Read Dreamwalker by C.S. Friedman Online


All her life Jessica Drake has dreamed of other worlds, some of them similar to her own, others disturbingly alien. She never shares the details with anyone, save her younger brother Tommy, a compulsive gamer who incorporates some aspects of Jessica’s dreams into his games. But now someone is asking about those dreams...and about her. A strange woman has been watching herAll her life Jessica Drake has dreamed of other worlds, some of them similar to her own, others disturbingly alien. She never shares the details with anyone, save her younger brother Tommy, a compulsive gamer who incorporates some aspects of Jessica’s dreams into his games. But now someone is asking about those dreams...and about her. A strange woman has been watching her house. A visitor to her school attempts to take possession of her dream-inspired artwork.Why?As she begins to search for answers it becomes clear that whoever is watching her does not want her to learn the truth. One night her house catches on fire, and when the smoke clears she discovers that her brother has been kidnapped. She must figure out what is going on, and quickly, if she and her family are to be safe.Following clues left behind on Tommy's computer, determined to find her brother and bring him home safely, Jessica and two of her friends are about to embark on a journey that will test their spirits and their courage to the breaking point, as they must leave their own world behind and confront the source of Earth's darkest legends – as well as the terrifying truth of their own secret heritage....

Title : Dreamwalker
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780756408886
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 312 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dreamwalker Reviews

  • Faye, la Patata
    2019-02-24 17:14

    I do admit that I am a bit of a cover snob. I know that we should not judge a book by its cover (well, figuratively at least), but when it comes to novels, I do believe that first impressions are important to grab a reader’s attention. When I first saw Dreamwalkers’ cover, I was a bit wary at first because it seemed like it was about a girl who obtained some sort of X-Men-like superpower who then used it to save the world, which isn’t a bad of a premise but god knows how much I’m sick of it by now, and since I have never read the author’s previous works, I wasn’t sure I’d like it.But then I realized it was about alternate realities, and when it comes to speculative fiction, there’s not much out there that can make my head turn and make me go, “OoooOOoooOOoohh, what do we have here? SHINY!!!!”Here’s one thing for sure upon finishing this book, though: some aspects were amazing, and some were a little on the lackluster side.First of all, let’s get to the positives: I do LOVE the writing. I have never read a C.S. Friedman book before, but after reading Dreamwalker, I will MAKE SURE to read her Coldfire Trilogy everyone is raving about. The writing here just felt so intimate and personal with Jesse’s personality oozing out from the very pages. It never felt so telling, it never felt so monotonous, and most of all, it never felt so pretentious. I’ve read a fair amount of books across many genres where yes, it is lyrical and oh-so-poetic, but it never felt genuine and real. This one never came across to me that way – even if it’s based on an impossible premise (in real life anyway), Jesse sounded like a teenager and a very effective one at that.Plus, she has a very cool sense of humor. I remember chuckling every now and then!If you’re the type of person who loves stories – science fiction or otherwise – that are driven by sibling love, then you might want to give this book a second look, because I feel like this is also an aspect that Dreamwalker did well. Jesse and Tommy are close siblings, but early in the book, they discover that Jesse’s DNA genes are neither compatible with their mother nor their father. But even if that is the case, it doesn’t stop them from rescuing one another, and it was admirable to see Jesse, from start to finish, so involved in rescuing her brother from a world not their own. You never see her stray from her goal, and you never see her gawking at guys, forgetting what she came there for, and it’s such an amazing thing to see.So, you like good sibling relationship? One with such a great and strong bond between them? Yup, this is for you.However, if you value world-building and a concrete, logical world more than anything else, you might want to hesitate for a second there, because this one… well, let’s just say it was very lacking in that particular department. I mean, it’s about alternate realities, but the structure of it all felt too simplistic and a bit too chaotic at once. There seemed to be so much going on behind the scenes – her being not her parent’s daughter gene-wise, her being a changeling, her having dreams, but it felt like these things were only talked about in passing. Then, there’s the matter of another world having Gifts and such and how her ability to have complex dreams is a “bad thing” and yet… we don’t really know what’s SO BAD about them, only that THEY NEED TO BE ERADICATED. And did I mention about this world having so many guilds and yet none of them were really fleshed out?The thing is, this book tries to tackle a lot, but doesn’t really explain any in depth, resulting to a world-building that looks simpler than it should be.There’s also the issue of the secondary characters – mainly Devon and Rita who accompany Jesse on her rescue mission – being very flat characters. In passing, we get the notion that they carry more on their shoulders than they let on, but I never felt that emotional attachment to them as Jesse never really interacts with them in a deeper manner, which is such a shame because I find them so interesting. Hopefully, hopefully, the next book will give them a chance to shine more.That and the world-building.All in all, this book is a high 3.5 stars. I really enjoyed the very personal narration as a whole, but because world-building is so important to me, because I don’t like plot holes and loose ends, I can’t find it within me to give this 4 stars or more. But be rest assured that I do recommend this any way because the narration makes it so worth it!

