Akijar It could have been less painful, but necessary. It was an admirable quality and it made it easier to like her even though she could be a little shit at times. I loved the cover and the concepts of dream walking was so intriguing to me. Our main character, Josh, is a seventeen year old dream walker — she and her family and a small community of other dream walkers help to solve nightmares of people around the world. Josh and Will are very simple and average teens, but has a lot of determination and strength and will power to achieve extraordinary goals, even if they have to fight for it, they would rather do it. Apr 17, Eme Abarracoso rated it liked it.

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But it was hardly a warm afternoon in the park, either. She stood knee-deep in very cold water that smelled of rotting fast food and gave off fumes like fresh asphalt.

Around her legs, oily patterns floated on the surface of stagnant, brackish water as it flowed down the cramped concrete sewer tunnel and into the darkness. The ladder had been behind her a moment before; now it was gone. Like so many things in the Dream, it had vanished without reason. When the lighter grew hot in her hand, she let the cap close with a click. The darkness was absolute—No cheating, it seemed to say—and while Josh had been in dark places lots of times, there was a bad vibe down here; it drove the adrenaline that made her hands want to grab a weapon and her legs ache to run.

The feeling might just have been instinct, but Josh knew better than to ignore it. Instinct had saved her life too many times. For a moment she hesitated, rubbing her numb fingertips against the warm metal lighter. Usually when Josh was inside the Dream universe, she kept the image of stone walls in the back of her mind. But now Josh imagined a tiny hole in one wall, a well-worn hole the size of her pinky finger where a cork usually fit, and when she pulled the cork out, a slither of blue smoke came through.

A man in an old-fashioned coat. A gas can. A mask. A little boy wearing the gas mask, his face turning white, then blue, the mask pulling at his skin, sucking, sucking Josh jammed the cork back in the wall before the dreamfire could overwhelm her. She opened her eyes and flicked the lighter again. A sloshing noise came from one end of the tunnel, and Josh saw the dreamer come running—a woman in her early forties, nice-looking in a middle-class, soccer-mom kind of way. They put a mask on Paul and he turned all blue.

Some would realize the truth of the statement and wake up, while an interesting few would gain conscious control over their own nightmare. Soccer mom did neither. Josh felt the dreamfire flickering against the walls in her mind, like flames burning just outside her field of vision.

All right, she thought, this lady is not hearing me. We need an out. Unfortunately, there was no immediately apparent way to escape the dream. Josh needed a doorway, a manhole, an iron gate. Any kind of porthole, anything that would move them both to a different place.

Josh grimaced as the dreamer took off running, splashing through the water like a duck taking flight. Before Josh could go after her, a gust of freezing air swept the back of her neck. She spun so fast her feet lost purchase on the greasy tunnel floor and she fell on her butt—again. The hand holding the Zippo slipped underwater. But before the light went out, she caught a glimpse of the man who had been standing not five feet behind her. Now she understood why the woman was so upset. The man stood tall and wide enough to fill the tunnel.

He wore a green-black leather trench coat that glistened like the shell of a beetle. Big green buttons ran down the front and a wide belt cinched the waist. On his head sat a matching felt fedora with a black band. A gas mask covered his face, and two rubber tubes connected it to a huge canister that he wore on his back.

The canister was so large that Josh could see it over his shoulder. It was made of something white and slick, like bone. The gas mask hid his face, but the two hands sticking out of the overlong sleeves were massive, and the fingers, thick as quarter rolls, were spread wide apart.

Even in the meager half-second glimpse she got of him, Josh saw the muscles in the backs of his hands straining against the flesh as he forced his fingers farther away from each other. His hands must have hurt, spread so wide. Josh sat in the water, in the dark, and listened to the gritty sound of the lighter flicking futilely. He was close—how close? Which side? She hated not knowing where he was, because she was going to have to make a run for it and she needed to know which direction to run.

Some nightmares could be dealt with, resolved, like the one the week before when a man dreamt that he had started a grease fire in the kitchen while frying a couple of breaded tennis shoes. Josh had just walked in, grabbed a fire extinguisher, and put the fire out. Man relieved, nightmare over. But this dream was too minimalist to work with; there were no possibilities for improvisation in the tunnel. The source of danger was obvious, but the means of defense were a mystery.

What could she use against this canister-carrying menace? Possibly nothing. Not all nightmares could be resolved, and if that was the case in this nightmare, Josh had only one option left. The face of the man in the trench coat was less than a foot from her own. All she saw during that glance were his eyes, bulging from above the rubber rim of his gas mask.

They were black. The man carrying the canister had black eyes, deep and yet shiny. They had no whites. They had no irises. They had no pupils. It was as if his eyelids opened onto deep space. He peered at her. A feeling emanated from this man—no, this creature—that made it hard for Josh to focus.

Part of the feeling was intense desire, not for her but for violence, and part of it was indifference. Only the deepest fears could awaken dreamfire, and only the strongest mental walls could stand against it.

One moment of weakness would be enough to ignite a hysteria that would render Josh as powerless as the dreamer. This would hardly be her first time. Every sense was exaggerated—the sound of ribs cracking exploded in his ears, the blood was as thick as frosting, and it dried bright crimson, when it did finally dry.

Then he spoke, the words muffled by the mask. No accent. No cadence. No real interest. He knew her mother? But while Josh stared at him with a tilted head, the man in the trench coat reached for a second gas mask dangling from his canister, and she remembered what the soccer mom had said. His head snapped back. The felt hat flipped off his skull, revealing strands of gray-black hair twisted around a palm-sized bald spot. Josh lashed out again. This time her heel caught him square in the breastbone and sent him flying into the side of the tunnel.

His canister clanged against the wall. Before he could so much as finish sliding into the water, she was on her feet and running full-out through the tunnel. The water felt thick; it clung to her jeans as if trying to hold her back. Move, move, move, she told herself. The dreamer appeared around a bend in the tunnel, and Josh stumbled to a stop beside her.

Finally, Josh thought at the sight of the door. She thought she could guess which. Cold air gusted from the direction she had run. If she thought Josh capable, the Dream would conform. Josh launched herself at the door. Pain shot through her shoulder, but the hinges creaked. Josh managed not to glare at her. She threw herself against the door again, so hard her arm moved in her shoulder socket. This time the door fell outward. And kept falling. On the other side of the doorway stretched black emptiness.

Josh grabbed the tunnel wall with her free hand to keep from tumbling into the void. Why were people always so quick to assume that they were going to die?


Dreamfire: A novel

January 30th, Synopsis Unlike most year-olds, Joshlyn Weaver has a sacred duty. If they fail, the emotional turmoil in the Dream could boil over and release nightmares into the World. A lapse in judgment and the death of someone she loved have shaken her confidence. Experience the dangers of the dream world in Dreamfire, a riveting, young adult debut novel by Kit Alloway. It has a different feel to it, and if someone gets caught in it, they almost never manage to pull themselves out again. Our main character, Josh, is a seventeen year old dream walker — she and her family and a small community of other dream walkers help to solve nightmares of people around the world.


Book Review: Dreamfire by Kit Alloway

If they fail, the emotional turmoil in the Dream could boil over and release nightmares into the World. A lapse in judgment and the death of someone she loved have shaken her confidence. They have the burden of keeping all nightmares in balance. If too many nightmares get out of balance, everything could be shot to shit and the world would be thrown into utter chaos.

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