Review: Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Published By: Hachette / HarperTeen (US)
Pages: 332
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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking:

Never interfere.
Never be seen.
Never walk the same person’s dream more than once.

Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town, and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

From talented debut author Robert L. Anderson comes a stunning, complex, and imaginative story of the fine line between our dreams and reality.

Review: Dea walks through people dreams - that is just what she does. She doesn’t know why she is able to do this, but she knows that she needs to do it. If she doesn’t, she starts to get sick. But that is not the biggest issue that dream walking has - there are very strict rules - never be seen, never interfere and never walk the same person’s dreams more than once.

Her whole life has been filled with rules, clocks, dangerous mirrors, and dreams - and that has been okay, until she meets Connor. Connor is the mysterious new boy, and more importantly, he has mysteries of his own. And this is where Dea decides to break some of the rules. Some very important rules.

As Dea becomes more immerged in the dream world, she uncovers faceless men and monsters, secrets and dangers. She also learns herself, her abilities and the secrets that lay in the world beyond.

I am not going to lie, Dreamland is a slow starter. It takes a while to get into the nitty-gritty of the storyline… but the premise is so intriguing that you don’t feel like you want to put it down because it is taking a while. I mean, dream walking is an intriguing subject, filled with so many possibilities - both pleasant and dark. And dark - this is where this book got me. I am drawn to darker storylines… mysteries and monsters, dangers and creepiness. And while there is a bit of all of this in Dreamland, it fell just a little bit flat for me. There certainly was darkness and creepiness throughout this story, but it was just the tip of the iceberg, and I wanted more. I wanted more dream walking, more creepiness, more…. disturbing things.

While the story was somewhat predictable, this book could either be a standalone or the beginning of a series. The story ends at a place where you are happy with the answers provided, but just beneath the surface there are so many questions left unanswered. And while I am okay with how the story (rather abruptly) ended, I think overall I just wanted more depth to the dream walking/ dreamland side of things. It was a teaser on how complex this world is, a taste of how disturbing it can be, and a hint of how crazy and creepy it could really be. I guess ultimately, I wanted more world building.

Dreamland is a little bit fantasy, a little bit mystery and a little bit thriller. The descriptive writing will certainly pull you in and impress you with the vivid imagery it creates. This world is filled dreams and secrets, mysteries and dangers, confusion and lies, twists and revelation’s… and it will certainly make you think before you go to sleep at night :)



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