  • Tabitha (Pabkins)
    2019-02-22 22:15

    3.5/5Dreamwalker is the start of a new series with a very fascinating take on alternate realities. In a way I would consider this a blend of both fantasy and science fiction. Things seem magical and yet light scientific explanations are given as to the reasoning to help take away some of that mysticism. It worked nicely so you had that ingrained natural tendency from me as a reader to be more accepting of the elements that I would otherwise in a strictly science fiction book would have been wanting more explanation.I find it easier for this book to break it down by what I saw as its strengths and weaknesses.Strengths: - Alternate worlds / realities! The worldbuilding of one in particular that the bulk of Dreamwalker takes place in is fascinating. How that world elates to the others, or really in actuality dominates the other worlds was just so cool. This world is pretty much the world that these people consider Prime - and so they go into the other realities and take what they want, technology, people, resources. There is however a checks and balance system in place and they must work within those guidelines. Because of this the author was able to weave into her story our own myths and legends of changelings, people showing up in times they don't belong, or people disappearing and reappearing years after they disappeared thinking no time had passed. This was the leading reason that I enjoyed Dreamwalker. - There was a very well executed blend of both fantasy and science fiction. Things we would see as fantasy would then lightly be given a somewhat scientific explanation - not too much of a one mind you because then that would be stepping more firmly into the realm of science fiction. But just enough that it straddled both genres. - There was an easy reading flow that quickly moved me from one scene to the next. This is typical young adult fair in that I would believe the author was writing to accommodate the young adult audience. Most of the narrative was from Jesse's perspective and so the dialogue and observations were fitting. There were a few chapters that were not from her perspective. - I enjoyed the addition of Jesse's brother, Tommy's perspective. He had some spunk and I readily identified with him, heck in some ways I wished he would have been the main character since I definitely preferred him. Maybe its the video game and fantasy geek in me that just bonded with his personality since we have so much in common.Weaknesses: - I really groan when this happens to me because I can rarely figure out the reason for it. With that said I really didn't care for the main character Jesse. I was never able to adequately attach to her and a few times found her mildly annoying. This was usually when it came to her views on family. I don't think her views themselves were annoying, indeed they were quite admirable. What I found off putting was she had this mindset like her views of family were right and that everyone would feel the same way that she does, and woe be to them if they weren't and she would of course properly educate them. No I'm sorry not everyone would cross worlds and put themselves in jeopardy for a family member, some people's families suck, with her family history you'd think she would kind of know or see this?! Frankly, not everyone has that same level of love for their family and this just rankled me. - The additional side characters were not given enough personality or presence of character for them to adequately stand out as true parts of the story. They did not feel like real people rather more like extras in a film. Due to this I didn't care what happened to them and really nothing they did felt important to me, nor did I feel any sympathy over their fates. Does that make me cruel or was it my subconscious telling me, hey these aren't real people?- There were a few plot points that either didn't make sense or felt like some information was missing. I really don't want to point out more than one, because of spoilers but this one is mentioned in the book description so I think it's ok. Jesse grabs her brother Tommy's laptop when she is escaping the house (that's on fire mind you) - I just don't think this is a realistic action at all. - The title, Dreamwalker, so that is what Jesse is but ultimately that really isn't gone into enough. I thought it would be more about her and her abilities. But for the most part the gifts various people have aren't gone into as heavily as I thought they would be. Ultimately, Dreamwalker definitely was an enjoyable read. Once I got going I finished the bulk of it in one day - so it made for quick reading. There are a lot of things that I know or hope will be coming in future volumes and I look forward to seeing where things go. Dreamwalker definitely falls into the category of books that I anticipate forthcoming volumes being stronger than the first.

  • Brendan
    2019-02-09 14:21

    Things you should know about my review:1. I received this book for free through the Goodreads First Reads program.2. I am an 32 years old and probably not the target audience for this book.3. I read this book because I loved the Coldfire trilogy by the same author. I came into the book without knowing what it was going to be about. I was trying to be fairly open-minded.My review:This book bothered me from the beginning. There were too many mysteries and far too many coincidences. I think the thing that bothered me the most was that the story was told mostly in first person with awkward jaunts into third person when the story switched away from the main character. I'm not against first person, but it didn't work in this story. The main character was far too prescient for a teen girl. It seemed like she knew everything about everything and had access to the authors knowledge and not her own. The existential crises the character faced seemed far too mature for the girl. The book progressed on coincidences. All fiction relies on a certain level of coincidence but this stretched by suspension of disbelief. Exposition was sloppy and poorly handled. I would not recommend this book, but of course...I'm not who it was written for. The target audience might enjoy it a lot more.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-02-05 15:06

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum my surprise, Dreamwalker turned out to be a pretty big departure from C.S. Friedman's previous works. Still, I was no less charmed by the remarkable story and characters than I had been before I realized this was a book more geared towards the young adult audience. After all, YA fantasy has so much to offer these days, and as someone who enjoys reading this category quite a bit, I found Dreamwalker to be a promising start to what has the potential to become a great new series.I was hooked right away with the introduction to the Drake siblings, Jessica ("Jesse" to her friends) and her little brother Tommy. The book starts off by throwing them into some pretty heavy situations, and I don't doubt for a second that this had something to do with why I was so taken with these characters. Jesse and Tommy's father, who doesn't actually appear in this novel, still casts a dark shadow on the family even years after he walked away from them, by claiming that Jesse is another man's child. To prove to him that this is not true, Jesse's mom takes her to get a paternity test.Yikes, what an awful situation for anyone let alone a teenager to find themselves in, but Jesse's composure and steadfast support for her mother made me appreciate her more as a protagonist and narrator. But of course, these problems are just the beginning. When the DNA test results come back, that's when Jesse's true mettle will be tested. What would you do if you discovered that you weren't the person you thought you were? What would you do if you found out you might not even be part of this world? A new term has gained significance with Jesse: Changeling. Desperate to make sense of her life, Jesse goes on the search for answers and instead finds many others who are in similar situations like hers.The family's problems have touched Jesse's brother Tommy's life as well, though they have affected him in different ways. I have to say his obsession with gaming in the wake of his father's departure broke my heart a little; having spent years playing online games myself and in doing so meeting people who have used this hobby as an avenue of escape, I understand all too well how someone could turn to virtual worlds and internet friends in order to drown out painful feelings. It could happen to anyone, young or old. For me, it is another point to Jesse's character that she doesn't judge her brother, and instead tries to share in his interests by letting him use her weird and disturbing dreams as inspiration for his roleplaying campaigns.When a stranger comes poking around the Drakes' lives and Tommy is kidnapped however, Jesse begins to have the dreaded suspicion that it is all because of her and her dreams. Her mission to get her brother back is what leads her and her new friends on a journey to another world, one that the author has done a phenomenal job of creating. I really enjoyed the premise of this novel, which explores parallel universes and alternate realities. In doing so, Friedman also addresses important social issues like race, poverty and human rights. Overall this is a fun and adventurous novel, but there are definitely some weighty topics of discussion in here.Perhaps my only issue with the book is how jumbled it feels at certain times, perhaps due to the frequent switching of first-person to third-person between some chapters. This doesn't usually bother me in other books, but for some reason it is quite noticeable here. My guess is it has something to do with chapter length and how short some of these third-person intervals are. Some parts of the plot are also resolved too neatly, or too conveniently. For example, at one point in the novel Jesse and her friends meet a character who essentially hands them everything they need to succeed in their quest, though how that character managed to obtain the tools and information in the first place is not really addressed.There are also lots of ideas in play, and how they all relate to each other does make itself apparent until much later in the book, so the first half of the story may feel a bit disjointed. Personally I don't mind stories like this, which are like mysteries that I know will unravel in time. As such, this was a fast read for me because I found I couldn't stop myself from turning the pages. Every person you encounter is a question, because you don't know whose side they're on. I just couldn't wait to see how all the puzzle pieces would fall into place, and the ending was sadly over much too soon. I was actually a little surprised at how quickly it wrapped up.Even so, the ending leaves things wide open for more of Jesse's story (though it is not a cliffhanger, thank you!), and I know I will want to be there to see what happens next. I think as long as you go into this with the knowledge it is going to be different from the author's other books, Dreamwalker may yet surprise you. This is C.S. Friedman tackling the young adult fantasy genre, and I feel she did an impressive job.

  • Darren
    2019-02-10 22:20

    The Coldfire Trilogy is one of my favourite series and it cemented Friedman as one of the best epic fantasy writers of her generation.Dreamwalker left me dumbfounded. It was not what I was expecting at all. Throw in every YA trope with a healthy helping of geometry and... uhhh...I was left wanting. I think I'll go back and re-read the Coldfire trilogy now to remind myself what Friedman can truly create.

