In general I am the kind of person who reads a book once (which does nothing to change the fact that I must own every book I ever fell in love with), but there are a few books I have to pull out now and again to re-read. Dreamhunter is one of these books. It was a books that I stumbled upon with no prior recommendation and couldn’t put down. On the cover it says it is “Book one of the Dreamhunter duet”. Duet? Best thing to call a series of two books ever!
The book follows fifteen-year-old Laura Hame and her family in a world similar to ours where special people called dreamhunters enter the Place in order to catch dreams and play them back for audiences in dream theaters. These dreams can have both healing and damaging effects, depending on the dream. Laura’s father was the first to discover the Place and is the most renowned of the dreamhunters. When Laura follows in his footsteps she finds herself deeply entwined in old family secrets, political scandal, and the mysterious origins of the Place.
Knox weaves the story through this book, and it’s sequel Dreamquake, with elegant ease. Within pages the reader feels as if they are walking alongside Laura. The complicated relationships of the family never fail to ring true even in the most trying circumstances they find themselves in. Laura is a captivating character to follow as she tries to figure out the Place’s secrets and begins to carry the burden of those secrets on her own young shoulders. Knox manages to make Laura both strong and vulnerable in turn with equal honesty. Even as she makes a decision that will have terrible consequences for hundreds of people, you are rooting for her because you know she is doing what is right, no matter what it might cost her.
From beginning to end Dreamhunter reads like a true glimpse into history. Knox manages to build a completely fantastical world that rings true with every word. In my mind that is something that only the best writers can accomplish.