Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith

Title: Dreamstrider
Author: Lindsay Smith
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: October 6th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.

Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighborhing kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.

A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.


Goodness what to say about Dreamstrider.  Dreamstrider was a struggle for me, not because of the actual story but the beginning never captured my attention.  The beginning of the book reminded me immediately of the movie Inception.  I actually read the first 20 pages four different times because I was not feeling it.  I finally pressed on and realized Dreamstrider was not what I was expecting at all, in a good way!

The main character has the ability to go into a dream world and take over a body of another sleeping person.  So even though Livia is a spy and able to penetrate very high level dangerous meetings there is a lot more going on.  The dream world is threatened by a grave danger.  Livia has to continue her missions while dealing with a looming darkness threatening her every mission.  There is a mix of politics, spies, magic, and romance.

Once the world building and plot pace picked up I started getting into the story.  Smith creates an imaginative and high energy world with a strong good versus evil mood.  The romance seemed to be an after though; I never had a strong urge to have the romance come to fruition, I was very indifferent.  Ultimately, I enjoyed the world building and fantasy aspects but lacked any attachments to the characters.  Their development and growth was weak and predictable leaving me with a lackluster feeling in the end.

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