Friday, February 12, 2016

Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Description (taken from Lindsay Smith's website):
A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.

Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject’s body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighboring kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other Dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.

A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.

Barstadt has a caste system where the privileged live on the surface and the poor live under the surface in tunnels.  Livia has worked her way from the tunnels to life aboveground thanks to her ability to dreamstride.  As a dreamstrider, Livia can control another person from the dream world.  It's kind of like astral projection.  With this ability, she works for the ministry as a spy to help protect the empire.

Brandt and Livia have worked together for the ministry for quite some time.  And before Brandt leaves to join high society, he wants to complete one more mission.  A mission that involves protecting Barstadt from invasion.  And as Livia meets Marez from another kingdom, she begins to spy on him and question her homeland's system.  But when the dream world begins to collide with the real world, only Livia will be able to stop what's coming.  But will she have enough power to protect her home?

If you were to pick the most depressed and self-doubt infused teenager off the street, you'd have Livia.  I felt like I was drowning in her self-doubt and negativity.  And the whole idea of dreamstrinding and the dream world Oneiros?  It felt like an incomplete concept.  My imagination became a little fuzzy with this world because I was struggling to grasp it and understand it.  Given my contempt for the main character, I kind of found myself cheering on the bad guy once I finally got sucked into the book.  Unfortunately, that happened about fifty pages before it ended.

I just had a hard time fantasizing this story.  Plus, wanting to strangle the main character was a little bit distracting.  I suggest seeing some more reviews before deciding whether or not to read this one.

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