Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dreamfall by Amy Plum

Dreamfall by Amy Plum
Release Date - May 2, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 288 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse...but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.
The idea of being trapped inside a nightmare has always been terrifying to me. The thought of not being able to wake from one is blood curling. The fear it induces is exactly what caught my eye when the synopsis for Dreamfall was released. While this novel does provide plenty of chills, and atmosphere, but doesn't quite deliver in the character department.

The characters feel like they could be plucked from a horror movie. There isn't much growth or development to them. This works for this specific genre, especially when done via visual media (movies or television for example) but is much more noticeable when adapted into a novel. There isn't an attachment formed that makes the body count meaningful. There isn't that desire to root for the characters. Those who enjoy a more plot based read will delight in the minimal characterization, but those who need to connect with the characters may have a harder time doing so.

Each of the characters do have a little something of their background revealed. They are all dealing with insomnia for various reasons. All of them have issues of some form or another. These reveals offer a small taste of what these characters could be, it just wasn't followed through on to its fullest potential. The information we are given about a few of the characters towards the end are especially intriguing and I hope they are followed through on in the sequel.

Amy Plum is a natural at atmosphere and tone. All of her novels have such strong, vivid settings and this is no exception. Her ability to do this ensures that this premise works. It allows the reader to feel a connection to the world she has created, which anchors the reader to something. It also makes the novel incredibly readable as it has such a strong visual element to the writing. You can easily finish this novel in one sitting and that is also a testament to its fast pace.

The most vivid part of the story are the nightmares the characters find themselves trapped in. They easily get your pulse pounding, and are filled with crisp imagery that leaves them begging to be adapted into a movie. This is the most well crafted part of the story, and easily recognizable as the idea that drew the author to write this novel.

The ending packs a cliffhanger punch that will ensure you want to check out the sequel. It indicates that their dreams may not be the only danger these characters are facing, and seems to hint at a more character focused sequel. It is the type of cliffhanger that will cause much lamenting, simply because the reader will want to know what happens next.

A creepy, atmospheric read that I wish was just a little bit longer so that we could have gotten to know the characters more. I recommend this one for those looking for more than a few chills, and a book that reads like it is tailor made to be a movie or television series.

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