Helllllo readers, today’s review is quite special to me because it was recommended by an author that she contact me. Being recommended by an author that you’re worth the wait for a review is an *over-the-moon* feeling. You want your blog to get to the point where people ask for reviews not only because you review alllll books but because they are good/solid reviews. It just makes it feel all the more special. Before I get too mushy, onto my review of Dreamscape.
Sixteen-year-old Alexis Stone is used to getting away from life’s frustration with Dreamscape, a video game she’s loved since childhood. As her family prepares to move, a sleepy night of gaming pulls her into the world like never before. Trapped in Dreamscape’s realm, Alex is about to learn that being a hero has consequences… and this time, the stakes are deadly. Will helping the rebellion cost her everything she knows and loves? Or will she betray them to save her own life?
The more fantasy books I read the more I admire the genre as a whole; I don’t fully enjoy the genre yet, and I wouldn’t pick up a fantasy book as a choice in a book store but more books like this one could help me to really start reading this genre but extensively. As the blurb suggests the book follows Alex who is in a bit of a mess. Her family are planning the move from her childhood home and it’s the worse time possible. As she prepares to move her and her best friend decide to play their favourite childhood game, but after dark when she attempts the game again, she is pulled into the world of Dreamscape. Here she must battle the game again but without the cheats; will she succeed? Will she join the rebellion? Can she ever escape the game? In this fantasy story all will finally be revealed.
This isn’t your typical fantasy tale, here we explore a fantastical world but in the sense of the game ‘Dreamscape.’ I thought the descriptions of the games were evocative and rich helping to place us into the narrative background. Alex at the beginning is exasperatingly angry about having to move which I found infuriating but as the book progresses her character truly evolves into a warmer more intriguing character. I must admit I didn’t really fall for her in the way that I do, as in I desperately wanted her to succeed but it’s nice to watch her story and her journey develop. I thought in terms of this when she has to decide whether to face her role as the hero full on or use her ‘cheats’ and ‘shortcuts’ to leave the rebellion was an intriguing way to connect the game, and the difficulties that Alex is dealing with in her real life.
In terms of the additional characters that we meet along the way I thought they were delightful. Arrow is writing with power as being the leader of the rebellion but he has a warmer kinder side to him whilst I thought that Melody was a deadly power female and wished we had learnt and heard more from her throughout. The writing as I mentioned briefly is strong; Alex seems everything in the game much more vividly and I thought the little changes between the game and reality helped to both connect both realities but also keep them separate. Also if you’re looking for castle, guards, missions, secret-missions, that’s all here too; all the standard game items as well.
In terms of problems the book doesn’t start with a bang, it starts quite slowly and with a lack of pace. It does pick up and for me I would keep reading for enough chapters to really get into the book but it was a little hard going. Although the characters are given interesting character profiles Alex to start with is whiny and irritating. As I’ve mentioned in the main review it’s okay because she changes so much as the novel progresses but at the beginning it does grate. Additionally the ending was, how can I put this? Disappointing? It made me angry as a reader because it just ends. The book works on a romantic storyline which is just dropped.
Overall a book of two halves for me; writing is strong, starts slow but moves with pace. Characters are well worked but then the ending falls a little flat. I think overall this is a good fantasy reader for YA readers who like the genre. I thought the concept was really clever but a little more explanation with the ending and making Alex a more likeable character would have help me to utterly love this book.