Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Black and White Publishing (17 May 2012)
‘You’d never think it could happen to you. You’d never think that one day you’d stand in a graveyard, rain tapping on a sea of black umbrellas, watching your parents being lowered into the earth, never to come back. It’s happening to me. They said it was an accident. Only I know the truth. My parents were hunters, like their parents and grandparents before them, hundreds of years back, scores of ancestors behind me, fulfilling the same call. I must follow in their footsteps. I am the only one left to keep the promise. I can never give up the fight, this fight that has been handed down to me, thrust upon my unwilling shoulders. I’d rather be buried with my parents, my brave, fierce father and mother, who lived and died by the Midnight motto: Don’t Let Them Roam.’
Ever since her thirteenth birthday, seventeen-year-old Sarah Midnight’s dreams have been plagued by demons – but unlike most people’s nightmares, Sarah’s come true. Her dreams guide her parents’ hunt as Sarah remains in bed, terrified but safe, sheltered from the true horrors of the Midnight legacy. But all this is about to change. After the murder of her parents, she is cruelly thrust into a secret world of unimaginable danger as she is forced to take up their mission. Alone and unprepared for the fight that lies before her, Sarah must learn how to use the powers she’s inherited and decide whom to trust before it’s too late…
We start Sarah’s story at James and Anne’s funeral. Her maternal aunt, Juliet, is staying at Sarah’s family home. Juliet has no idea of the secret activities the Midnight family are involved with. The plan is for Sarah to move in with her aunt. With good timing, in walks Sarah’s cousin, Harry Midnight.
Sarah has had no training from her parents, she does not know the truth behind the hunting. Straight away Sarah is forced to use her power for the first time (with Harry by her side) and from that moment, they are a team trying to save her.
We learn the mythology of the demons and hunters through different characters involved in protecting humanity. There is a hierarchy and reasons behind everything. Their stories are woven through the time the reader spends with Sarah and Harry. New information is given from them all the way through the story so the reader is eager to find out more about why the demons are managing to slip through the time stream and into this world. (The connection between human and demon reminded me of Philip Pullman and His Dark Materials Trilogy). There are some really interesting concepts in this mythology! It is very well crafted.
Sarah’s character is so believable. Neglected by her parents while they are off hunting every night, waking up after the terrors of her dreams with no-one there, she’s developed her own way to cope with the anxiety and fear. Not able to get close to even her best friend because of the life they live, she truly has been alone. Her developing feelings for Harry (by the way, there is more to Harry than he’s led Sarah to believe) while also under the spell of an enigmatic ‘male’ in her dream world leads to a very unusual love triangle! This series is targeted at the Young Adult audience and the romance is pitched at just the right level. Innocent and poignant.
I loved it that I didn’t know where the story would take me next. Would I be fighting the humans/demons who had killed Sarah’s parents or would I be in Louisiana or the Alps hiding or even in a dream? Despite being written in the first person it was easy to switch between the action.
There is much I thoroughly enjoyed in Dreams – the Dark Arts, the herbs, the spells, the elementals and the sigils; the different powers the secret families have; the mythology. The scenes are all apt with the theme of the story – darkness, storms, basements, physical endurance and isolation.
Dreams is fast-paced with new levels being introduced at every turn. Betrayal (from 20 years ago), deception, romance, magic and intrigue. The story ends with threads beginning to come together and the seemingly ending of one … and I just know there’s more to the cat than meets the eye. I want to find out if I’m right!
I wasn’t sure whether Dreams was a strong three fairy read for me or a ‘keeper’. Having written my review and re-lived the story, it’s definitely a keeper!
I would like to thank Janne Moller from Black & White Publishing for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Character Sarah Midnight has her own Twitter account.
Dani’s debut novel Watch Over Me (not YA) was one of my Top 10 Fiction for 2011. Click the title to read my review.