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The Dreaming, Vol. 1 by Queenie Chan

The Dreaming, Vol. 1

by Queenie Chan

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What is UP with these cliffhangers?!

And I have to wait THREE WEEKS for my library to get Vol II. FML.

On a brighter note! I haven't read a manga since I was... more or less since I was 13, which is sad because I really bloody enjoy them. It's even sadder that there are NO good places around here to borrow/buy mangas, so I have to make do with what I find.

And then I stumbled upon [b:The Dreaming, Vol. 1|330724|The Dreaming, Vol. 1|Queenie Chan|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348061938s/330724.jpg|321297]. It's everything I look for in a manga and more. A definite must read.

I've never reviewed one, so I'm just gonna throw some pictures at you.

Pretty pretty artwork makes me happy. I can't stand reading manga if the artwork isn't at least decent.

( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
The Dreaming by Queenie Chan is almost the first manga I've read. I say almost because I did read Red String online a few years ago (and then bought a couple of paper volumes) but I never got to the end because I lost track of it once I was up to date with the online pages. Anyway, The Dreaming is quite different, being both horror and Australian.

When twin sisters Amber and Jeanie are accepted into an exclusive Australian boarding school, their future looks bright. But the school's halls harbor a terrible secret: students have been known to wander into the surrounding bushlands and vanish...without a trace! No one knows where they went--or why. But as Amber and Jeanie are about to learn, the key to the school's dark past may lie in the world of their dreams...

I am by no means an expert on art but, to me, the art style was nice and added to the story. (People wanting to judge for themselves can see examples on Chan's website and this Asia Education Foundation page.) Especially some of the creepier images (pages? scenes?) definitely added to the vibe of the story. Especially the ones that sort of jumped out at me.

As for the story, this is Volume 1 of 3 so it was only the first part of the story, the set up for the overall story arc. The story is narrated from Jeanie's point of view and begins with the girls arriving at their new school, very isolated in the Middle of Nowhere, NSW. It's a co-ed school, which I thought was odd, especially since there's only one boy who appears briefly in this volume. (But presumably he or some other boy will be back at some point in Volumes 2 or 3, otherwise I don't see why it wouldn't just be a girls' school. This was the only thing that bothered me.)

The horror set-up in this volume includes a terrifying vice principal with a strong aversion to twins — to the extent that the girls have to pretend to be ordinary siblings born a year apart — a mysterious room, girls historically disappearing in the bush, and strange dreams. And, as I began to suspect once I was about half-way through, it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. I suspect reading the omnibus version of this would be better, but Volume 1 was all that the bookshop had. I've discovered that the paper versions are non-trivial to get a hold of outside of the US (shipping costs more than the book/s), but I will be buying the remaining volumes on the iPad via Comixology, so stay tuned!

Not strictly part of the story, but the "Introducing Australia" page at the end was comedy gold.

I enjoyed this start to a horror story. I am definitely going to read the remaining two parts, because, as I've said, the story is just not complete. I highly recommend it to fans of horror and manga, especially readers interesting in either in an Australian setting. I'm not usually much of a fan of comics (longer than webcomics, anyway) or graphic novels because I prefer words to pictures and experience existential angst over which I should be paying attention to, but this worked for me. I would urge others who don't usually read manga to give it a shot (and it's not as though it's a long read).

4.5 / 5 stars

You can read more of my reviews on my blog. ( )
  Tsana | Jan 3, 2014 |
Meh. The artwork is nice. The story is ok. Nothing spectacular. I think I'll have to stop reading graphic novels in digital format. There's something that doesn't translate well to digital in a graphic novel. ( )
  lesmel | May 16, 2013 |
This first volume of Queenie Chan's trilogy, The Dreaming, which follows the story of twin sisters Jeanie and Amber, and their experiences at Greenwich Private College - an exclusive, remote, and (as they soon discover) frightening girls' boarding school deep in the Australian bush, where students have a habit of going missing - also happens to be the first manga, or Japanese-style comic, I have read. Given that it is my intention to read the two subsequent titles - this one ends with a cliff-hanger, after all! - and that I have a long-standing interest in learning more about the manga genre/artform, it will definitely not be the last, however.

I wasn't sure just what to expect, going in, but I found The Dreaming, Vol. 1 to be an engaging story, with appealing artwork. I can't say I was particularly frightened - maybe if I were a younger reader? - but I did want to know what was going on, and raced through the book... only to discover (of course!) that I need to obtain the second. After reading Thomas Siddell's fabulous Gunnerkrigg Court books, which also tell the story of an unusual boarding school, I was a little disappointed to find all the artwork here to be black and white. But apparently that is a characteristic of manga, and after my initial surprise, I soon grew accustomed to the style, and came to like it. Recommended to all young manga-lovers, kids who like frightening tales, and all readers (like myself) interested in contemporary adaptations of the girls' school-story genre! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 3, 2013 |
A spooky story about two twins who were sent to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere...

Somehow, twins were not allowed to attend this old, grand school so the twins, Jeanie (the louder one) and Amber (the quiet one), had to pretend they are not twins, instead they are sisters. While they were exploring the school they meet the mysterious, old and scary vice-principal, Mrs Skeener, who hates twins...

As they were exploring their new school, they realised that the school is hiding something... behind a sealed door...with a creepy painting on the door...

On their first night at Greenwhich Private College, both Amber and Jeanie, start to have mysterious and unexplainable dreams which take place in the woods surrounding the school.

Night, after night, they keep having these strange dreams, which affect Amber more...

Later on, they realise that these dreams, mean something...
Can they figure it out...? Will someone die...? A mysterious and scary-ish book for those who love a little fright... :)
  TLHelen | Nov 1, 2012 |
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The setting is one the author is familiar with but is also intriguingly exotic for most American readers. Overall, it’s more creepy than scary, but in a way that gets under the skin.
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Book description
Jeanie and Amber Malkin are new students at Greenwich Private College, a boarding school in North Sydney that lies on the edge of vast, virgin bushlands. The school has a hundred-year history and is run entirely by its vice principal, who has a strange prejudice against identical twins. In fact, she rejects all twins' applications to the school. The girls were only able to get in by saying that they are just regular sisters, born 11 months apart.

After settling in and meeting new friends, the girls learn more about the school and its surrounding bushlands—which they are warned not to go into because, time and time again, young girls have wandered off into the bush and vanished...without a trace.

Few know how the girls disappeared...fewer yet know why. People lost in the bush don't simply die—they vanish, as if swallowed whole by the land. The twins heed the warning, but soon discover the reason so many girls have disappeared into the bush despite the warnings...and why the vice principal is so against identical twins studying at the school.
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When twin sisters Amber and Jeanie are accepted into an exclusive Australian boarding school, their future looks bright. But the school's halls harbor a terrible secret. Students have been known to wander into the surrounding bushlands and vanish without a trace! No one knows where they went or why. But as Amber and Jeanie are about to learn the key to the school's dark past may lie in the world of their dreams.… (more)

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