Friday, August 28, 2009

Book Review: "Dreamhunter" by Elizabeth Knox

You are now only 100 yards from the border to the Place.

Laura comes from 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 the ability to catch larger-than-life dreams and relay them to audiences in the magnificent dream palace. 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 old enough to find out if they qualify to enter the Place. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to discover. In the midst of a fascinating landscape, Laura's dreamy childhood is ending, and a nightmare is beginning.


Well, I must first start out saying this book was VERY unique. Even though I will review this as best as I can, you still will not be able to experience the unbelievable aura of "the Place" until you read this yourself! You will close the book when finished reading it and wish you could cross to the Place and be a dreamhunter yourself. This is a promise.

Laura Hame and her cousin Rose, have been best of friends growing up their whole lives, inseparable. Laura's father, Tziga and Rose's mother, Grace, are 2 of the most famous "dreamhunters" to ever live. What is a dreamhunter? I think it would be better understood if we went over what "the Place" was first. Bordered on all four sides, the place is only accessible by those fortunate enough to be able to cross the border. There are distinct areas where the border is marked. When someone walks up to the border and tries to cross, 1 of 2 things happen. Either you continue to walk the same path you have been walking, or if you are one of the few, once you pass that imaginary border, you disappear and end up somewhere totally different, somewhere where the sun does not show itself or go down, the temperature does not change, water is nonexistent and fires can not be lit, "the Place". No one knows how big the Place is, although there are several maps of it, they are incomplete, as it has never been fully explored. Why go into the Place? What is so special about crossing this imaginary border and being transported to this strange place?

Those who can cross the border into the Place, shall travel to known (and unknown) parts, fall asleep, and catch a dream the way ordinary people catch colds. They catch a certain dream, bring it back across the border, and "perform" their dream for many people, hence the title "dreamhunters". This is done either in private parlors, other places such as hospitals and prisons (I bet your wondering why the heck in those places!) or in the Dream Palace. In the Dream Palace, the dreamhunter falls asleep in center stage on a lifted platform bed. Similar to box seats at a theatre, several of these suites are surrounding the dreamhunter. The difference is that instead of seats, there are bed. These people fall asleep, and the dreamhunter "shares" their dream with whomever is within the palace. Everyone shares the same dream, almost compared to that of a live performance or like going to see a movie.

Now that you understand what a dreamhunter is, heres the scoop. Laura's dad had discovered the Place some 20 years ago, being the first known dreamhunter. He came out and started sharing these dreams and soon built an enormous amount of wealth with his new found talent. In time, a select few others had discovered that they too possess this amazing ability. Some use their talents to soothe, others for entertainment, and then there are others who use them to manipulate the mind.

Rose's mom, Grace is also one of the most famous dreamhunters that exist. She and Laura's dad have performed their dreams over the years to support their families as well as for the general good of people. Since Laura lost her mother when she was young, her uncle, Rose's dad Chorley, stayed home and for the most part has been the girl's primary caregiver. When the girls turn 15, it is their turn to "try", which is a ritual where many line up and cross the border in hope of vanishing and appearing in the Place.

As Laura and rose "try", Laura finds out that she is a dreamhunter just like her father and aunt while Rose, who has expected to be her whole life, is not. From here, the action takes off. Tziga has disappeared and is nowhere to be found. He leaves clues for Laura that take her on a mission to correct some wrongs that he has created over the years. As she ventures to places that few have traveled so far into the Place, she learns that she has the powers to create a servant. This servant is created with an old family song and is made up of sand and clay. Called "NOWN", her servant has been created several times over the years by her ancestors. It is hard for me to describe this servant other than to just tell you to picture creating a giant person in the sand at the beach and having it come to life.

Laura and her servant follow clues that her father has left behind that ultimately lead her to a place where she catches a special dream, a nightmare of a dream. As powerful as Laura is as a dreamhunter, her father has instructed her to go to the Palace on a special day in which many of the prominent and wealthy all come out and share a special dream performed by her aunt, Grace. Tziga has instructed Laura, who is one of the few who can do this, to "overdream" her aunt's dream and fill it with her own, a horrible nightmare that her father once dreamed.