  • ambyr
    2019-02-05 18:06

    The marketing for this book confuses me. The cover and form factor are pure adult urban fantasy, but the contents are distinctly YA, and toward the young end of YA at that--I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to a twelve-year-old.As an adult reader, it was enjoyable but not very fulfilling. I got a great deal of delight out of so much of the story being set in evil alternate-universe Shenandoah Valley (I've spent a lot of time in Luray, okay?), and the broader world building also had interesting bits, but the characters beyond the protagonist were paper-thin and the Obligatory YA Love Triangle baffling to me. I'm curious how some of the foreshadowing pays off, but not enough to seek out the sequels.

  • Donna
    2019-02-10 21:53

    I liked the concept of DREAMWALKER but the execution of it left me wanting.Right from the beginning Jessica’s voice irked the hell out of me. She was student with an emphasis on art but when the three of them got into a situation she always had an incredibly scientific answer for things, as if she were a walking text book. On top of that everything going on in her situation here she related back to something happening in a TV show or movie. Seriously. Every damn time. Except for the one pivotal moment at the end and she expressly said THIS ISN’T THE MOVIES CAN’T TREAT IT LIKE THE MOVIES and I wanted to scream BUT THAT’S HOW YOU’VE BEEN TREATING THIS ENTIRE DAMN PLOT. It was infuriating. Not to mention every time the sensible solution of going to the authorities came up she would have this long, drawn out, elaborate excuse as to why it was a bad idea and why they wouldn’t believe her and how it would be a waste of time let’s just do it ourselves. This happened at least four different times before she even got to this new world. So by the halfway point of the book. Plot device. Over and over again.Back to the Rain Man source of random knowledge on things, like types of rocks, for instance (like obscure science words that probably only geologists would know), I can usually pass that along because at the height of high school if you’re even half paying attention you have a collection of random shit in your head and you end up being able to wing out random knowledge. But Jessie’s voice was inconsistent at best. Where she shot out random knowledge she could barely string a sentence together. One such instance was where they had the risk of something being broken but she referred to it was go and get broke. It was so incredibly jarring I audibly WTFed. Whether that’s editing or not, I don’t know.Jessie just doesn’t seem like a real character to me, one that isn’t all that fleshed out. Her brother was fine, the two friends were okay, but it’s her story and I got stuck in her head most of the time and it was a pedantic, immature, nonsensical place to be.As for the world . . . eh. I wish there was more of it. I liked the idea of a parallel earth existing along ours and this more superior race taking advantage of resources and whatnot. But seeing everything through Jessie’s head just sucked the fun out of life. I was so put off by her voice that I couldn’t get into anything else. And anything that did happen outside of her POV, like Tommy’s little spurts or some of the alternate world people getting a say in there, those were all far more interesting to me than anything Jessie had to say. Not to mention the dreamwalker bit, while it fueled everything that was going on, didn’t really show up in the story. We saw a little bit with Jessie and her dreams but nothing was really explained beyond dreamwalkers destroy worlds and drive people crazy BE AFRAID. It wasn’t enough for me to get hooked into the premise in that regard.This is one of those situations where I’m probably being harder on the character than what’s actually rendered but down to my gut I did not like Jessie as a character. At all. And it soured the whole reading experience for me. I didn’t like her approach to life, how she compared everything to the TV she watched, how she only had answers for things when it was convenient to have answers, and how the author kept coming through the character when the situation called for more information than what the character would rightly know (that leads back into the Rain Man random information moments). The book as a whole just rubs me the wrong way. It’s probably wholly irrational but that’s what’s going on.I didn’t like it. I have the sequel and I’m not going to read it. I can’t get far enough away from Jessie. She’s just an incompatible character for me.2I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-07 20:01

    I devoured this book. It is wildly different from Friedman’s other work, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, I truly get a thrill out of authors who take a left turn and try something completely new and different. As far as I know, the Dreamwalker series is open ended (meaning, I have no idea how many books are going to be in it), but there are books being planned. This is more mature, more serious, and a bit darker than I’m used to young adult books being, but that’s also a huge reason why I loved it. No matter how different this is from the Coldfire Trilogy (and it is hugely different), it is still Friedman. She writes some incredible characters, and some very complex, nuanced plots with fantastic world building. It is all here. While this does feel a lot like the foundation book of a series, where Friedman is developing a lot and setting the stage for future books, that’s not all bad. She’s peaked my interest and I cannot wait to get my hands on more. This might be the first young adult book I’ve ever read that absolutely captivated me.Read my full review here:

  • Stefan
    2019-02-09 16:54

    There are two unusual things about Jessica (“Jesse”) Drake, the teenage protagonist of Dreamwalker, C.S. Friedman’s first foray into Young Adult fiction and the start of what’s billed as a new, “open-ended” series.First of all, Jesse has bizarre dreams about other worlds, some similar to her own, some completely alien. Many of those dreams feature doors or gates of some sort.And secondly, after a DNA test meant to confirm that her paranoid absentee dad is actually her biological father, it turns out that she doesn’t share any DNA with either of her parents. Since she wasn’t adopted, and the hospital provides incontrovertible proof that she wasn’t swapped at birth, this is somewhat of a mystery.I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise that these facts turn out to be related.Read the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality!

  • Harris
    2019-02-11 15:21

    I nearly passed this one buy in the store until I realized that it was written by C. S. Friedman. I absolutely loved the Coldfire Trilogy and the premise of this sounded like ti was right up my alley.And I hate to say this, but I probably should've just kept walking.I honestly didn't care for it. I finished it mostly because I hate not finishing books - especially when they're on my Kindle - but I was never all-fired eager to find out what happens to Jessie, Tommy, Rita and Devon or develop that much investment in the world that Friedman created.Not that it was a bad book by any stretch of the imagination. It was well written, although aimed far more at a YA audience, which made the prose seem a little... restrained, for lack of a better word. It was just not for me, personally.

