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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Dreamfall by Amy Plum @AmyPlumOhLaLa @harperteen

TITLE: Dreamfall
SERIES: Dreamfall, Book #1
AUTHOR: Amy Plum
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 288 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction
ISBN: 9780062429872
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.


I have suffered from insomnia for decades, so the premise of this story really appealed to me. I don't think that I'll ever participate in any sleep studies, LOL!

A group of seven kids, ranging in age from 13 years to 19 years, all with sleep disorders sign up for a radical treatment involving electroconvulsive technology. The total length of the therapy is about six hours, with all patients hooked up to machines to monitor their brain/muscle activity, heart rhythms, and eye movements. After being put under general anaesthesia, the patients are zapped with an electrical current which is supposed to put them into REM sleep for about 20 minutes and then they will transition to non-REM sleep for about 50 minutes when the current is off. The cycle is supposed to repeat five times in total, which the doctors believe will reset their sleep patterns. However, before the end of the first REM cycle, there was an earthquake which interrupted the flow of the electrical current which had disastrous results. The doctors are unable to wake up the patients, and none of them appear to have any brain activity and appear to be comatose.

Meanwhile, in dreamland, the kids are trapped in their worst nightmares. They have to stay together if they have any fighting chance to survive their nightmares, and they need each other to interpret what is going on so that they can anticipate what will happen next. The REM/non-REM cycle also has an effect on what is happening to the kids in dreamland.

The story is told from multiple points of view of the kids, who are an eclectic group all with their own issues. We also hear the perspective of Jamie, a pre-med student witnessing the experiment who observes patterns that the doctors are oblivious to. Jamie is my favourite character in the story and, when I asked the author on Twitter whether Jamie was a male or female because it bugged me that it was never disclosed in the book, she told me that Jaime was a literary gender experiment.

The author posted on Twitter that she was interested to find out from readers whether we thought Jaime was a male or female. Here was my response:

The story moved at a fast pace, and I really enjoyed learning about the backgrounds of each of the kids. As an insomniac, I found the whole experiment to be pretty freaky and I was hooked!

Plum is a new-to-me author, and I cannot wait to read the conclusion to this duology, Neverwake, to be released in August 2018.


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy science-fiction.

This book qualifies as:


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