
Dea breaks the rules and walks Conner’s dreams several time, mostly through the same dream. There was a point in this dream that the foreshadowing was so apparent that it really shouldn’t be called foreshadowing at all. There was such a specific description of a key side character in this dream that it felt like the author had drawn arrows and underlined it three times. Like, look right here! Here is the answer to the entire plot! If the author had chosen a term just a little more vague, I feel like he could have kept the reader guessing for a little while longer.
I’m not naive to think that teenagers don’t use foul language. That’s not really what bothered me. What bothered me was that Dea’s character cussed quite a lot, BUT, only in her thoughts. How weird is that? Never once did Dea cuss in actual dialogue with someone else. It was just a strange little quirk of the writing that I couldn’t get past.
Overall, I liked Dreamland. I thought that it had an intriguing plot and an interesting cover. I felt for the most part the writing was solid and that it was a fairly quick read.