  • Ankit Singh
    2019-01-24 18:53

    In Dream Walker, C.S. Friedman shares the story of a teenager named Jessica Drake; an artist, an older sister, and a daughter of single working mom. Her adventure begins when she discovers a dark and deep secret about her family and finds out she isn't who she thinks she is. It all started when a strange woman stalks their house and watches them. Then next thing she knows, she's going on a trip to an alien world and attempting to rescue her brother and finding out who she really is in the process.As story goes deeper and deeper, interesting things show up that pulls the readers in. The author does a decent job in adding in drama and suspense. For instance, the moment when Jessica discovers that she isn't the daughter of her mom or her dad due to the blood tests. Another example is when she learns that her biological mother is on the alien planet and that she gave Jessica up to a guild. Another notable thing about the book is Jessica's character. She is bold yet reserved when she needs to be. Also her deep love of her little brother and willingness to do anything to ensure his safety is also very admirable. One can tell how much she loves her little brother. Although there are many redeeming qualities about the book, there are also some faults throughout the book. There were a few grammar errors that were noticeable. Also, most of the chapters were very long which could bore the readers. The author could have made the chapters a little shorter. Also, the author was excessive with describing every single detail. It made it difficult to see the broader picture or idea. I believe that the author wrote this book as a way of telling society that family doesn't have limits. Family is anyone who you love and care for and would do anything for them. I believe this is the idea or theme that the author was trying to express.I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads. I really liked the main character and her interaction and her love for her brother. Due to this i really connected with the character as i too have loving yet annoying brother. I feel like this book would most likely be enjoyed by young readers who are interested in sci-fi and action. Although this was an amazing book, there are many cases in the book where there is language and references to alcohol. This book is a well written book and i highly recommend it.

  • Joe AuBuchon
    2019-02-01 16:15

    I found this to be a rather conventional parallel worlds novel told from the point of view of an American teenager.Jessica Drake finds that she is not genetically the child of either of her parents; her dreams are of interest to others; she, and others like her, are targeted for murder; her brother is kidnapped and taken to another Earth; Jesse and friends to the rescue. Formulaic.This story seems to serve as an introduction to a trilogy or, possibly, longer series. However, neither the storyline nor character development are up to Friedman's earlier efforts (Coldfire/Magister trilogies). It all seems rather simplistic; I found that I didn't really care about any of the characters nor about what was happening to them, and this after about four hundred pages. There is, however, some hope as Jesse is going to try to find her real mother and learn about this dreamwalking thing of hers. Perhaps Friedman will get enough feedback from the readers of Dreamwalker that she will treat the remaining books in the series as serious adult sci-fi/fantasy and not something to palm off on the YA market.I'll probably end up getting the next book in this series but I will not pre-order it sight unseen.

  • Hershel Shipman
    2019-01-27 16:15

    Not bad start to a new series. It is very much oriented towards the young adult crowd. Reasons for this are the teenage character, plenty of pop culture references and the angst. However the fantasy tidbits make it a good start. The world is constructed into a multiverse, the main character has magic referred to as a "Gift" that apparently makes most things in power want to kill her. She doesn't really know what it does herself. We are only given hints. The big bads the "shadows" are portrayed as extremely creepy, possible undead, manipulators that have designs on everything. Other mysteries that will be answered later are probably, whats the whole story behind the "changlings", who's Jessica's mother, what happened to Rita, and how much Isaac will change.So for a foray into the YA realm the author is making a good step. I don't know how well this sill do in the market as I am not up to date with whats popular in that age group but its a good story and stands on its own legs. 4/5 stars

  • Patrick St-Denis
    2019-02-15 16:52

    When C. S. Friedman's invited me to get an early read of the forthcoming Dreamwalker last summer, I was happy to oblige! All that the author and her editor asked for was for me to refrain from revealing anything about it and to wait till around the book's pub date before posting a review. It was a small price to pay to be one of the few people who'd read this novel before everyone else!Dreamwalker is the first volume in a brand new series, and in style and tone it is a world away from the dark science fiction and fantasy series/novels Friedman has become renowned for. Writing the Magister trilogy took a lot out of the author and she needed a break from that sort of tale. That series was by far her most densely written, aggressively dark, and adult-themed work, and it took six years of her life to write. As a result, Friedman wanted to write something shorter, something more linear, with a plot that wasn't as convoluted, with a much faster pace. Something that her younger fans could relate to a bit more. And yet, she also wanted to write something her adult fans would enjoy as well.When asked to describe Dreamwalker, Friedman explained that it's a crossover novel. It includes elements targetted to a teen audience, but also hopefully enough content and complexity to please an adult audience. Thus far the critical response has been very good, and has confirmed that she apparently succeeded in her goal, that of writing something that both adults and teens would enjoy. She explained that Dreamwalker is shorter than her previous works. This reflects the author's attempt to publish books more often than she's been doing in the past, with hopefully a new installment out every year or so. Friedman is convinced that overall the series will have the same level of complexity and darkness of worldbuilding that fans have become accustomed to, but it will gradually build over the course of the entire series.So did C. S. Friedman truly succeed in her endeavor to write something that would satisfy both her teen and adult audiences? I guess she did. As I told the author once I was done reading Dreamwalker, though I enjoyed the book, I did miss the darkness and the more complex plotlines of her past works. I did miss the dark and more edgy characters we have come to both love and hate over the years. Having said that, once I sat down and started to read it, I went through Dreamwalker in no time. The plot may be more linear and the novel shorter, yet the pace of the book and the quality of the narrative nevertheless sucked me into this tale and I went through the manuscript in just a few sittings. So I guess it's mission accomplished for Friedman!Here's the blurb:All her life Jessica Drake has dreamed of other worlds, some of them similar to her own, others disturbingly alien. She never shares the details with anyone, save her younger brother Tommy, a compulsive gamer who incorporates some aspects of Jessica’s dreams into his games. But now someone is asking about those dreams...and about her. A strange woman has been watching her house. A visitor to her school attempts to take possession of her dream-inspired artwork.Why?As she begins to search for answers it becomes clear that whoever is watching her does not want her to learn the truth. One night her house catches on fire, and when the smoke clears she discovers that her brother has been kidnapped. She must figure out what is going on, and quickly, if she and her family are to be safe.Following clues left behind on Tommy's computer, determined to find her brother and bring him home safely, Jessica and two of her friends are about to embark on a journey that will test their spirits and their courage to the breaking point, as they must leave their own world behind and confront the source of Earth's darkest legends – as well as the terrifying truth of their own secret heritage.The worldbuilding has always been an aspect in which Friedman usually shines. By specifically trying to write something less dark and complex, I felt that in this facet of her writing there is something missing. That lack might be made up by other aspects of this novel, but I figure that it's in this area that Dreamwalker truly differs from the author's other works. The alternate realities/parralel universes are a classic speculative fiction trope that many, including myself, feel has been overused over the years. No stranger to both the science fiction and the fantasy genres, I was pleased to discover that Friedman approached this cliché from a different and more original angle. One that will, I believe, be one of the underlying themes in the rest of this series. One must not forget that Dreamwalker is sort of a brief introduction to what will be a vaster, more intricate tale. Hence, the potential is there for more complexity, more darkness. The child exploitation theme certainly leaves the door open for much of that. Only time will tell if, as it is the author's objective, said complexity and darkness will build over the course of the series. Several concepts and ideas are introduced, but there is little or no elaboration on most of them. I for one would have loved to discover more about magic, the guilds, the seers, the other realities, etc. . .Although there are a number of POV characters, the bulk of Dreamwalker is made up of Jessica Drake's point of view. She's sixteen years of age, with the teenage angst and emotions that come with adolescence. Jessica is an endearing character, one you can't help but root for. But I have a feeling that she is a bit too mature for her age, even if her backstory explains why she's more than your typical teenage girl. I enjoyed the occasional Tommy POVs, for they offer another perspective and create a different atmosphere. Devon and Rita formed a nice trio with Jessica and it will be interesting to see how their relationships will evolve in future sequels. Though a bit predictable, Isaac was a character that brought a lot to the tale. The Green Man offered some fascinating insight into the alternate realities, which bodes well for things to come.By crafting a less convoluted plot, Friedman was able to write a fast-paced narrative which really takes you on a wild ride. While it's true that the story can be a bit predictable at times, the rhythm of the prose and Jessica's plight quickly take over and suck you into Dreamwalker. Relatively short chapters, engaging protagonists, and surprising revelations keep you turning those pages. Dreamwalker may lack the darkness and complexity found in the Coldfire trilogy or the Magister trilogy, yet the storylines are nonetheless intriguing. You get the feeling that this first volume is a set-up book. C. S. Friedman, though perhaps she doesn't unveil as much information as she wanted, is undoubtedly paving the way for a lot of things to come in future installments. One thing's for sure, though. Based on Dreamwalker, it is evident that this is a series brimming with potential and I'm looking forward to finding out what Friedman has in store for those characters!For more reviews:

