A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dreamfall is the first half of a science fiction duology by Amy Plum. Seven teen patients experience deadly nightmares during an experimental procedure that goes awry. Violent scenes occur in nearly every chapter, and they feature monsters, dead bodies and killer clowns, but they're not graphically gory. Strong language includes more than a dozen uses of "s--t" and "f--k" as well as six or seven instances of "hell," "damn," and "a--wipe." Sexual content is limited to mild flirting.
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What's the story?
At the start of DREAMFALL, seven teen subjects undergo an experimental procedure designed to cure their crippling insomnia. When an earthquake rattles the equipment, the sleepers are launched into a shared dreamspace from which they are unable to return. Each patient has a history of recurring nightmares, and elements from those dreams (mad monks, killer clowns, tentacled terrors, etc.) attack them in sequence. Those dreamers who die in the Dreamfall also succumb to heart attacks and other ailments in the "real world." Can the kids band together to fight their individual terrors and find a way out of their comas?
Is it any good?
Readers familiar with the conventions of horror movies and novels will enjoy this creepy side trip into the territory of The Matrix. With Dreamfall, author Amanda Plum brings together a diverse cast of teen patients desperate enough to undergo an experimental procedure. The continued presence of a young med student during the medical emergency is not particularly realistic, but the extra outside point of view is required by the plot. The cliffhanger ending is hard hitting, and readers who enjoy nonstop chills and thrills will be eager for more.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Dreamfall uses the trappings of horror movies and novels to tell its story. Why is horror such a popular genre?
Why are nightmares and dreams so powerful? What kinds of activities in the waking world can affect them?
How is violence used in Dreamfall? How does the threat of it affect the characters' behavior?
- Author: Amy Plum
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: May 2, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 15 - 18
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 20, 2019
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