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Dreamhunter (2006)

by Elizabeth Knox

Series: Dreamhunter Duet (1)

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6573627,376 (3.88)54
In a world where select people can enter "The Place" and find dreams of every kind to share with others for a fee, a fifteen-year-old girl is training to be a dreamhunter when her father disappears, leaving her to carry on his mysterious mission.
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» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
So awesome. Had a great twist and really interesting. ( )
  Nicole_girl | Mar 8, 2021 |
I find this duology ("duet") delightful; this reread is courtesy of having bought my own copies so I can read it whenever I like.

The story follow two coming-of-age cousins and their interactions with society and with "the Place", where dreams can be harvested for use by those with the talent. It's set in an analogy of an early twentieth-century Euro-colony (I've seen reviewers assume it's the US; as an Antipodean knowing Elizabeth Knox is a fellow Antipodean, I always assumed it was One Of Us Down South - ETA: it certainly is, as they have Christmas in summer).

It engages authentically (for me) with both the trappings of colonialism, and the freedom of distance that comes with it, but that isn't its primary focus (and that's one element of why I tend to "let it off" on the question of the absent natives). Mostly, this book is concerned with examining privilege, and that comes in many flavours and aspects. There's the privilege of the dreamhunters, but also the privilege of those whose only engagement with dreams is the consumption (who are sheltered from the reality of those dreams). There's the privilege of wealth, the privilege of authority, the privilege of a loving family. Also elements of looking at both the privilege of being an adult (being taken seriously?), the privilege of being a child (being looked after?), and the journey between those two privileges that forms part of coming of age, and the various ways in which Rose and Laura, because of all their differences, have to negotiate that.

It's also about relationships, and how they cannot remain static if they are to remain vibrant and strong and real, and about consequences, and about what makes a person a person and who deserves autonomy. It's all of these things, and also lushly written, with lavish, poetic detail (that may make the story drag for more action-focused readers, but lulled me deeply into the embrace of the narrative) and intricate characters who are such people.

To return to point: I love it. The world is winter morning air crisp and papercut real, the characters grow and twist and tug at my heart, and the mysteries that it starts to lay out (and pulls tight in the second volume) are enthralling. This, for me, is excellent fiction that just happens to be YA. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
I enjoyed this book, mainly for the intriguing plot and world. The writing is not anything special, but I want to find out what happens in the sequel! ( )
  PeterWhitfield | May 19, 2016 |
Simply beautiful, perfect story. Love the characters, the setting, the otherworldliness of their world... ( )
  susan259 | Jan 20, 2016 |
This is the first in duet and as stated earlier in the reviews should be read as such. It is clear that the book simply ends and that most of the story has not been told. The author does a great job of creating a dreamlike atmosphere in the book and is able to maintain that quality throughout. Evocative atmosphere aside, the author has created a believable world that is clearly some sort of colony of the old British Empire. In this the book reminded me of the work of Libba Bray and Robin McKinley, where it is clear that the protagonists live in this colonial empire. I was impressed with the writing in that the main characters do not always make the right decisions and are clearly struggling to find their way. I have started the second book and so will reserve further judgement until I finish it. ( )
  benitastrnad | Sep 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
 

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To my son, Jack Barrowman.
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On a late winter night, the Isle of the Temple lay quiet, streets empty and shimmering.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Dreamhunter" and "The Rainbow Opera" are the same book with different titles.
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In a world where select people can enter "The Place" and find dreams of every kind to share with others for a fee, a fifteen-year-old girl is training to be a dreamhunter when her father disappears, leaving her to carry on his mysterious mission.

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