  • Samantha
    2019-02-04 15:17

    DNF at about 45%.I'll be honest, I picked this up, not really bothering to read the dustjacket because I've read other things by Friedman and liked them all. But this one is different from her normal dark blend of fantasy and sci fi. It's like YA urban fantasy meets a conspiracy theory... It's weird in a not great way.Beyond that, the narrator was completely unconvincing as a teenaged girl. It's like Friedman has never met a teenager, she's just seen 25 year olds playing teenagers on TV. And all of the writing was just so overwrought. Nothing about the characters rings true, they're all extremely one dimensional. And the setting just seems off somehow in a way I can't quite pinpoint.Skip this one. You're not missing anything.

  • View Chivatanaporn
    2019-02-17 19:55

    There's like a weird random forced romance thing *sigh*

  • Lorac625
    2019-01-31 14:02

    Incredible I love CS Friedman’s writing because her creativity shines out everywhere. Not just plots, but scenes, characters, tiny details - everything. Thank you!

  • Layla Ishler
    2019-02-04 19:18

    An entertaining story.This book is good for a light read. This author comes up with some really good storylines. This book is one I would recommend for a younger reader anytime.

  • Beth
    2019-02-24 17:06

    My friend Brendan won this book was a Goodreads giveaway and didn't particularly like it, mainly because he's not the target audience (e.g., a teenage girl). Since I fulfill half of those requirements (the girl part), he asked that I read it and tell him what I think. Read his review here.After reading it, I decided that it wasn't really that great of a book, as it had many plot holes you could drive a Mack truck through (as my mother used to say). Here are the problems I had (and yes, there are SPOILERS ahead):1. Friedman's worlds didn't really make sense, at least not to me. I thought the concept was interesting of having a network of worlds that look geographically like Earth, in the terms of having the same mountains, rivers, cave systems, etc. However, where it fell apart for me was that in some worlds, major events didn't happen like it did here on Earth. On world didn't have an asteroid hit; another the Revolutionary War wasn't won by the Americans. Ok, still interesting until you think about this: Certain events were brought upon by certain people. For example, the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. So these other worlds that didn't have the Declaration of Independence, their history should be completely different that our history. Friedman was very wishy-washy on the whole thing. At times it sounded like all the worlds were a copies of each other with the same people who influenced history, but at other times it sounded like they were completely different. It wasn't consistent, and I just ended up confused. Also, I have a hard time believing that these worlds were complete copies of each other in terms of geography, as things like erosion and natural elements take a toll on the landscape. Did each world start out as having a Pangaea and the tectonic plates separating the lands in the exact same way? There is really no way that could have happened, so Friedman looses points for believability for that.2. Also, to go with the rant from #1, when our intrepid heroes go to another world, everyone miraculously speaks English. There are places in our own world that people start speaking one language, but because of isolation or outside influences, the language changes (I think there was island near England - the Isle of Man? - where this is particularly true, but of course I can't think of what it is). Let's look at language in our own nation: accents and terminology are different throughout different regions, to the point where sometimes you need subtitles for English speakers (I'm thinking of you, Honey Boo-Boo). My point is, these worlds can't be exact copies of each other, so what are the odds that everyone speaks the same form of English? Highly unlikely.3. Friedman's terms for magic wasn't consistent. Jesse discovers that she's probably not originally from Earth, as she's a changeling. However, she was told by the Green Man that each world can recognize the people who come from there. So, when she is going through that Gate, it would stand to reason that Earth wouldn't claim her, as she wasn't born there. Just another inconsistent thing.4. And another inconsistent thing: when Jesse's house is burning down, she's not freaked out by the fact that Rita was able to get into the house, although Jesse's family locked it up tight. It also took Jesse awhile to figure out that someone broke into her house and kidnapped her brother. So how did Rita get in? If she climbed in through the broken window, wouldn't she have said, "Oh, hey, Jesse, by the way, the window was broken when I got here?" Nope. Rita doesn't give a clue as to how she got in. Personally, I feel like she was a plant from the other world, and was sent there to watch Jesse. The fact that she disappears during the end reinforces my suspicion. However, I really don't care enough to wait for more books in the series to find out if I'm right.5. Young adult books have been driving me nuts lately because of the typical young adult novel crap they put in it. Jesse's worried about her brother and how they are going to rescue him, yet she still can't help thinking about Devon and Isaac and if one is jealous because of the other. Seriously, can young adult characters not turn off their hormones for like five minutes?Like I said, a lot of plot holes and annoying stuff. I couldn't suspend my disbelief for this book. So there you go, Brendan. I didn't like it, but not as much as you didn't like it.

