Dreamfall by Amy Plum
|Now being part of the book blogging world, I dread giving one star reviews when in the past, I never really realized the impact of them. But this book was just…it had such a fascinating premise and it executed it brilliantly in parts (which is somehow how I actually got through a good deal of this book), but there were so many negatives that I couldn’t convince my book gut to go with anything else.|
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.
There’s something I love about a good group horror novel. Much of Laurie Faria’s Stolarz’s horror novels (the only ones that so far have enthralled and not completely traumatized me) are group narration novels in the horror category. This story was pitched as sci-fi horror, and while it didn’t say in the summary, I was delighted to find this was a group narration novel. The more, the merrier!
Except…it wasn’t merry. I didn’t connect with literally any character. I thought Cata wasn’t horrible, but I mean, I still didn’t really enjoy her as much as I should with her being lead person. The only person I actually enjoyed was Jaime and she wasn’t even in the creepy Dreamfall!
Some of the characters were just upsetting as well. One character was mean for literally no reason. They gave him some excuses, but then he routinely said problematic things and constantly made fun of someone. I literally cringed at most of the things that he said.
Dreamfall was interesting for a bit, but then at some point, it just stopped. It felt like there was too much of a pattern to it, and the things that were supposed to be scary just fell flat to me. It wasn’t interesting anymore, and I never felt the tension that I needed to be. When a character died, I was just like, oh, okay. OH, OKAY? How is that a valid response?
I somehow got through a good half of this because I really wanted to love the concept, but I was routinely disappointed by the characters and the lack of scary, tense plot. I did skim the rest of it, and the twists and turns that were revealed, again, just made me go, eh. Again, it just sounded SO intriguing, but the characters really pulled it down. One crown and a Merida rating, even though I love me some Merida (it was the plot that dragged that one down for me).
Check it out: