4 out of 4 stars
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If you like novels where the use of magic is a major plot device, Journey-Becoming the Dream Walker is the book for you. Written by Thuy N. Bui, it tells the story of Alexandra Blair. She undergoes a heroic quest to find her father, Stephen, who is a magical artifacts researcher. He disappears in Dublin, while searching for a particular artifact. It is that search which directly leads to his disappearance. The local police assume that he is dead, but Alex refuses to believe it.
At the beginning of the novel, Alex is a fledgling “dream walker.” Such individuals bring information from the subconscious dream world into the waking world. The “Collective Subconscious” or CS is pictured as an autonomous, intelligent entity. It is a “netherworld” that acts as a boundary between the waking and dreaming realms.
Lion Leader is Stephen’s friend and a second father to Alex. Just before Stephen left for Ireland, Lion Leader relayed a dream to him. When Alex tells him that her father is missing, Lion Leader enters a lucid dream state to recall the earlier dream. He remembers clues that may help them to find Stephen. Alex and Lion Leader, along with her friend Roland, then set out to rescue Stephen. It soon becomes apparent that his disappearance is tied into a much larger danger, one that involves a wrathful god, his human minions and a host of magical creatures.
What I liked most about the novel was that the author has given the reader an interesting world and the characters within it. Lion Leader is mysterious and powerful. Roland is loyal and steadfast. Alex is intelligent, brave and caring. What she experiences during the novel helps her mature and master her skill as a dream walker. Both the dialogue and the action in the book serve as a vehicle for the author to outline magical concepts. One example is where Alex spontaneously channels the element of fire through her hand, in order to battle hostile magical creatures. Another example is her talisman, an object of magical protection, that Alex received from her mother. In the form of a necklace, the talisman provides guidance to her. It can also change shape into other objects, such as a staff or sword, to help Alex safely navigate the many obstacles she encounters during her dream walking journeys.
The one thing I did not like about the novel was the use of long and complicated sentences. Generally, the proper punctuation was used in them, but my personal preference is for a simple, clean writing style. There were a few errors but they did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.
I am happy to rate Journey-Becoming the Dream Walker 4 out of 4 stars. This rating reflects the interesting story elements and characters. I would recommend it to those who like novels that use magical elements or where the main character undergoes a heroic quest. Since the use of magic is a major theme in the story, I would not recommend it if this does not appeal to you. As an adult, I enjoyed reading it but I think it would also work well for a young adult audience. I appreciate that the author did not leave this first volume of a series on a major cliff hanger and I look forward to reading the next book.
JOURNEY - Becoming the Dream Walker
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