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Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse...but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

"DREAMFALL is a very easy read, with mostly intense, action-packed scenes....It is a novel full of science-fiction, thrills and horror."

The plotline of DREAMFALL is rather simple. The teenagers face nightmares and try to find a way to escape each time. If they die, they die in real life. I’d recommend this novel to fans of INCEPTION, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and THE MATRIX, as some of their ideas have been incorporated into the book.

Dreaming is such a diverse topic that it can be taken in many different ways, and I especially loved the direction the author took when writing the book. With intriguing characters set in life-threatening, frightening situations, it was captivating to see this interesting concept come to life.

The book is told in first-person through three characters --- Cata, Fergus and Jamie. Cata and Fergus are stuck within the dream world. Jamie is a student studying pre-med at Yale, who monitors the teenagers in their comatose state. Although I enjoyed reading their different perspectives, Cata and Fergus’ perspectives didn’t stand out for me. The characterization lacked a connection with me and in some cases, failed to relate. I would have appreciated another, fresh point of view, instead of Fergus, because of the similarities he has with Cata.

At some points, I found it slightly unrealistic on how the characters reacted to each situation. I understand that the characters had gone through many night terrors and hallucinations in their dreams before, but with nightmares as shown in the novel coming to life, the reactions of some characters weren’t too believable.

Although not necessarily a bad thing, there is little to no romance in the novel. With the course the book is taking, I wouldn’t expect there to be any romance in the sequel as well. The climax left us with several plot twists and an intense cliffhanger that had me desperate to read more. It left many questions to be asked, so I hope the next book will have answers.

I also hope that the author expands on the character Ant. As the youngest, and one of the most intriguing, there is a lot of potential for the character in the sequel.

DREAMFALL is a very easy read, with mostly intense, action-packed scenes overlaid with some extra information from the outside world with Jamie. It is a novel full of science-fiction, thrills and horror.

The next novel, NEVERWAKE, is set for release in May of 2018.

Reviewed by Jeremy H., Teen Board Member on July 7, 2017

(Dreamfall #1)
by Amy Plum