Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review: Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox

Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox

Paperback: 464 pgs
Publisher: Square Fish


The dreamhunting began as a beautiful thing, when Tziga Hame discovered that he could enter the Place and share the dreams he found there with other people. But Tziga Hame has disappeared and Laura, his daughter, knows that the art of projecting dreams has turned sour. On St. Lazarus's Eve, when elite citizens gather at the Rainbow Opera to experience the sweet dream of Homecoming, Laura, determined to show them the truth, plunges them into the nightmare used to control the convict workers. The event marks the first blow in the battle for control of the Place, the source of dreams. Then, when Laura's cousin, Rose, uncovers evidence that the government has been building a secret rail line deep into the Place, Laura follows it to find out what lies at its end. As she struggles to counter the government's sinister plans, a deeper mystery surfaces, a puzzle only Laura can unravel, a puzzle having to do with the very nature of the Place. What is the Place, after all? And what does it want from her?

My thoughts:

Dreamquake is the companion novel to Dreamhunter, which I mentioned quite happily in one of my earliest posts, saying. "It was fantastic, I loved it and I can't wait to get my hands on the second one." It really was great; so great in fact that I freaked out when I finally found a copy of Dreamquake a good six months after reading the first one and snatched it off the shelf in a frenzy, determined to not let anyone else get it.

The beginning opens with a recap of the ending of Dreamhunter through the eyes of others involved in the incident at the Rainbow Opera. This was fine, but it made it a little hard to care, as Knox jumped from person to person, not spending enough time with any one character to actually connect with them. Once she was finished giving a full retelling, she then progressed through time so fast it felt like nothing was happening. Something happened, and then two months later something else happened.

After the first hundred pages or so, it finally felt like Knox settled into her story and stopped darting all over the place and she win me back over. There are definitely surprises that come out of no where, and things you think you have figured out turn out to be completely different. The characters are true to book one while still managing to grow, which they do beautifully even though sometimes it makes you want to cry. Knox doesn't answer every last question, leaving you wondering just what happened and hoping for more.

The epilogue was good, but it felt a little rushed. I had to flip back a page or two to double check something because she didn't spell everything out. In  fact it made me think of the epilogue in Deathly Hallows, only with more plot and less cheesy.

If it wasn't for the jumpy beginning that made it hard to get into, I would have fallen in love with this book as much as I did its predecessor, Dreamhunter. However, Knox made up for it and won me back over fairly quickly. It was a pleasure to read, and I recommend both novels of the Dreamhunter Duet.

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