(Book One in the Dreamhunter Duet)
by: Elizabeth Knox
Brief Summary: Cousins Laura and Rose live in a world made and decided by dreams. Their respective parents are famous Dreamhunters – part of a select group of people who can enter The Place, where dreams can be caught and returned to the public for profit. The girls have finally reached the age when they can Try and attempt to enter The Place like their parents. But Laura’s dad – the first known Dreamhunter – has gone missing, leaving Laura with only a crazed demand and disjointed clues to determine what mysteries he was trying to uncover in The Place and where he might have gone.
Kell’s Chatty Review: This book was not even close to what I expected, truth be told. Which doesn’t surprise me, because I think it’s really hard to put into words what this book is about without spoiling most of the story. Even the setting is hard to describe (it’s an alternative history in what, as far as I can tell, is a fictional country of Earth?).
What did stand out immediately: was the quality of writing. Description, description, description. The time period emerges (turn of the 20th century) through Knox’s writing in an absolutely gorgeous way. I never felt that the descriptions were overdone or unnecessary, but rather that they created a lovely mood for the book.
It was also interesting reading: this book so soon after the Hunger Games trilogy. Dreamhunter almost read like a dystopian novel. In fact, the plot could just as easily be set in the future, complete with political intrigue, suspicion and corruption (like all good dystopian novels). I wouldn’t necessarily call it a Read-Alike for The Hunger Games, but it certainly is the closest I have encountered on the Printz list thus far.
As I approached: the end of the book, I wasn’t sure if it was wrapping itself up (thus making the sequel a standalone) or creating a cliffhanger. And it’s really a bit of both. Having read the first one, I want to read the second one because there are so many questions that have gone unanswered. But, at the same time, I’m not racing over to the shelf because something crazy happened on the last page and I can’t breathe unless I know what happened.
Even so: I’m convinced that you need to read book one to understand book two. SO MUCH needs to be explained and there are so many little details that would need to be re-explained. I just don’t see the second one (without having read it yet, mind you) working as a stand alone. Which is why I’m even more intrigued about the second one being selected for the Printz honor and not the first.
The Secret Printz: So, if by chance you would ever decide one day that you would like to read all the Printz books, Dreamhunter will not be on your list. But, you’ll probably have to read it anyway as its counter-part (Dreamquake) was an honoree in 2008. So, even though it is not on a list for me to check off, it is nice not to have to think “wait, there’s one more I have to read because I would like to understand its sequel.” Granted, maybe book 2 can be read as a standalone. I will report back with that information, promise.
What I most wanted to do after reading this book: While the book didn’t end with a huge BANG, it did end with enough questions that I wrote down the call number for number 2 immediately after finishing the book.
Where this book came from: The library!