David Meredith's Reviews > Dreamscape

Dreamscape by Jenna Whittaker
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really liked it

Khalos is not born of Man. Throughout time immemorial he has been born and reborn into the world - each time to execute a very specific purpose and alter the course of history. Each time, dutifully overseen and guided by the mysterious order of The Sisters, he has been faithfully taught how to reconnect with the memories of his many lives to execute his destiny. Only this time, something is different. Something goes wrong and Khalos is forced to find his own way in a world he does not understand and a life he can scarce remember.

Dreamscape is a solid fantasy read that will please anyone who enjoys an air of mystery. The premise is interesting and the plot keeps the reader guessing right along with Khalos about what all of the inexplicable circumstances that befall him could possibly mean. The telling persistently encourages you to read just that one more page or chapter to find out what will happen next and the methodical reveal of the past is illuminating to both Khalos and to the reader. The author does a wonderful job, I think, of avoiding the pitfall many stumble into of revealing too much too soon, full enlightenment not occurring until right at the end. Additionally, the way that the two parallel worlds interact with one another and how they impact Khalos’ consciousness causes one to question which is actually real and which is the dream. The writing is overall, strong.

My biggest issue with the volume really has to do with pacing. There are some major events alluded to in the story that are explained only in brief that really would have been more impactful if addressed in greater detail. There are times where I think this impacts character development and prevents the reader from being as emotionally invested in what’s going on as otherwise might be the case. The biggest example of this, I feel, comes early in the novel. Khalos’ life from rebirth to age fourteen is described in only 5 pages. I feel like the disaster scene that causes him to flee his home would have been much more impactful for me if I was more invested in the character when it occurs. Had there been some page space spent showing Khalos’ daily life and interactions with the other villagers, friends (none of whom have even a single word of dialog), and his own parents before disaster strikes, I think it would have been much more emotional and poignant. Also, I would have liked more dialog among characters just in general. What is there is not bad. It just feels kind of utilitarian. Much of the story is told in a narrative style (often through Khalos’ internal monolog), and I think at least some of that narration could have been rewritten as dialog to give all the characters more presence and agency in the story. I might have preferred to be told less and shown more, especially with regard to the final battle against Machina, which is only briefly detailed in the Epilogue.

Having said that, Dreamscape is an enjoyable read that keeps one guessing. It is well worth the time spent to explore this fascinating binate world and if you are a fan of alternate realities you should consider giving Dreamscape a look.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 25, 2016 – Finished Reading
May 26, 2016 – Shelved

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