Tziga is thought to be dead. It is told that he entered the Place on a journey to attempt to cross the Place. Is that what really happened to him? Is he really dead? Why does he have Laura do such a horrible thing and put such a devastating nightmare (I can not spoil it and tell you what the nightmare is) in all of these people's minds? What will come of things now that Laura has shared this nightmare with so many? Well, you can find out some of these answers in "The Dreamhunter" and in the conclusion to the 2 part series titled "Dreamquake". My suggestion, BUY THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. There is doubt in my mind that you will read the last page of Dreamhunter and immediately go to page 1 of Dreamquake without hesitation.

If that was a bit confusing, I apologize, but there simply is no way to really describe the contents of this book with any clear sense of words. If you are not sold on my review, and your head is spinning trying to figure out what the heck you just read, trust me...if you read this, it will all be clear and you will be amazed. And if you don't want to take my word for it, there is this little known author who wrote this little know book, Stephenie Meyer said about Dreamhunter, "It is like nothing else I've ever read. The characters are so real, you'll feel like you know exactly what they look like and how their voices sound and what they would say or do in any given situation. More than that, you'll want to hang out with them. Then the world is so amazing and unique. You will want to go there. You will want to walk into "the Place" and you will want to sleep in a dream opera."

Definitely a must read!


Ooh, while I have your attention (hopefully)....what are we going to give away for our next contest??? Im ARC of "Fire" by Kristin Cashore. For those of you who don't know, "Fire" is the prequel to Kristin's great first book "Graceling". If you have read "Graceling", then you are probably already waiting for "Fire" which comes out in October I believe. If not, get out there to your local bookstore (or as I have said before, if you are THAT lazy, there is a link to Barnes and Noble at the bottom of this page you can use) and check out " Graceling".....I loved it, so you probably will too! :O)


  1. Please stop reviewing books that sound interesting. I'm not going to get anything done with me life because my book list is getting so long.

    Thanks for another good one. Adding it to my list....stocking up on frozen pizzas for the kids....telling them it's okay to were pjs for 3 days straight....

  2. Crazy,
    Well.....ok...i promise ill try to review ONLY the most boring books I can possibly find that im usually sleeping before I can even see when the book was published. I will definitely try and NOT review anything that even remotely could give you that rush of a NEW, EXCITING, JAW DROPPING, EYES GLUED TO THE PAGE TYPE, NO SLEEP GETTING book that you just HAVE TO ADD TO YOUR LIST or possibly even rearrange your list because this book sounds SO GOOD that you HAVE to run out and BREAK INTO YOUR NEAREST BOOK STORE for. But......only because you insist! :O)


    Can I just do a few more awesome books?? Please??

  3. CONGRATS on your blog! I found you on the Ning site. I just wanted to welcome you to the book blogging community, I am new to this myself but am now a follower on your site!

  4. Lisa,
    Thanks so much! We have a lot of fun around here AND the fun is just beginning. There is some good news coming up soon that should make everyone happy...clue: it involves a few big publishers and a whole bunch of review books which means that = lots of giveaways and contests...and feel free to post your site on here for people to check out!

  5. Hi gang,

    I seen you on the ning site and thought I would stop by and say hi. This book sounds really interesting.

    Stop by and say hi anytime on my blog,

  6. Thanks, Dave. My family will really appreciate it. But since you're being so polite about the whole thing, I guess it would be alright to review a FEW more awesome books, but only a few.....

  7. This book sounds wonderful. Will you have books that more than one of you will review? That would be fun to see the different takes on the same book by your family members.

  8. This is a very interesting sounding book. I haven't heard of it before now, but I think you've sold me on the idea that I should keep my eyes peeled for this.

    Even better, Stephanie Meyer blurbs this book? Awesome. (Who is she, btw? ^,^ kidding!)

    Graceling is an awesome book! I, for one, look forward to the contest for the prologue, Fire. Also, I like the timer gadget you made for Fire, TLGBRS. Really nice. Congrats on 44 followers too. ^,^

  9. Wow, that's one I'm going to get sight unseen. I can almost always remember my own dreams, so this is right up my alley.