  • Anya
    2019-01-26 20:08

    Dreamwalker by C. S. Friedman is an intriguing mix of parallel worlds and fantasy elements and the start to a new series with a lot of potential. I haven’t read any of Friedman’s adult work so I went into Dreamwalker not knowing at all what to expect! I’m excited about the new universe that Dreamwalker has revealed, even though I didn’t completely connect with Dreamwalker itself.Note: I received Dreamwalker for review from the publisher.Dreamwalker by C. S. Friedman (Dreamwalker #1)Published by DAW on Feb 4, 2014Genres: Fantasy, Sci-fi, YA Length: 312 pagesHow I got my copy: PublisherAll her life Jessica Drake has dreamed of other worlds, some of them similar to her own, others disturbingly alien. She never shares the details with anyone, save her younger brother Tommy, a compulsive gamer who incorporates some aspects of Jessica’s dreams into his games. But now someone is asking about those dreams...and about her. A strange woman has been watching her house. A visitor to her school attempts to take possession of her dream-inspired artwork.Why?As she begins to search for answers it becomes clear that whoever is watching her does not want her to learn the truth. One night her house catches on fire, and when the smoke clears she discovers that her brother has been kidnapped. She must figure out what is going on, and quickly, if she and her family are to be safe.Following clues left behind on Tommy's computer, determined to find her brother and bring him home safely, Jessica and two of her friends are about to embark on a journey that will test their spirits and their courage to the breaking point, as they must leave their own world behind and confront the source of Earth's darkest legends as well as the terrifying truth of their own secret heritage. Strengths:I’m a fan of parallel worlds generally and Dreamwalker has a cool premise that integrates parallel worlds with fun sci-fi and fantasy elements.Dreamwalker takes place mostly in a parallel world and the world-building (universe-building?) of what could happen if magic and the ability to cross between parallel worlds was concentrated all in one world was pretty awesome. There are some cool alternate history pieces thrown in mostly revolving around how the colonization of America could have been different with interference from parallel worlds. Plus it’s always fun when secret magic stuff is actually the explanation for all our various myths!I’m a huge fan of strong sibling relationships and Dreamwalker’s plot is completely driven by sibling love, woot!Dreamwalker has a nice and straightforward adventure plot. There is just something comfortable about knowing from the first couple of chapters what the goal is and running around on an adventure to meet that goal ;-).Weaknesses: Dreamwalker had a surprising amount of typos, especially for a traditionally-published finished copy.There is the typical group of three teens setting out on adventure in Dreamwalker and the two secondary characters ended up feeling very flat to me. We barely get to know who they really are as people and they just kind of follow Jesse along on her quest.Dreamwalker had a couple of plot holes that I actually felt the need to go back and make sure I didn’t miss something. One of them is kind of explained, but it really feels like a stretch. For those of you who have read this one, perhaps you can help me out: Why is Rita at the house on THE NIGHT and how do they get a car to drive to the mines since it seemed like it was implied that Rita left the original one to be found?Despite the title of the book being Dreamwalker, we really don’t get all that many details about how that whole thing works, even from Jesse’s perspective. I realize this is likely to be filled in in later books, but I really felt unsatisfied with not getting more details given the title.Summary:Dreamwalker is a promising start to a series combing sci-fi and fantasy, even though there are some rough spots. I’m excited to see where the second book goes given that ending. If you’re on the fence, I’d recommend waiting until the second book is out and seeing how that one goes ;-).

  • Alan
    2019-01-24 18:57

    "Chicken soup. A thousand worlds have yet to come up with anything better."—The "Green Man," p.224The cover of C.S. Friedman's Dreamwalker doesn't make it at all obvious, but this book is just the first installment in a projected series, something called The Dreamwalker Chronicles. I found that disappointing. I prefer standalone novels to open-ended series anyway, and this particular one leaves more unanswered at the end than seems either necessary or desirable. To borrow a term from Wikipedia, this particular entry is a "stub," incomplete even on its own terms.In this, I think it suffers in comparison to Robert Charles Wilson's superbly memorable early novel Gypsies, which has similar elements (a pair of young siblings with special abilities as protagonists, exploring parallel universes before they're quite ready to do so), but which also stands on its own.That said, though, and although it's slow to get started as well, Dreamwalker eventually did grow on me, even turning into something of a page-turner by its all-too-sudden end.A lot of that's due to Jessica Drake—Jesse—a lively and believable first-person narrator who provides a strong central thread to Friedman's story. To begin with, Jesse thinks that her frequent dreams of complex geometrical designs and endless plains full of doors are just that—dreams. Her younger brother Tommy often uses her unique imagery for his online games, and she uses them herself to inform her paintings, but that appears to be the extent of their utility. When Jesse finds out that there are actually dozens of other teenagers who are similarly unique, though... and when evidence begins mounting that someone (or something) out of humanity's collective nightmares may be killing them off... well, as I said, things do eventually get moving.The Green Man who's quoted above is a traveler between worlds as well. He came from so-called "Terra Colonna," which appears to be our Earth, early in the 18th Century, but remains implausibly aware of current events. Perhaps he's lying about how often he's been back. He also speaks in modern English, without a trace of the archaic accent or vocabulary I'd expect. In fact, all of the characters in Dreamwalker seem to speak modern, idiomatic English, no matter when or where they're from, despite the fact that languages diverge widely even within relatively small geographic regions on our own planet. Maybe there's some magic that keeps the timelines mutually intelligible, but there is no explanation offered for this within the text, as far as I could tell—that's the kind of hole that's simply left unfilled, at least for now.Still, though, Jessica Drake is a keeper, and the environment she's thrown into is just the kind of thing I like, so I'm willing to forgive a few lacunae here and otherwhere. Despite the lukewarm nature of this review, I'll probably pick up the next book in Friedman's series—if and when it comes out...

  • Grace Troxel
    2019-02-04 18:52

    This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures: was so blown away by C.S. Friedman’s Magister Trilogy that when I heard she was trying her hand at a young adult series, I couldn’t help but get excited. I love her writing so much, and I like the way that she considers the realistic consequences of her characters’ actions.Dreamwalker is the story of Jessica, a teenage girl dealing with some difficult issues in her personal life. Her father walked out on the family when she was little, and he claimed that she wasn’t really his child and that Jessica’s mom was having an affair. Even though her mother reassures her this isn’t true, she can’t help but wonder. When the paternity test finally comes back, it shatters Jessica’s world forever. Not only does her DNA not match her father, but it doesn’t match her mother either. Her genetics seem to indicate that she is a freak of nature.Jessica’s brother Tommy is a gamer and spends most of his time playing World of Warcraft. I empathize with him quite a bit, as I went through my own WoW phase for several years until Blizzard decided to ruin my epic fantasy with pandas (/endrant), and he’s easily my favorite character in the story. Jessica really doesn’t understand Tommy, but she makes the effort to be a part of his life, and he uses stories from her dreams as inspiration in some of his online games. One night, Tommy is kidnapped by strange creatures from a parallel world. It is up to Jessica to rescue him, and in the process, find out what she really is.One of the strengths of young adult writing is its ability to address the issues that teenagers are dealing with in their own lives. Friedman does a fantastic job of portraying a messed up family that still has an anchor of love and support, even though Jessica’s father’s actions have left lasting emotional scars on everyone in the family. Her family isn’t perfect, but they’re trying, and Jessica will stop at nothing to save Tommy’s life.I enjoyed the fact that Friedman decided to use a diverse cast of characters. Jessica is accompanied on her rescue mission by two friends that she met online, both of whom have similar DNA anomalies. Devon is black, and Rita grew up on the streets. Their differing racial and socioeconomic backgrounds play important roles in the story, and each character has to rely on their own unique life experiences to survive in another world.Oh, and then there’s the romance! Friedman does a perfect job here. Jessica is too busy rescuing her brother to have long romantic entanglements, and there’s no insta-love in this book. Instead, there are crushes on two different characters, but both of those crushes would come with real-life consequences that would get in the way of Jessica’s mission, and so she doesn’t really act on them so much as daydream and wonder about what might be. This is a far more realistic approach than most young adult novels, and I love it.I get the feeling that a lot of long time fans of C. S. Friedman’s writing aren’t going to like this book, not because it isn’t good, but because it’s such a departure from her usual style. Readers, don’t expect epic and twisted sagas in the style of the Magister or Coldfire trilogies. That’s not what this book is supposed to be. It’s a young adult contemporary fantasy story, and Friedman does an excellent job exploring a new genre. I look forward to reading the next installations in the series.

