January 8, 2016

Review: Dreamwalker (Dreamwalker #1) by C.S. Friedman




I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!

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Gabby-2013The premise of author C.S. Friedman’s Dreamwalker was promising. I’ve always found that novels that deal with dreaming have always held a particularly soft spot in my heart. Naturally, I inclined myself toward this novel after cracking open the very first page. In all honesty, I’m still not too sure where I stand with Dreamwalker after having finished the novel. It was definitely a unique experience, to say the least.

After dreaming of various worlds for as long as she can remember, Jessica Drake is no stranger to the weird. Some of the worlds of her dreaming are like our very own and others are abominations of it. When Jessica is forced to take a DNA test, she discovers that her parents aren’t her parents at all. The worst part of knowing this is the internal conflict it poses between herself and her nerdy brother Tommy who develops games based on her dream worlds. Jessica describes herself as a chimera—somebody who exists and doesn’t. When Jessica begins to seek out answers, her worst nightmares come true. Her brother disappears—or more accurately, has been kidnapped—and the only thing she can do is search for him alongside others who are chimeras, just like her. But the search for Tommy is unlike anything that Jessica could ever imagine and danger is never too far away.

Right off the bat, what intrigued me with Dreamwalker was the very first chapter of the novel. It’s an introduction to what is to come and is told beautifully in the third person. I’ve always been a sucker for stories that are well-written in the third person. There’s something lyrical and beautiful about a novel that uses third person and works. If there is one thing about Dreamwalker that I adored it was Friedman’s stellar use of the third person.

However, after the first chapter, we meet Jessica. Each chapter told from Jessica’s point of view is told in the first person. There are various chapters scattered around the novel that are told from the point of views of other characters and, as such, in the third person. I was so conflicted and torn while reading because I just couldn’t bring myself to be as intrigued by Jessica as I was by the secondary characters surrounding her.

I also found that Friedman’s prose could become very wordy at times. I constantly found that there were needless sentences of dialogue that made my mind water. There were paragraphs told from Jessica’s point of view that were meant to give us insight into her mind considering her current circumstances, but if anything, they created distance between her and I. I’m not sure what it was about Jessica, but I just couldn’t relate to her as a reader beyond her need to defend her brother.

What I think truly took away from my experience while reading was the choppy pacing of the novel. There were instances that kept me on the edge of my seat, and then there were instances where I was flipping pages wondering what was supposed to be going on. The pacing of the novel is very inconsistent. If you’re a reader who wants a story that will keep you turning pages and unable to set the novel down, Dreamwalker might not offer you that experience. However if lengthy explanations and exposition are your thing, then maybe it will.

I would recommend Dreamwalker to readers who are looking for a novel that is unique. If you’re a reader who likes original ideas that are presented in a very specific way, then Dreamwalker might also work out for you. Readers who love adventure should also look into giving it a shot. Just because Dreamwalker wasn’t entirely my cup of tea, certainly doesn’t mean that it won’t be yours. Happy reading!


[about-author author=”C.S. Friedman”]


1 Comment

  1. Megan

    It’s really too bad that the writing style you loved in the first chapter didn’t carry through the entire book. But it does sound like it could be an interesting read.

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