Author: Kit Alloway
Format: Hardback, kindly
provided by St Martin's Griffin
for review. (Thank you!!)
My rating: 4 / 5
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Joshlyn Weaver has always lived with a big secret. Ordinary kids spend their free time going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and searching on the internet.
But for her, an evening at home usually means entering people's dreams. For many generations, her family has been part of a very powerful and very secretive society of dream walkers. Tasked with the responsibility of lowering the world's general anxiety — which only leads to war and strife in the waking world — their job has always been to stop nightmares before they go too far. By stopping nightmares while sleeping, they help to stop nightmares in real life.
But when an ancient feud within the dream walker society resurfaces right when a seemingly unconnected series of very strange and very scary events start occurring during her dream walks, Josh finds herself in a race against time. The one true dream walker has never been known. Could she be the one?
-- As seen on Goodreads
I really enjoyed Dreamfire! It was hard to get wrapped up in the story initially, but by the end, I was completely hooked. I finished reading it last week, and since then I’ve been trying to put into words what I thought about it, and I can’t pinpoint one emotion that fully justifies how I feel. The more I think about it, I realise it’s one of those books that I really liked, but there were a couple of things that bothered me a little.
The world building and the entire concept of dream walking was my favourite part of the book – it was fabulous! I’ve personally never read anything quite like it, and I thoroughly enjoyed finding out how the dream walkers world works. They visit nightmares, and they do their best to help the dreamer avoid being overcome by their dreamfire. Dreamfire is caused by the dreamers greatest fears coming true in their nightmares, and the dream walkers try to help the dreamer overcome this fear and end the nightmare quickly in order to keep balance between the dream world and our world. Everything is so fabulously thought out and so intricate and detailed, it takes a good chunk of the book to get all the information needed to fully appreciate just how complex it actually is. I LOVED the way the dream world and nightmares were described! I feel like we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, and I can’t wait to find out more!
I liked both of our main characters. Josh is our main female character, and born into a prominent dream walker family. She excels at dream walking, and on her 17th birthday, she’s assigned an apprentice. It turns out to be Will Kansas, a boy she’s gone to school with forever, but never had much to do with. The story is told in the third person, and we get to see over both Josh and Will’s shoulders. I really liked this, as we get to see the story develop from both their perspectives. I was so happy that their relationship slowly grew over the course of the book! It felt believable, and I loved that they didn’t rush straight from being unwilling acquaintances to best mates and lovers. The slight downside: I usually find it hard to fully ‘click’ with characters when a story is told in the third person, and I had this problem with Dreamfire, too. I liked both Josh and Will, and I loved how distinct their personalities were, but something was holding me back from fully connecting and ultimately loving them.
During the first few chapters, we’re introduced to A LOT of characters, really quickly. I found it a bit overwhelming at one stage, particularly during Josh’s birthday party. I was barely familiar with Josh herself at that stage, and new character names were popping up left and right, and I had no idea how important they were to the story, or who was connected to each other. Thankfully, things did settle down a good bit after the initial onslaught!
I think Dreamfire could be one of those books that gets better and better with a couple of rereads… now that I’m familiar with the concept and characters, I know I’d pick up on so much more details during a second reading. Despite a couple of little things, I thought Dreamfire was a fabulous debut, and a really awesome action packed start to a new series. I hope there will be a sequel in the works soon, as I can’t wait to see how the world develops!
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This didn't influence my opinion in any way.*