  • Becky
    2019-02-17 20:01

    Jessica Drake's fairly normal life is about to take an unbelievably odd turn. When Jesse's father begins to question her paternity, Jesse's mother is adamant about the fact that she's his child but agrees to a DNA test anyway. The results are more than a little shocking. Turns out Jesse's results don't match her father after all. Nor do they match her mother! The test results come at the same time Jesse's brother has noticed a strange woman watching their house. When the very same woman shows up at Jesse's school asking questions about her dreams and artwork, Jesse becomes convinced something fishy is going on. Then she connects with a group of others who have discovered the same DNA issues Jesse has and learns that someone has been killing them off one by one. And apparently Jesse is next on their list! Jesse's house is burnt down, her mother is left fighting for her life in the hospital, and her brother has been kidnapped! Now it's up to Jesse to save him and hopefully avoid getting herself killed in the process. Dreamwalker is a bit of an odd read. First, it's a bit all over the place. It starts rather slowly with Jesse's fairly mundane family life, but we do know that Jesse has dreams. And it's those dreams that inspire her artwork and some of her brother's gaming creations. The artwork that catches the weird woman's eye. Somehow Jesse knows that's it's important to keep her dreams secret, she's even sworn her brother to secrecy on the matter as well. But the significance of her dreams isn't revealed until well into the story. This is the first in a new series so I can definitely understand why Friedman would take her time to develop the story and the world, but (and this is rare for me to admit) it almost develops a bit too slowly for my taste. I spent a good third of the book completely confused about EVERYTHING!I did soldier on, and I'm glad that I did. By the time Jesse sets off to try and save her brother things do pick up and we start to get at least an inkling of an idea about what's going on. Honestly I think the fact that I have the second book in hand already was a pretty big push to continue reading.I do love the idea of the parallel worlds and I think (I hope) Friedman has big plans for the series and how the story/worlds will further develop. From what I understand, this is C. S. Friedman's first foray into YA, in spite of my issues with it I did find the book entertaining enough as an adult that I think it has fair cross over appeal.Book two in the series releases this week and I'll be posting a review tomorrow (along with a giveaway). I'm hooked enough to continue but do hope that the second book is a bit more rewarding than this first outing.

  • Once Upon a Twilight
    2019-02-21 15:16

    The moment I read the synopsis for this book I said, "Yes!" I love anything fantasy and otherworldly and this book was everything I hoped for and then some. It had fantasy, aliens, other worlds, adventure, and some action.As you can read from the synopsis, Jesse (which is what Jessica, the main character, prefers to be called) has some amazing dreams that transport her to other worlds and have her see certain things she isn't supposed to. She never thinks anything of them, but tells them to her little 13 year-old brother Tommy so he can implement some aspects of them into his online video gaming. This leads to someone becoming interested in Tommy's "dreams" and manifestation of his gift, as they call it. This is the main reason there's a fire at her house, as a diversion for her brother to get kidnapped.Jesse has the good idea of grabbing Tommy's laptop before the fire finished burning her house to the ground and, thanks to this, she is able to figure out clues to go find her little brother. This is where the adventure starts (it's hinted it's coming by some events that happen right before and the new friends she makes); Jesse and two of her friends follow Tommy into this alien world, which is a parallel one to ours, where she makes some new friends (or are they?) and learns so much about how many worlds there really are out there. There's also quite a bit of action and the author definitely did a good job in making you feel anxious for the heroes and what will happen next.The only reason I did not give it a higher rating was because, despite it being a good story, there were parts that I felt lagged a bit, it was just giving too much filler instead of just getting to the point or to the action. For example, a few of the chapters are told from another character's perspective that gives you a little more information about this alien world that Jesse doesn't get to find out, or so it seemed. Once I finished reading the book I realized those chapters weren't really necessary because they only provide a small amount of information more than what Jesse ends up finding out (because, at the end of it all, Jesse learns all of that info anyway). Also, some of the explanations of how things were in the alien world in which Jesse was trapped in were a little confusing to me and I admit some of them I had to read two or three times to understand. Maybe it's just me, but that's how it felt like to me. - Taimara

  • Charty
    2019-02-20 20:06

    I wish I could give this a higher rating as I love C.S. Friedman and appreciate she's one of the few fantasy writers working today that is marching to the beat of her own creative drummer, but this book, while seeming to be very Friedman-esque in themes, feels very much like a lot of the urban YA fantasy that's coming out which is a huge disappointment.It's as if she (or her agent or publisher) said, "hey, let's position you in the lucrative YA market, why don't you write an urban portal fantasy?" and she said, "Ok, I'll take a sprinkling of Coldfire Trilogy (the Greenman with his decaying of the world, the Guild of hunters) and stir with the gifts that bring insanity and allow the people to transverse worlds (Guild of Shadows,) add a spunky heroine and mix - voila!Most of the characters felt very thinly sketched with the exception of Jesse and her brother Tommy. Her sidekick Rita seemed only to exist to bring street-wise skills to the group, and while Friedman touched on some issues related to race and slavery, Devon, while at first seeming to be a more interesting character that might be going somewhere, pretty much had faded by the end of the book so it felt like a hey, we should have a character of color included. On the one hand, yay for including him at all, but on the other hand, boo for having his character be so much in the background. Now that could certainly change in subsequent installments, but for the moment everything, from the characters, to the worlds, to the underlying magical system that holds the story all up are very nebulous at this stage.Frankly it just didn't rock my socks. Even when Friedman is perhaps not as strong in the characterization, the fundamental story idea she is interested in exploring is usually is so cool you don't mind. Here, like I said, it seems to be a mash-up of other ideas she's explored elsewhere, and with greater depth and success. I will seek out the next book in the series because she has a good past history and it's possible that things will gel more successfully in the sequel(s,) but I won't be recommending this to my friends or planning on buying a copy to keep.

