on 10 June 2016
A fabulous story knitting fantasy with real life by sending the main character back and forth between worlds as he goes to sleep in each. Sent from our world to the land of Lael as a Gifted, he is to bring in a new epoch, but his foolish actions during his first visit spells disaster not just for him but for both our world and theirs; he must do and give much to redeem the mess he has created.
A beautifully written and totally captivating book; I was held right from the opening page and was so sad to finally reach the end and have to leave this story and its rich tapestry of characters behind.
I greatly look forward to the sequel which is due, I believe, in 2018.
on 16 August 2013
Usually, I find the product descriptions and/or book covers inaccurate and/or misleading, but the following really grabbed my attention (and it turned out to be a perfect summary of the plot):
"What if it were possible to live two very different lives in two separate worlds? What if the dreams we awaken from are the fading memories of that second life? What if one day we woke up in the wrong world?"
If I had read the book's description sooner, I would have rushed to read the novel, but I kept putting it off in favor of my usual zombie/horror novels. Never again!!
I was expecting something more like Behold the Dawn, and I positively shocked when I read this novel from Weiland. I knew she was a talented author, but I had no idea she could wrote a fantasy novel with this type of depth and action. So often with fantasy books, I find the beginning too slow, with too many flowery descriptions, but Weiland set the perfect pace, alternating the POV between Chris Redston (the Gifted) and Allara Katadin (the Searcher), the two characters who are linked through their dreams.
As the main character moves between the two worlds, Weiland creates a very realistic feel to the emotions and reactions of Chris, especially when it comes to his unwanted gift. I felt transported myself with the author's powerful imagery and the passion she wove into her cast of characters. I loved how every character's personality contributed to the storyline. By the time you reach the end of this suspenseful and dramatic saga, you will feel as if you fought in the war for Lael yourself.
I would love to see Weiland wrote more novels in this style...I think she has finally found her calling in the mixed sub-genre of sci-fi/fantasy.
on 28 February 2013
I'm not going to do a breakdown of the story of Dreamlander, because a number of reviewers have already done that.
What I am going to say is WOW!!!
This is an amazing fantasy. It is so intense and powerful, while at the same time there are moments of humour thanks to a sweet little character called Pitch. He became a favourite of mine, along with Orias Tarn the Charazii warrior. There are a large cast of characters in the book, but the writing is so good that I lost track of no one.
In the beginning of the book the main character Chris Redston was understandably anxious and unwilling to embrace his calling as the gifted to the dream world of Lael. His desire to return to his own world forces him to do something that brings about disaster in both worlds, and he finds himself thrust into a war that is both grisly and terrifying. At first I found Chris frustrating, but I grew to like him more as the story progressed.
I was impressed by the way the writer moved so fluidly from one world to the other. It could have been a disaster, but it worked brilliantly.
The writing is so descriptive that I felt myself drawn into the scenes of war. One could almost hear the clash of swords...the thunder of gunfire, and the screams of the dying and injured men and horses. The conclusion of the story took me by surprise, but nevertheless I loved it.
Dreamlander is an emotional roller coaster ride. However, like all good rides you feel exhilarated and satisfied at the end of it.
It's a great book and I highly recommend it.
on 14 February 2015
dream lander is a book of two parts as well as two worlds.
To start with, the story is slow and drawn out. There's plenty going on but is some way I didn't really engage with the characters. Things get more gripping at about 75% through.
Not a bad storyline with a unexpected final solution to the 'problem'.
on 23 October 2013
I have read K.M. Weiland's writing craft books and really enjoyed them, but this is the first of her fiction books that I have read and I wasn't sure what to expect. Let's just say, now I know why her craft books (especially Structuring Your Novel) are so good. This is one writer who really knows how to structure a good story.
At 546 pages, Dreamlander is far from a quick read, but at no point did the story feel like it was dragging or that it could be sped up in any way. The plot, and the characters, had me hooked from the first page to the last. A large cast of characters can sometimes be a little confusing, but K.M. Weiland handles this perfectly. Each character is so unique, with their own set of quirks and way of speaking that I could easily visualise each and every one and never got a single one of them mixed up (this has to be a first for me with a cast this size).
The story world became so real for me that I can still picture every detail. Someone needs to turn this book into a film.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dreamlander and, if you like fantasy, I highly recommend it.
I give Dreamlander 5 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating System:
1 star: I will never post a 1 star review because this means it was so bad I couldn't finish it, and I don't won't publicly rate a book I haven't read all the way through.
2 stars: I may have liked the story but it was badly written or it may have been a boring story well written. Something about it kept me reading but I didn't enjoy it.
3 stars: A good, enjoyable read. If the description appeals to you I'd recommend reading it.
4 stars: A really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed and may even read again. I will want to read other books by the same author. Highly recommend.
5 stars: Reserved for books that blew me away and whose characters I can't get out of my head. These are books that I will definitely read again, possibly several times. If I read an e-book version I may even have to go buy a hard copy for my shelves. Why are you still here? Go read this book right now.
on 19 July 2013
Chris Redston has dreams. Everyone dreams, but not everyone has dreams where a beautiful woman on a warhorse sits astride a warhorse and points a firearm at him. One night, Chris's dream becomes real, and he finds himself in the land of Lael, given with a stone called the Orimere, and charged with protecting the lives of thousands.
Allara Katadin is the Searcher, the person in Lael with a mental connection with the Gifted, the one who can cross into Lael from our world in their dreams, the one who is called into Lael with a destiny to launch and end epochs. It's a huge responsibility for both the Gifted and the Searcher, and the last Gifted, Harrison Garnett, turned traitor.
