Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia
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.
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.