Review: Dreamfire by Kit Alloway

April 17, 2015 Review 20 ★★★

Review: Dreamfire by Kit Alloway
Dreamfire by Kit Alloway
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia
Source: Publisher
Pages: 368
Release Date: February 25th, 2015
Series: Dreamfire #1
Genres: Bedtime & Dreams, Paranormal, Young Adult
Unlike most seventeen-year-olds, Joshlyn Weaver has a sacred duty, to enter the Dream universe we all share and defeat nightmares.  To fail is to release those nightmares into the world, with all the emotional turmoil they cause.

But despite Josh's reputation as a dream-walking prodigy, she's haunted by her mistakes.  A lapse in judgment and the death of someone she loved has left her doubting.  Now she's been assigned an apprentice, a boy whose steady gaze appears to see right through her, and she's almost as afraid of getting close to someone again as she is of getting them killed.

Then strangers with impossible powers begin appearing in the Dream and it isn't just Will that Josh has to protect – it's the whole world.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

bec (2)

DREAMFIRE was such an interesting book to read. I mean, it’s about Dreamwalkers, people who enter nightmares and help resolve them. Add in some villains and character conflicts to the dream lore and you have a nice little novel there. It was the perfect thing to keep me entertained while I had no internet for a few days (the struggles).

The plot of DREAMFIRE is quite slow to build. Most of the first half of the novel is introducing you to the hundreds of characters (there are so many and they all have strange names), the dreamwalker society, and the dream lore itself. We learnt a lot of things as Will, the new apprentice, did which was probably the best way to do it because there was a lot of info to digest. At the same time, hints are dropped about past character conflicts and the new threat to the dream world of the main plot. The information overload did feel a little overwhelming at first, but as we moved through into the greater plot and connections started being made, DREAMFIRE became very interesting (and there were some great little twists/plot developments I didn’t expect). Speed does pick up at the end, but overall DREAMFIRE isn’t an action packed, fast paced novel.

Being slow paced usually means character driven in my head. Looking back after finishing, I can see all the character development that went on, but when I was reading it didn’t feel like much was happening with them. Sure, they had their past drama to deal with, but all the emotions that came with that sometimes seemed extreme and came out at random places. It didn’t help that none of the characters really intrigued me. Aside from dreamwalking they were pretty boring. The exception being Haley who is fascinating for spoilery reasons.

The villains are another exception to the boring characters. They are so, so intriguing and I’m sad more time wasn’t developing them. Though there are hints that we haven’t seen the last of them. They have the potential to be some of the creepiest, most villainous villains I’ve ever read in fiction and I am excited. Especially after that epilogue.

Flat characters meant I never really felt the tension or appeal of the slow burn romance, though some of the late scenes near the end were nice. Not a lot of time is spent on the romance either, plot and world building are the main focus points of DREAMFIRE. And there was a lot of emotional baggage the characters had to deal with before they were even ready to consider romance so I’m glad it isn’t a massive part of DREAMFIRE.

DREAMFIRE never blew me away, but is was an enjoyable read. (I read it after a five star read. It had a lot to live up to) I loved the dream lore and the walking through nightmares, and the villains who could have been developed more and played bigger roles in the plot of this first book, which really just set a lot of things up for the sequels. The only thing that really let me down was that most of the characters were meh, though they did start to show more personality as the story moved on. I would like to read the rest of the sequels when they come out because I have the feeling everything is going to get bigger and better from here. I’d recommend DREAMFIRE to people looking for an interesting new YA paranormal read that won’t emotionally traumatize you.

Rating Report
Overall: 3

20 Responses to “Review: Dreamfire by Kit Alloway”

    • Bec

      There are many times I have had no internet -__- It sucks but at least it’s good for study XD

      The letter Penguin sent with the book made it sound like it was a trilogy and they way the book ended definitely left it open for more..

  1. Kirsty-Marie

    I don’t mind a slow plot buuuut a lot of characters with strange names? I will cry. I have trouble remembering 7 characters… Ugh, some info dumping, but if it’s connected to what you later read, then not so bad. :( Mostly boring characters? Nooooooooo. I mean, come on, if it is more character driven, you need memorable characters. :(
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes

    • Bec

      There were so many characters with long names it was crazy! Once I got used to it it wasn’t so annoying but the beginning was tiresome.

  2. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    OOoh nice! Just read another amazing review of this one! It’s a day for Dreamfire apparently! I was intrigued by it from earlier reviews and it’s in my TBR Mountain of Doom, I just need to work my way to it! It sounds different and I like that! I like dreamworld type reads because I just find them complex and intriguing! Sounds like this read is going to be entertaining, if at a slower pace! Great review!
    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted…Follow Friday

  3. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Eeep, no internet for a few days? The struggle is real! Thankfully us readers can always find wireless ways to entertain ourselves ;) Well the dream walking aspect of this one has definitely caught my attention. I think stuff about dreams is freaking fascinating, I could read about it for ever! It’s unfortunate that the pacing and characters were so much more lackluster than the premise itself. As much as I’m a big character reader, I might still check this one out, since the premise alone sounds totally worth it :)
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Let’s Discuss…(1)

    • Bec

      No internet for a few days is my life as of late. I am so thankful for books.

      The dream mythology is fascinating!

  4. Abby @ Enthralling Reads

    First books of a series are very tricky since it introduces us to the world. Takes a lot of pages for the blah blah world of blah blah. I don’t really like slow paced books, it makes me a little impatient. BUT I love that this book is character driven and has intriguing villains. That’s a big yes for me :D I hope in the next books the characters will be more interesting.

    No internet for a few days? THE HORROR.

    I hope you’re doing great! Great review, Bec! :D
    Abby @ Enthralling Reads recently posted…Heart Eyes Everywhere: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

    • Bec

      It is very hard to introduce series, especially in books with fantasy/paranormal elements! I wish the villains had a bigger role sooner, then it may have felt a little faster.

      Thanks :)

  5. Faye M.

    Dreamfire is going to be the next big Paranormal YA series, let me tell you!! I wish you had loved this one more, Bec, because I absolutely loved it so much – the world-building, characters, everything, so it does make me a weeee bit sad that it was a 3 star read for you. Nevertheless, I hope you love the sequels because I also feel it would get more epic from there!
    Faye M. recently posted…ARC Review: Rook by Sharon Cameron

    • Bec

      Good villains do need depth and good backstories, but I think I’d prefer that effort to go ino the characters we follow for most of the story.

  6. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

    Hmm, well I guess this could make a nice read, if no internet for a few days (though, really, ouchhh!!) I’m not going to prioritize it, because I do prefer when I love my main characters and my books to be fast-paced or contain action/adventure, but I’ll be considering it! Nice review!
    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books recently posted…Review: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

    • Bec

      It might be a book to keep in mind if you’re ever in the mood for something a little slower than normal :) Thanks!

  7. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Yeah, this one had a really interesting concept but my problem with it was that it’s so slow! I didn’t read this one too long ago and even now I can’t remember much about it, whoops. I did think the villains were pretty interesting though, but it was kind of random how it popped up at the end. Great review Bec!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Read Play Blog #10 – Gaming Merchandise

    • Bec

      It took a while to gain momentum! Reading a lot of big epic adult fantasy before I got into YA has given me a lot of patience though. Having the villains appear earlier might have helped the pace a little more.

      Thanks :)

  8. Wattle

    I am amused that you say it won’t emotionally traumatise lol maybe I’ll think about picking it up, based on that fact alone ;) I have seen a few reviews that feel the same as you do about this one, it’s a pity the characters were a bit flat.
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review: Wait! by Stacey Nash

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