  • Sabrina
    2019-02-01 19:18

    This was my first read of something by C.S. Friedman, and if anything it convinced me to pick up more of her work. Her writing is captivating, easy to read, and brimming with character voice. The main character of this novel, Jessica Drake, is easy to like and connect to. Her fierce love of her brother and intense desire to find him is her main motivation and what drives the plot, and not once does she forget it. This book plunges quickly into Jesse's whirlwind discovery that everything she knows about herself and her family is wrong; it has strong undercurrents of the search for belonging and self-understanding that will connect with many a reader, helping to ground them through the ups and downs of all that happens. When Jesse makes an incredible discovery about herself, suspicious people start prying into her life, and before she knows it she's travelling across multiple realities with two strangers who she met over the internet. The world of the alternate world is clearly very rich, but I feel like in this book we barely scratched the surface. The supporting characters, Devon, Rita, Isaac, and Tommy, are also very interesting, but with the exception of Tommy I came away feeling like I didn't know them very well. Their own motivations, fears, and backstories were not explained as well as I would have liked, though I suppose in a high-tension situation like that of the book there's hardly time for a heart-to-heart. Also, there are a lot of caves in this book. Like, a lot. I don't know if it's supposed to be a motif or something, but it felt a little repetitive at times.All in all, though, I found this book to be a fun and at times thought-provoking read with a strong protagonist and plenty of room for growth and depth in the next installments. I'll definitely pick up the next one when I get the chance.

  • Dragonlady
    2019-02-22 19:59

    After their father walked out on them, Jessica Drake and her brother Tommy have learned to rely on each other while their mother worked long hours trying to earn enough money to support them. Tommy habitually retreated into on-line gaming, sometimes using Jesse’s strange dreams of alternate worlds as inspiration to create new games. Their father, an insanely jealous man won’t pay child support until a paternity test is performed which is how Jesse found out that not only was she not related to him but she wasn’t related to anyone in her family. Reeling from that discovery, Jesse soon learns there are many other changelings and it appears they are on a hit list. Things escalate when strange woman begins stalking Jesse and Tommy, then burns their house down but not before kidnapping the boy. With no time to recover from the shock of learning she’s not who she thought she was, Jesse must now come to terms with the possibility that the bazaar dreams she has had all her life may be the cause of Tommy’s kidnapping and her mother barely surviving burning to death. With few clues to go by, Jesse along with Devon and Rita, both changelings, descend into an abandoned cave system and into a strange world where discovery will get them killed.First of a new series and a real departure from Friedman’s previous novels, this young adult tale offers an interesting take on multiverses, family ties and the bonds of friendship. Jesse and indeed all the main characters come across as authentic as they respond to a series of unusual situations. Although it is a bit suspicious how serendipity seems to have the trio meeting the right people or getting information at just the right time. Overall this is a promising start to an inventive story but don’t read this expecting to revisit Coldfire.

  • Lindsey
    2019-02-03 22:17

    This was markedly better than some reviews made it out to be. It does help if you start it with the mentality that it's a YA-level book; adults are not the intended audience but are not excluded from enjoying it. It's no where near as dark as Friedman's other fantasy works, although it's certainly not a "light" story and has the potential to grow into something more characteristic of her earlier works. It does have the "which boy do I like!?!" triangle of YA novels (although, two great choices... can't really argue against either one at this point and I like the reality of lacking an obvious option). My biggest qualm was the obviousness/repetitiveness of parts of the world-building and that some of the references in the plot (Kindles, iPhones, Twilight, etc.) are going to be dated in a very short time. Again though, this reflects the YA nature of the novel; it's just not geared for readers like me who like lasting subtlety and suspension of disbelief.However, the world-building set up has an interesting premise. There is lots more Friedman can do with this universe. This book lays the groundwork well and I would certainly pick up the next couple of books to find out more. The lead characters are also likeable, their emotions are relatable, their situation compelling. This was a fast read and the pace was steady throughout.If you like YA fantasy done well, this is your book. If you've sworn off YA entirely, I would still encourage trying it out, although I wouldn't insist; Friedman has lots of amazing adult fantasy and science fiction stories that are ripe for re-reads. I enjoyed this one as a YA read and look forward to the next book.

  • Mandy
    2019-02-23 14:12

    I won this ARC book for free from Goodreads First Read.This was a good book. I found the characters to be interesting. I've always loved alt. world adventure. The main character, Jesse, has problems at home. She comes from a broken home. Her mother works long, long hours and her father has left the picture.She is an artist and she uses her dreams to fuel her art. One day, her art teacher wants her to meet a person that wants to buy her paintings.Jesse's spidey senses go off and she pulls all her art from school. Soon after, the weird starts and her family is endangered. Plus, her brother is taken by a strange being.So she must travel through a portal to rescue him with the help of two others with similar weird happening in their lives.There she meets a plethora of characters and beings in a world so unlike her own. As I said this was good. Every once in a while, there were some bits that were too out there in my opinion. Also I did get lost in a couple of places. But the kicker that just tore up my reading jive of the book was the first paragraph in chapter 12. It completely went second pov. You this and that. WTH?! I was totally into the book and then that happened. It felt like my brain hit a wall with that sudden shift. Jarring is a mild term.Other than that, the world was interesting, the people were pretty unique. I wonder if Isaac will make another appearance? I really like him. He had that dash of villainy that I like characters to have.

  • Eve
    2019-02-14 14:13

    I was quite disappointed in Friedman's new book. I could see - or think that I can see - the calculations behind this first book in a young adult trilogy from an author who has not previously dabbled in that genre. Hmm, young attractive teenage girl with special mysterious magical power (check!) , two young attractive teen-age boys to vie for her affections (check!) [not deliberately channeling the Hunger Games or the (ugh) Divergent series or (double ugh) Twilight], danger and excitement but not enough to scare away the tweens (check!), and god forbid no sex but a passionate kissing (check!). None of the interesting things about Friedman's work in such excellent books as "The Madness Season" or the Coldfire Trilogy are present in Dreamwalker and that is really a shame. I understand the desire to cash in on the current trend when many authors who are not as skilled as Friedman are making a killing and even having movies made of their novels, but you don't get to excellent young adult fiction/fantasy (I would put the Hunger Games in that category, despite some reservations, as well the Golden Compass and others) by following a formula. Friedman isn't the first fantasy author whose adult novels I've loved but whose young adult novels I've found boring; I've been very disappointed in the Cold Magic trilogy by Kate Elliott, in which she jumps on the steampunk bandwagon, but at least the story and characters in Elliott's work were original. Not sure if I'll read the next book in this series . . . we'll have to see.