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In the sequel to DREAMFALL, Amy Plum continues the story of several teenagers stuck in a dream world in NEVERWAKE. Cata, Ant, Fergus, Sinclair and Remi are the surviving members of the experiment. Trapped in the Dreamfall, they have figured out the pattern of the dreams and the Void. Not only must they survive each terrifying nightmare, they must figure out a way to escape the Dreamfall before death is imminent. New secrets and twists are introduced with each of the characters; not all of them are exactly as they seem. The nightmares start to come together and aren’t just random visions; instead they reveal the characters past and reality. 

I love the idea to this novel. Exploring each nightmare in detail along with each of the characters’ takes the reader on an action-packed ride. Told in first-person through Cata, Ant, and Jamie, the book explores both inside the dream world and outside, where Jamie slowly puts together the pieces of the puzzle. In the previous novel, I found it hard to distinguish between Cata and Fergus. This time, I really enjoyed reading more about Ant and her qualities. I developed separate relationships with each character and Plum did a great job in telling their stories.

"NEVERWAKE kept me on edge, especially nearing the climax where dark secrets are slowly revealed."

I did find it a little bit repetitive during nightmares. At some points I wasn’t sure if Plum was just using the scenes as filler text or if they actually contributed to the novel. Each character slowly became very significant to the story and Plum managed to weave the pasts of each teenager into the story. There are always questionable, odd moments in the novel that kept me entranced and interested in what was to come. NEVERWAKE kept me on edge, especially nearing the climax where dark secrets are slowly revealed.

Each nightmare is surreal in its own way. They are twisted and unique but aren’t too creepy. In short, they are very bizarre and will definitely frighten younger readers. Each character fights through pain and gore, from getting shot to getting fingers chopped off. However, I would have enjoyed a more “American Horror Story”-scare in the nightmares because most of the scenes are just convoluted action. The ending ties things together for the characters, but does so in a stereotypical teen movie ending, where each character’s future is neatly explained in short paragraphs. 

Characters that meet their unfortunate end in the novel, however, I feel like I did not connect enough with. There could have been a deeper relationship between the characters and more emotion within their pasts. Instead, their deaths didn’t seem too shocking or heartbreaking. 

Overall, Amy Plum definitely stepped up in this sequel, compared to the first novel, from diving deeper into the characters to creating an intricate plot. The plot twists definitely did not end in DREAMFALL and this book will leave you shaken and thrilled. 

Reviewed by Jeremy H., Teen Board Member on August 14, 2018

by Amy Plum