Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Book Review: Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox

I finished Dreamhunter in just a few days. Partially that was because I needed to finish it in order to give Davan time to read it before the young adult book group next Tuesday, but partially it was because I enjoyed it quite a bit...at least most of it.

Dreamhunter is the story of two teenage cousins who live in a world similar to our past (early 20th century) with the exception of The Place. The Place is a geographical area which some people, a select few, can enter. The remainder of the people remain in our world. The Place is odd - kind of dead and it encompasses far more area than it should based on it's boarders with our world. However, the most peculiar aspect is that some of the people who enter it - dreamhunters - find that when they sleep there, they catch dreams. The dreams are vivid and communicable when they come back into our world. Because of this, opera houses where people come to sleep and dream in sleepwear finery are big in this world.

These two cousins - Laura and Rose - each have a dreamhunter parent and it is expected that they will become dreamhunters, as well. According to law, which is to protect people, of course, a person cannot try to enter The Place until after their 15th birthday and even then, it must happen at one of two yearly Tries with ceremony and oversight.

Rose is a very confident young lady, but Laura is more of a follower. Laura, who's point of view we most follow, is worried she won't be a dreamhunter. Rose doesn't seem to be able to envision that she might not be.

Adding to the drama of the upcoming Try for the girls is the disappearance of Laura's father, a famous dreamhunter. He leaves behind clues of one sort or another for Laura to follow, clues that may lead Laura to discover corruption in the government.

The first chapter was a little difficult to follow, being thrown right into the middle of an opera house with a dream occurring, but once the story line starts following Laura and Rose, it moves right along. I looked forward to my reading time. However, towards the end, I first began to wonder if there was not going to be much behind the corruption angle (my thoughts are still undecided on that) and then I began to worry that things were going to be left hanging, which is, indeed the case.

Dreamhunter is the first book in The Dreamhunter series, so the story will continue. I dislike it when books don't come to a good conclusion, though, even if they are part of a series. This was one thing I liked about the Harry Potter books - each book told a story, as well being part of the series with the encompassing story line.

I did hesitate to give the book to Davan to read due to a few instances - nightmares and the father's disappearance, for example - but decided it would probably be okay for her. I believe it would be fine for most 12 year olds, but Davan can be a little on the sensitive side.

I give Dreamhunter a tentative 8. I liked reading it, but if the rest of the series doesn't deliver on the promise, it would detract from my enjoyment of this first book, as I'm being set up for something more here.

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