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BOOK REVIEW: Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

| 15 September 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

September 2015
Hardback, $17.99
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli



The first rule, which Dea had already intuited, was that she must never try to change anything or intervene in another person’s dream.
The second rule, related to the first, was that she might walk as many dreams as she wished if she was careful, and follow all the rules, but she must never walk the same person’s dreams more than once.
And the third rule was that she must never, ever be seen.

Dreamland is not a bad book. It’s a good book, but it failed to engage this reader on numerous occasions. Where it started off strongly in the beginning, it began to peter off towards the middle and even more so at the end, with a climax that came too late.

Odea and her mother, Miriam, are dream walkers. They need to walk through people’s dreams in order to survive. If they don’t, they become sickly and weak, until, ultimately, they die. All her life, Dea and Miriam have been on the move, never staying in one place for too long, and never taking personal possessions with them.

Dea’s mom was a nut about clocks. They were the only things she insisted on keeping, the only possessions she bothered to take with them when they moved.

And Dea was okay with that. Dea went to school, her mother went to work, and at night, Dea would dream walk.

Dea didn’t bother calling out for her mom. She was usually gone during the day, although dea was no longer sure what, exactly, she did. There’d been so many jobs triumphantly attained, then quietly lost. A quick celebration — I’m a receptionist now! — a rare glass of champagne, a spin through the local mall to buy shoes and clothes that looked the part. Sometimes Dea thought that’s why her mom got jobs in the first place: so she could dress up, pretend to be someone else.

That is, until Connor moved in next door. Immediately, Dea is drawn to Connor, a handsome stranger who is just as reserved as she is, and drawn to the fact that, although the rumours about Dea have put off many a potential friend, Connor still wants to hand out with her. But Connor has secrets of his own, and a past that could rival Dea’s in every way.

She didn’t hear the rumors about Connor — whispered stories about what happened to his mom and baby brother all those years ago; rumors it was Connor’s fault.

When Dea and Connor fight, Dea decides to walk through Connor’s dreams and break one of the rules set for her: she leaves him a message in the snow, written with Christmas lights. Although Connor isn’t aware, the monsters her mother warned her about are, and they are hunting her. It’s not long before they take Miriam, and Dea is left searching frantically and questioning everything she thought she knew.


As mentioned before, Dremland isn’t a bad book — in fact, it’s very good. The main problem I had with it was its awkward pacing: very fast and engaging in the first 25% but very slow in the last 75%, even with a climax and revelations that should have sucked me in. When I finished, I was left feeling slightly relieved and guilty, because I did enjoy it — the overall effect just wasn’t for me. Dea was irresponsible to the point that it could not be blamed on adolescence immaturity. She knew she was breaking the rules and putting her life (and her mother’s) at risk by owning mirrors and walking a dream more than once; she knew she had to stop, but didn’t for purely selfish reasons.

The first time she broke the rules, it was to leave Connor a message of apology for being rude to him. The second time, it was to write ‘kiss me‘ in the snow, thus altering Connor’s intentions in real life. When she walked the dream a third time, she knew it was a bad idea and she immediately knew something was wrong — but it didn’t stop her from doing it again and again. When her mother is kidnapped, Dea immediately blames herself and sets out to find the truth, but when she does find answers, she rejects them and causes more havoc.

One thing I did love was Dreamland itself. Although the author doesn’t show it for long, the idea behind it is absolutely breathtaking, and the imagery even more so. It’s a shame that not enough time was spent developing this fantastical world more, but was spent, instead, on Dea’s guilt and Dea’s fierce desire to be kissed.

This book is, apparently, a standalone. I’m not usually the kind of person who begs for a sequel, but in this case, I do believe it as a necessity. The ending was too abrupt to really give the reader any closure, and a lot of the questions raised weren’t answered.

Overall, a good read, a fantastic idea, but it failed to deliver.


Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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