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The Dreamsnatcher

(Dreamsnatcher #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  848 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare - the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life.

Because Moll is more important than she knows… The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has alwa
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Children's
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  848 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Rebecca McNutt
Eerily haunting yet strikingly fantastic and magical as well, The Dreamsnatcher is an excellent and original novel with a lot of imagination behind it.
Emma Carroll
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a debut! 'The Dreamsnatcher' is so fast paced it left me breathless!
The story follows feisty young Moll and her wildcat Gryff on their quest to destroy the magic of the Soul Splinter, which has already claimed the lives of Moll's parents. The world-building is superb: we have a gypsy camp, tree spirits, old woodlands and heath, magic systems, talismans, all intermingled to create a rich, atmospheric narrative. The chapters are short and pacy with plenty of horse galloping, tree climbin
Chelley Toy
This review was originally posted on

I literally have so much to say about this book that I am really hoping that this review can do this debut authors book justice! I loved this book..... a lot! Since the end of Harry Potter I have been looking for a book and / or book series that could fill that Harry Potter void in my life. A book that has the right mix of great characters, humour, magic and action! It's taken me a while...and I present to you The Dreamsnatcher!

The D
Matt Woods
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book fills you with imagination. You can feel the darkness seeping through the pages, yet to discover the light through fantastic writing by Abi Elphinstone. I loved the story and each characters prospective within it. Brilliant writing. Brilliant story. Can't wait for the sequel next year!!!!
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
I had high expectations for this, which in hindsight probably sabotaged my reading experience. Is "gypsy" a derogatory term? If so, this book has a major problem there as it refers to the main character and her community as "gypsies." I didn't connect with the characters at all and didn't understand their motivations. There was no world building and the bad guys seemed unreal and ridiculous to me. It seemed a bit like the author thought up a cool name for something and then stopped developing th ...more
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun and scary middle grade fantasy adventure for 9-12 year olds.

The creepy prologue, gives way to an opening chapter filled with action, and Moll makes an enjoyable and opinionated hyperactive-heroine, who barely stops moving throughout the book. She's the sort who says what she's thinks, and means what she says. Clearly and beautifully written with lots of action and movement, so you can almost see her. I loved her line in insults - calling Alfie a spudmucker, and telling him to wipe his beh
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Dream Snatcher is a vibrant story of youth, discovery, love and loyalty in a world where, across the river, dark revelations awake.

The story follows the adventures of Moll Pecksniff, an orphaned Romani traveller whose dreams are plagued by dark visions of a masked man shrouded in fire and night. But she is not alone. A ferociously loyal wildcat is her companion and Moll soon meets up with Alfie whose own past is as mysterious as hers. Together they must face the flames and the darkness for t
With my ever growing TBR pile I didn’t think I’d read Abi Elphinstone’s debut prior to publication but much like Moll being called the Dreamsnatch there was something about this book that kept calling me. I just kept picking it up so better read it to find out why.

I loved the world-building and characters. There is this bit towards the end, which I won’t spoil because it’s SO awesome and that would be mean but I was literally happy-clapping while reading it. The clue is ‘tree’. When you reach it
The Dreamsnatcher is a thrilling page-turner. It really is. I am a great fan of the author, and have read quite a few of her books, so really enjoyed this one. I was taken on a journey with Moll and Griff, and then Alfie, weaving through each page one by one. The definition of a GoodRead!
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a lot darker than Abi's other books i've read and was quite jarring at times. It was a mixture of magical and fantasy and then every now and again someone will pop a gun out of their pocket and shoot it into the sky. It was a bit of an odd mixture and I really didn't know how to take it.

I did enjoy it and was immersed by the story but there was something that held it back from being a five star review for me and i'm not sure what it was. The world-building was just a bit off - it was n
JackAndrew Harford
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story!

As soon as I started reading this book I was drawn in to the world of Moll and Gryff. There is excitement written into near enough every page which helps the story keeps it's fast pace. As I was reading I found myself becoming more and more involved in the relationship between Moll and Gryff and think that most children would be able to relate to it. The relationship between them both made me as a reader feel a surge of different emotions from happiness, anxiety and sadness
Fi's Journey
"Gypsies, travellers, wandering people, we believe our souls are part of our natural surroundings - wild and free. That when we walk through the forests, the heath, the fields or the moors, our souls walk beside us, as a shadow."

I enjoyed this story. It was fast-paced, mysterious, and funny. I loved that there is a wild cat in the story. Animals are always the best part, as they are more awesome than most humans.

It had some original parts inside the story that I enjoyed. I also enjoyed the d
Harriet Mitchell
Possibly because I read the book in such a stop-start fashion on bus journeys, I found it took longer than expected to get into.

However, in my opinion, the book got better as it went on so I am now looking forward to finding out how the adventure continues when the sequel is published later this year.
Rounded up to 5* because got me out of a reading slump. Definitely will read next in series. Gripping and well imagined.
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5. But that may be because I didn't want it to end where it did!
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book had been on my shelf a few weeks and so I took the decision after ploughing my way through a 10 book series that I needed a quick read and this was my choice.

The story follows Moll and her wild cat Gryff on their quest to destroy the magic of the Soul Splinter after it took the lives of Molls parents.