Every time Chris falls asleep he swaps worlds, between Lael and his normal life in Chicago. Yet is seems others know about the dual worlds, because all of a sudden normal Chicago life has got a lot more dangerous. Things are going wrong in both worlds, and it's all Chris's fault.
This was quite a complex plot with a whole new world to understand, including the tradition of the Searcher and the Gifted, the politics, kindgoms and races of Lael, and the relationship between Chris and Allara. As a result it took a while to get into the story as a reader, but the effort was worth it and the author did an excellent job of introducing the information about Lael so as not to overwhelm the reader. The writing was very good, the plot tight and fast-paced, and Lael was populated with realistic and likeable characters.
The story was quite long, and while I enjoyed seeing Chris in Lael, I felt the Chicago scenes slowed down the action. It also seemed that Chris never got any sleep - his bodies did, but his mind was always active and continually had to switch between worlds. This didn't quite ring true for me.
In terms of genre, Dreamlander is epic fantasy with a very slight steampunk feel, in that Lael has some steam technology not typically found in fantasy novels (at least not in my experience). It was a well-thought out world and one that was well-described without that description becoming overwhelming, and this was a real strength. Recommended for fantasy fans.
Thanks to KM Weiland and StoryCartel for providing a free ebook for review.
on 11 June 2013
Dreamlander is a spectacular novel by K. M. Weiland set in Lael, the world which we inhabit in our dreams.
Without wanting to give too much away of what is a compelling an highly emotional storyline, I want to highlight the many strengths this book possesses.
Dreamlander is a great example of what a fantasy story should be - it is an escape from everyday life, exploration, danger, friendship and humour. Every character has their own strengths and weaknesses, some key to the story while others provide a richness that makes the world so much more tangible.
The combination of these elements, along with many others, make Dreamlander the best book I have read so far this year.
Within the pages of Dreamlander, we watch as the lead character Chris Redston is presented with an opportunity to rid himself of the dreams that have plagued his life. Thinking this is truly what he wants, he follows through, realising too late that he has indeed made a terrible mistake. This thrusts him into a series of trials of the heart and will to survive as he is hunted in the real world whilst trying to repair the damage he has inflicted upon Lael.
I had thought when reading this that the changes in location between the real world and Lael would become confusing and disjointed, but the transition flowed seamlessly. The detailing written into Dreamlander makes the book so realistic I struggled to put it down, often reading late into the night. (Truly, the mark of a great book.)
Emotions are running high throughout Dreamlander, and while the conclusion is not what I had expected while reading, it was perfectly fitting and I cannot imagine a better way to end such an enjoyable journey.
If you enjoy fantasy, at all, or are entirely new to the genre, I cannot recommend Dreamlander highly enough. Within those pages there is something for everyone; whether that be the beautiful scenery, the history of Lael, the humour and interaction of the characters, the warfare or the heart-wrenching roller coaster of emotion you will not be disappointed.
on 2 June 2013
Overall a very enjoyable read.
I liked seeing the main character grew and matured as he had more and more problems thrown at him and how he changed others around him through his actions.
The premise of there being another land where we went when we dreamed was intriguing and initially drew me into the story, but I was quickly caught up with the characters. I found the sister of Chris' best friend incredibly annoying, but figured she was supposed to be!
on 8 June 2013
A great read!
What I loved:
1. The premise of the story was fascinating - that we lead two lives. One on this earth and another one in a dream world. Fascinating idea.
2. The journey that "The gifted" took from someone with no sense of purpose or direction to a powerful and selfless leader.
3. The fact that although Allara is a strong, kick-ass type of hero she is also haunted by doubts and has been hurt and damaged by previous failures - makes her more believable than many of the strong women in this genre.
4. I loved some of the foibles of the characters - Quinnon is tough and strong yet is really an old softie when it comes to Allara. The dignified nature of Garowai as an elder statesman. The cute juxtapositions of Pitch and Raz. The charmer - Errol with his underlying kindness. Orias's act of treason to save his people yet still searching for redemption from his act. Some really unique and fully developed characters.
5. How the author was able to seamlessly carry the reader from one world to another without losing them.
1. I think the book could have been shortened a little to give it a little more momentum
2. The ending - a little sad. Won't say more don't want to give it away.
A great read - if you like fantasy and a romping good swashbuckling book then you will love this.
on 6 December 2012
Dreamlander is a full-length fantasy novel based on the premise that our dreams are the memories of a life in another world populated with the same people who exist in our world. Weiland's alternate world, Lael, is reminiscent of earth's seventeenth century, but instead of gunpowder the Laelers have hydraulic sidearms, and instead of coaches they have skycars that run on cables. But fantasy readers shouldn't fear: there are horses, fortresses, strange races, and swords - and even a map at the front of the book!
The story revolves around a 21st-century American guy who finds himself caught up in a power struggle in Lael where he is supposed to be the hero, but doesn't get off to a good start. Most of the plot is centered in Lael, though some in modern-day Chicago. The novel is well written, the story well told. I particularly liked the action scenes. The author focuses a lot on the human aspect, as she does in "Behold the Dawn" (another of her works), which helps the reader relate to the characters. The pace was good and I found myself wanting to find out what happened next as it progressed (always a must in any book I read). Flaws? Not really. Possibly it could've been a little less wordy, and maybe a little more humour might've been injected, but perhaps that's a matter of personal taste.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those interested in fantasy. I give it 4.5 stars.