Monday, 9 April 2012

Review of DREAMLAND by Alyson Noel

Author: Alyson Noel
Source: Purchased paperback
Publish Date: September 13th 2011

I hereby award this book 5 wings!

I haven't reviewed the other books in this series, but as I have WHISPER from Macmillan to review, I thought I would also write one for DREAMLAND.

I became a fan of Alyson Noel when I first came across The Immortals Series. I was hooked on them from Evermore and was really sad when I got to the end of Everlasting, knowing that this was the end for the series. 

When I first heard of her intention to write a spin-off series, I knew I would have to read those books. I was so happy when Radiance (Riley Bloom #1) was released. I had been dying to know more about Riley in her own right, not just as Ever's little sister.

Riley is spunky, full of fun and would make for an adorable younger sister. In her afterlife, she finds herself working as a Soul Catcher - helping souls cross from the Earth plane, where they may be stuck due to what we might term 'unfinished business'. Either that or they just like haunting people. It's up to Riley to find the reason why they are hanging around and help them to put whatever it might be behind them.

Now all this sounds like a huge responsibility, but that doesn't mean that Riley is as mature as perhaps she could be. In part, you could put that down to her being eternally stuck as a 12 year old girl. She died before she could reach her 13th birthday. But you could also put it down to the fact that Riley just does not listen.

Bodhi, her guide, tries to help her see that she could do so much more with her afterlife, she could maybe one day achieve her dream of being a teenager. But not while she is so reluctant to act grown up. Riley doesn't see this and continues to throw tantrums and act like the eternal child.

In DREAMLAND, Riley is no different. She is determined to go against whatever anyone advises her, especially Bodhi. She's stubborn and feisty and that attitude makes it hard for him to get through to her. 

This time, Riley is finding the afterlife lonely. Her family have their own afterlife to get on with and she doesn't have any friends. The only person she has for company is Bodhi and of course her dog Buttercup. But it's time to take a vacation - so it's just Buttercup for company.

So she decides she wants to visit the place where they make dreams happen - the only trouble is, Bodhi has told her it's forbidden. 
Now anyone normal would take that as a warning and try to find something else to occupy their time. But no, not Riley. She wants to find a way to communicate with Ever and she will do whatever it takes, even that which is forbidden.

Riley finds herself in Dreamland. She meets the Director who tells her about the 2 ways that you can send dreams. A Dream Jump is the way to jump into the dreamer's dream, you find a way to blend into the dream and give them your message. A Dreamweave is entirely different. An entire dream can be created in the studio and sent to the dreamer. The only thing being that Dreamweaving was outlawed many years ago. 

Riley is taught how to Dream Jump. The only problem is that by the time she has the hang of it, it's closing time at the studio. But this is Riley Bloom we're talking about and a little thing such as the studio being closed won't get in her way. 

I won't tell you what happens, suffice to say, Riley is a bit of a magnet for trouble. Is it because she refuses to grow up and act a little more maturely? Quite probably!

I love the Riley Bloom series. They are always fast-paced, fun-packed and good for a laugh or ten. I very often find myself sitting laughing out loud at the scrapes she gets herself into. I started reading Dreamland last night, only to find that I couldn't put it down until the end. So it was 1:35am before I finally got to bed. Serves me right for starting it at 11:00pm really, does it not?! 

So it's off to read WHISPER now and see what other scrapes Riley gets into. 

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