The world building in this book is superb and the writing captivates it’s reader with a fast spaced narrative. The sense of good and bad is fantastically built up with any reader it has on
Rosie Morgan
This book hovered between a 4 and a 5 star for me. In the end the 4 won.
(However, I'm presently reading the sequel, which speaks volumes . . . if you'll excuse the pun. Furthermore, I've already bought the third in the series!)
For me there were a few episodes which went on a little too long, but the writing and the characterisation was strong. I liked Moll, Siddy and Alfie and their relationships. The humour made me smile too - I loved Sid's pets. And the setting was believable and real.
The st
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Moll Pecksniff is a gypsy girl who sets out to defeat the darkness that plagues the forest, her home and her dreams. She is accompanied by her loyal, but fierce, wildcat and her new frenemy, Alfie- who's past is as much of a mystery as her own. This is a fast paced and exciting book filled with adventure and passion from the word go. The descriptive language enables the reader to join Moll on her quest and be in her world for a short time. Can't wait to read the next in the series!
Karen Amer
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book, intriguing, full of suspense and so well written. A fantastic message about family being those around you and being stronger together.
Pippa Wilson
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A review of Abi Elphinstone's "The Dream Snatcher" by Pippa Wilson
Cover art by Thomas Flintham


So what did I think?
Endorsed on the front cover by Piers Torday as "Fast paced and full of charm", and further endorsed on the back cover by Katherine Rundell as "An outstanding debut packed with suspense, adventure and heart", you know straight away that "The Dream Snatcher" is going to be more than a bit special. In all truthfulness, it was the gorgeous
Beth (bibliobeth)
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Life has been so crazy recently that this post which should have gone up the end of July is finally being published in (almost) mid-August - oops! The Dreamsnatcher is our seventh book in the Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit Challenge for 2019 and I was particularly excited to dive into this one after hearing great things about both the author and the series in general. I adore the front cover, it's quirky, cute and magical and the fantastical premise gave me high hopes that I was going to thoroughly ...more
Anne Fien
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok sit down and listen. This book is absolutely amazing. You know how the author's name Abi Elphinstone pretty much sounds like she's a badass fairy princess? Well the book is just as awesome.
I want every child to read this book, I want it to become the new Harry Potter about a girl, because boys are weird. I want this book to have all the things. But also I really really want to get my hands on The Shadow Keeper RIGHT NOW!!!

I'll try to make this into a coherent review, but I can't promise anyth
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a print copy of this title from the publisher for review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Moll is drawn to the clearing where Skull waits in her dreams. Will she be strong enough to resist the call?

I have been amazed and gratified of late to see the incredible originality coming from authors of UK middle grade. The Dreamsnatcher is certainly part of this parade of quality storytelling.

Apart from the adventurous storyline and themes of belonging, identity and loyalty that pervade the book, there is
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Dreamsnatcher is a debut filled with magic, charm and a good dollop of sass. So much fun!

Abi Elphinstone has a gorgeous writing style: lyrical and evocative, it sets the scene of Oak’s camp and the Ancientwood perfectly. I love Moll and the camp’s gypsy life. A childhood of climbing trees, making pets out of earthworms, learning about natural potions and remedies; a dream childhood. It has made Moll fierce, brave, mischievous and a little wild. Add some of the phrases that come out of her a
Yolanda Sfetsos
I've had my eye on this book for a while so when I found out I could borrow it from my local library, I put it on hold.

Moll is an adventurous young girl who lives in a clearing in the forest. She also happens to be a gypsy, and even has a cool wagon. Oh, and she's got a wildcat called Gryff.

The night her nightmares take her over the river's boundary she's determined to get her stolen cob back. But the horrible Skull has taken Jinx and he's a witch doctor who has some very evil plans for Moll. N
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Dreamsnatcher is all about a young girl called Moll, she is a gypsy but has never felt like she belonged as she did not know her parents. Every night she gets the same dream and it takes her further and further out of the clearing. One night she wakes near the river and as her horse Jinxed had been stolen by Skulls camp she went to rescue her. What happens once she enters the camp for the first time changes her life in a big way.

An adventure begins, she needs to stop Skull and the other Witc
Kieran Fanning
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pacey adventure set in the rather enclosed confines of a forest. The MC, Moll is a feisty, pig-headed, brave and spirited kid, who with her wildcat sidekick, Gryff, reminds us strongly of Lyra Belacqua and her daemon, Pantalaimon. The story is full of gypsy lore and superstition, and magic, both good and bad, permeates the text. The good magic is composed of Moll's love and loyalty and the gypsies affinity with the forest around them. 'Things that are important are mostly invisible to ...more
Abi Elphinstone has conjured a captivating world in The Dreamsnatcher. I was enchanted from the first pages and barely drew breath from start to finish. Super fast paced, the story begins midst a daring rescue and unfolding of Moll’s story. Like protagonist Sophie in Howl’s Moving Castle, who doesn’t know her true identity, or Harry Potter who grew up with no knowledge of his background, Moll is also a wonderfully likeable limited narrator, whose story is revealed, to us and to her, bit by bit ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that deserves to be read more than once, and the vivid imagery throughout the book suggests there is also a film lurking within.

Moll and her partner throughout her adventures, the wildcat, Gryff,share a history lost in the mists of time, but which appears to be becoming further unraveled as the story progresses. The layers of the story are peeled away with each chapter and the themes of magic; dark forces against good, friendship and trust with new friends and old, ebb and flow i
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher.

THE DREAMSNATCHER is her debut novel for 8-12 years (published by Simon & Schuster in 2015). THE SHADOW KEEPER is her second children's

Other books in the series

Dreamsnatcher (3 books)
  • The Shadow Keeper (Dreamsnatcher #2)
  • The Night Spinner (Dreamsnatcher #3)

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