A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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 neighborhing 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.
Reading While Sick
That might seem random but this last week I had a bad cold and had to resort to meds to help me breathe. In the midst of my sickness I picked up Dreamstrider and I found it to be probably the BEST book I could have chosen to read. This book was written very well and had a slower pace that kept me interested but allowed me to savor each word.
I am finding it so difficult to really communicate the experience of reading this book. It was a tad confusing at parts but in a wonderful way. The story revolved around dreams so it fit perfectly for it to not be completely clear cut. The characters, especially Livia, were really well done and easy for me to connect to. I really loved the relationship between Brandt and Livia and I adored their scenes together.
As for the twists and turns I never exactly knew where things were headed but a lot of that was due to the general cloud of confusion that I had throughout my reading experience. I really don’t know if this was because of my Dayquil haze or if things were hard to understand in general. I’d love to hear from other readers if they found things confusing or not. I am confident I will reread this book at some point because it was such an excellent read for me. I feel like it is the type of book that a reread would allow me to focus on other elements that I missed on the first read.
An element of this book I did not expect was how creepy certain elements were. This book had me cringing with creepy in a few places. I loved this and felt it was so well done and executed. I should have suspected that a book about dreams and nightmares and dreamwalking would have creepy bits but it came as a surprise.
You’ll notice in the summary the word ‘espionage’- I loved how Smith incorporated spies, espionage, betrayal, political schemes and dream walking all in one story. Though so many things were touched on it all meshed beautifully. Really, I just found this entire book to be such a surprisingly well done book.
Dreamstrider was the book I’ve been looking for- a story that incorporated the dream world with excellent characters and a incredible story line.