Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Dreamquake Book Poster Image
Like dreams, lauded book is confusing, ethereal.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Fighting; a man is beaten with a rifle; a riot; a girl is killed by fire; people are kidnapped.


Some kissing and making out; implied sex resulting in pregnancy.


One use of "s--t."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Smoking, drinking, a stimulant is used to stay awake, dreams are used to drug people.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that a teen girl gets pregnant in a sex scene so oblique that the reader isn't really certain that sex has occurred until later in the story when the pregnancy is revealed. There is some violence, including fighting, kidnapping, and a girl is killed by fire.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byCharli5078 January 9, 2010
I have read this book 3 times, THATS HOW MUCH I LOVE IT! DreamQuake puts me in an awesome mood. im a teenager. btw.

What's the story?

In 1906, Dreamhunters have the ability to go into The Place, and bring dreams out to share in entertainment performances and convalescent homes. Laura, a young dreamhunter whose father disappeared in the first book, Dreamhunter, takes over another dreamhunter's performance, imposing a horrifying nightmare meant to alert the public to the abuse of dreams by the government. But that abuse is only the tip of the iceberg in a far-reaching conspiracy to use dreamhunters to control the population.

Is it any good?

This book about dreams has a dreamlike quality: not everything makes sense, but it's oddly compelling, and completely original. The jumble of characters is confusing, especially if you haven't read the first book, and the ending leaves many questions unanswered. But there's an urgency to the narrative, and a strength to the writing, that keeps the pages turning even when you're not completely sure what's going on.

On the other hand, alert readers will have figured out the conspiracy long before the characters do, and may wonder why these brilliant people are so obtuse. But that is compensated for by the author's creation of Nown, a fascinating being Laura made in the first book. Part Golem, part guardian angel, this teen-girl fantasy literally comes into his own here. This flawed but intriguing work doesn't hold up to the comparison to Philip Pullman touted on the cover. But it has flashes of brilliance, and one can hope for even better in the future from this promising author.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dreams. Could they be used to control people? To heal them? Do dreams have any power over the real world? Also, what do you make of the ending? What has happened to Nown?

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