Review Blog

Mar 28 2007

Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox

cover image

Fourth Estate, Harper Collins.
Age 14+ Dreamquake is the second in Elizabeth Knox's quality fantasy duet for young adults and follows Dreamhunter where the young protagonists, Laura and Rose were introduced. It is set in 1902 in a familiar country called Southland which has an unique, alternative land called The Place, where only dreamhunters can visit. There they find dreams which they bring back for people to experience, much as films are used for entertainment today. However a government minister has not only been using dreams to control convict labour, he has decided to dominate the country's population with this mind control. Rose and Laura are determined to thwart his plans and the story continues with Laura on the run with the Sandman, her companion from The Place. Hunted by the police and rangers, Laura faces many hardships and adventures, while Rose continues the struggle in a determined way with classmates and society.

This is beautifully written story. The dry, barren landscape of The Place is vividly portrayed and contrasts with the activities of society like the beauty of Rose's coming-out ball. Characters are well rounded with strengths and weaknesses developed. The descriptions of alternative futures are haunting and frightening.

This is a demanding story which readers of fantasy will enjoy for its sheer originality and the questions that it poses. Its conclusion is challenging and leaves the reader asking whether dreams can change the world and what has to be given up for the world to change. Many may wish to try adult books by this author.

Pat Pledger

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