Thursday, July 19, 2012
REVIEW: Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
Audience: Adult/Young Adult Crossover
Summary: Laura comes from a world similar to our own except for one difference: it is next to the Place, an unfathomable land that fosters dreams of every kind and is inaccessible to all but a select few, the Dreamhunters. These are individuals with special gifts: the ability to catch larger-than-life dreams and relay them to audiences in the magnificent dream palace, the Rainbow Opera. People travel from all around to experience the benefits of the hunters’ unique visions. Now fifteen-year-old Laura and her cousin Rose, daughters of Dreamhunters, are eligible to test themselves at the Place and find out whether they qualify for the passage. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to discover. For within the Place lies a horrific secret kept hidden by corrupt members of the government. And when Laura’s father, the man who discovered the Place, disappears, she realizes that this secret has the power to destroy everyone she loves . . .
This book is a well-written jaunt into an alternate Australia set in the Edwardian era. The difference is that in this Australia, there are people that can capture dreams and share them with others. They are called Dreamhunters, and the best are well-paid celebrities, so that almost every person desires to join their ranks. Laura and Rose are no exception.
This alternate world is well-imagined and keeps developing as the plot progresses in a believable manner. The ending does not provide any sort of resolution to the reader, but it is clearly stated on the cover that it is part of a duet, and other than that one caveat, the plot is well-paced, develops in an absorbing manner, and the cliff-hanger at the end of the novel leaves the reader eager for more.
Laura and Rose are likable and the mysterious disappearance of Laura's father just serves to bolster the reader's affinity for them. If you like to read fantasy and are looking for a new world, with well-developed characters to explore this is the book for you.