Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review: Dreamfall by Amy Plum

Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
Title: Dreamfall 
Author:  Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: May 2nd, 2017
Pages: 288
Genre: YA Science Fiction Horror
Series:  Dreamfall #1
Source:  ARC
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 was really excited for this book. Everything about this book called for me. The title, the summary, the cover. It just screamed, "I am creepy and scary read me!" I also really enjoyed reading The Revenants series by Amy Plum... so I was ready to grab this up. I did enjoy it but there were a few things that fell flat for me. Mainly the characters and the pacing of the book. The plot was interesting and I loved the idea. I just didn't feel it was executed very well. 

There this group of kids that suffer from insomnia of some kind. They all go in for an experiment that should help them get some sleep. Something happens and the kids get stuck in the dream world, with each other, and they work together to figure out what is going on and how to get out of the nightmares. 

I absolutely love the plotline in this story. I think the idea is scary, realistic, and just has so many angles to explore in a story. I would be terrified to be stuck in a nightmare. I mean I think we have all been in that place where we felt we were stuck in a bad dream. The idea that it happens during a sleep study just made it more realistic. This could happen. I can say just the idea of this is scary and holy moly horrific. This is what kept me reading this book. I wanted to know what happened, how it happened, and how in the world are these kids going to beat this. 

Another thing I really loved about the story... the alternating chapters between the dream world and the real world. As the reader, I was able to enjoy seeing what was going on in the kids' heads and what was going on in the lab. Both worlds were full of nothing but panic. I also enjoyed that in the dream world each nightmare was someone's own personal hell and in the real world the kids' pasts were explored to see why they might be having that nightmare and what in life has possibly caused them to have these sleep issues. 

That is about all I really liked about the book. Now I still did enjoy the read and will continue the series because I must know what happens.. but I was a bit disappointed. 

The book felt rushed. I love my horror and thrillers fast paced, but this one needed to be slowed a bit. I felt I was confused a bit on what was going in the dream world. Everything was happening too quick and not fully explored. There was not suspense or spine-tingling moments. 

The characters felt flat to me. I think partly because I felt rushed in their scenes of the dream world and because there were so many. I never felt that I was able to really get to know any of them. The lab scenes were a bit easier and I was able to feel some of those characters, but just a little. I really needed more character development. 

The ending left me a bit mixed up. I wanted more because I want to know what happens, but really I felt the entire book gave me no answers.I felt no resolution at all. So that was a little bothersome too.  I really feel this could have been a bit longer and more developed and it would have been awesome. 

I think this would have been better for me on audio too. So when the second book comes out. I may reread on audio and see if it's better. I am sure I will need to reread before the second one comes out.  I know it sounds like I  had a lot of issues but the story really was good and it was a fast easy read. I just wished there had been more. I am hoping the second book will have more. 

Enjoyed the concept but the execution was a little lackluster for me. However, I did enjoy it enough to get to the next book and give it a try. 

Amy Plum

Amy Plum is the international bestselling author of the DIE FOR ME series (Indie Next List pick, Romance Times top pick, and recipient of a starred review from School Library Journal). The books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages. The trilogy is accompanied by two eNovellas entitled DIE FOR HER and DIE ONCE MORE and a compendium entitled INSIDE THE WORLD OF DIE FOR ME.


  1. I'm reading this one now myself. I'm feeling a little discombobulated within the dream world as well. Things happen so quickly and no one's really chiming in to say that it was their nightmare and why. I mean i do get that these teens don't know each other but yeah, I like to know the reasoning behind the mystery! Nice review! I'm hoping to finish this one soon!

  2. I enjoyed her After the End series, so I was curious about this one. Sounds like the book should've been a little more focused with fewer POVs? It is an original concept, and it is a good sign that you'd like to continue with the story. Still, I think I'll wait until the rest of the series releases to make my decision to read or not to read. Wonderful review Jenn Renee! :)

  3. Bummer that this one didn't turn out like you were expecting. I was initially interested in it too because I love thrillers, but I also don't really like to hear about people's dreams? Like if a book goes into a dream sequence, I usually tune out-- because it's not really happening!! But I read the Wake series and didn't mind it, so maybe if the dreams are the focus and DO mean something, I'll like it?? Anyway, this is a MAYBE for me :)


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