Dream­ing Dan­ger­ous

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews | Young Adult -

Lau­ren Deste­fano, Blooms­bury (JULY) Hard­cover $16.99 (208pp), 978-1-68119-447-9

Dream­ing Dan­ger­ous is a darkly thrilling story of magic and sus­pense. Plum, Vien, Artem, and Gwen­dle are four ex­tra­or­di­nary friends who dream in tan­dem. They are some of the old­est stu­dents at Brass­mere Academy, a school full of or­phans who pos­sess ex­tra­or­di­nary abil­i­ties.

Brass­mere seems like a happy place; on the sur­face, its stu­dents are con­tent. But the chil­dren have no pri­vacy and are stud­ied too closely, vis­i­tors aren’t al­lowed, leav­ing is for­bid­den, and the adults are se­cre­tive and mys­te­ri­ous.

And the friends’ dreams are be­com­ing dark and scary, full of mon­sters they must de­feat; they are start­ing to feel un­safe in the wak­ing world too. One night, Plum re­ceives a warn­ing from a sleep­walk­ing stu­dent out­side of their small cir­cle; it echoes a warn­ing Artem is­sued while dream­ing. The next day, Artem goes missing. It is up to Plum to learn what form the dan­ger will take and to res­cue her­self and her friends from its clutches.

The four main char­ac­ters are in­trigu­ing, with very dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties and tem­per­a­ments. The in­ti­macy of their shared dreams keeps them close to one an­other. There is a good bal­ance of emo­tional in­ten­sity and phys­i­cal ac­tion in the book, and the mys­tery of the friends’ sit­u­a­tion, com­bined with the fear of what may be com­ing, makes the nar­ra­tive com­pelling. It is dif­fi­cult to put the book down.

Not ev­ery ques­tion is an­swered by the last page. The ul­ti­mate goal of the school’s cre­ator is never dis­closed, nor is the fate of most of the stu­dents. Still, the story is en­joy­ably sin­is­ter and comes to a sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion for the main char­ac­ters. The book is, sim­ply put, a great deal of fun.

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