What if it were possible to live two very different lives in two separate worlds? What if the dreams we awaken from are the fading memories of that second life? What if one day we woke up in the wrong world?
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book... man, what a treasure! I am so glad I stumbled upon it. I can only thank K.M. Weiland for her leading me to her story, since I've been reading and trying to follow along with her writing advice.
Immediately, I found myself connecting with Chris Redston, the main character of the story. Usually, it takes me two or more chapters to settle down and decide if I like the main character enough to want to follow them through the rest of the story. My connection with Chris was stronger than with any character than I can remember in recent memory. And that thrilled me.
Due to college, the first 25 to 40% were kind of slow, and it took me longer than I liked to get reading. But then I couldn't put it down, and I ended up eating up the rest of the novel like it was the best of Swiss chocolate. Everything was so well-rounded, and you knew what all the main players were doing when you needed to know what they were going. Usually, writers tend to follow the main character and sometimes the deuteragonist, and other important characters would pop up and strike with their plot-twisting purpose before promptly vanishing again. But not in Dreamlander.
You followed Chris, Allara, and Orias Tarn almost evenly throughout this 60-chapter story.
So his life was careening toward a dead end.
So he was using work as an excuse to run away.
At least it was safe. At least it was sane. Mostly.
I loved the genre of this story so much. I went in thinking it was a high fantasy and wondering exactly what the glowing device was in Chris' hand on the cover. But then it quickly occurred to me, when Chris became more and more immersed in the "dream world" - the world Chris would go to when he fell asleep - that it was high fantasy mixed with steampunk. And I love steampunk just as much as fantasy and science fiction.
K.M. Weiland's writing voice was so smooth that it didn't distract me from the story. The dream world and the countries of Lael and Koraud felt so real that I could see myself navigating the streets as if I was following Chris as he went about. I didn't want to leave when Chris left.
I felt fear and connected with the events of the story when I was introduced to the protesters and eventual terrorists/rebels who joined with the bad guys. Nateros (I think that was how it was spelled) echoed with so many things that are happening today, in reality, and it took my breath away, because she was able to make it believable.
This is definitely a book I would like to get in physical format when and if she makes a sequel for it (because I've heard she's been considering it...). And I definitely want to read it again someday. Great job, K.M.!
There was so much I felt when reading this story, but there's no possible way I would be able to put it all down!