A Book Review on Dreamlander – a portal fantasy written by K.M. Weiland
Sometimes our dreams feel so real. We think they actually happened, only to find out they weren’t real. For Chris Redston, dreams are an unwanted reality. Thrust into the dreamworld of Lael, he discovers he is The Gifted. The only one who can live consciously in both worlds, and he’s been chosen for some destined purpose he must discover with the help of his Searcher, Allara.
This book was fantastic. Five stars all the way! From the first page until the very last word, Weiland drew me into her story with intrigue and excitement. This well-developed plot is intricate, keeping you on your toes. Just when you think you’ve figured out the answer, a new twist pops up. Anything that makes me keep thinking and wondering is a great story. Not only that, but the characters are real and their development is stunning to read. Our main character, Chris, starts in his ordinary, dull life. He lives with apathy and no real purpose, but by the end he’s completely transformed because of the people he meets and the challenges he faces in both Lael and Chicago. Along the way you meet the Searcher Allara, who has a tortured past that leaves her cold and distant, but yet you see her earnest desire to live out her destiny with dignity.
I enjoyed watching Chris and Allara’s relationship blossom, starting from strictly platonic–and Allara’s only goal is to train Chris so he’s prepared for whatever he’s destined to do as the Gifted–to a deep relationship of love and trust. While the book has a large ensemble cast, each character is unique and they all have their own personalities and ways of interpreting the situation. It’s incredible to watch the development even of such minor characters as Quinnon, Allara’s bodyguard, and Peter, Chris’ alcoholic father.
My favorite character to read and watch the struggle with his choices and devastating mistakes was Orias. From the beginning, he’s forced to make an impossible decision: do what was necessary to protect his people or stay loyal to his duty as Keeper. In the end, his decision to convince the gifted to do something unthinkable becomes Orias’ greatest regret, and he struggles the entire book to redeem himself.
Then, you can’t forget about the antagonist, Mactalde. He’s a character you love to hate. He’s cunning and ruthless. The kind of villain that’ll do whatever it takes and will betray one on he needs to in pursuing his own victory.
Ultimately, Dreamlander is a gripping story that poses questions about our destiny in life and whether we have a say in that destiny. It touches on the importance of taking responsibility for your actions and that we are all pieces in the puzzle. What we do matters and affects the rest of the puzzle.
As I said before, I give this book five stars and highly recommend it to all readers who love adventure, suspense, and powerful characters.