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The Rainbow Opera (Dreamhunter) Paperback – 4 May 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (4 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571224563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571224562
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,146,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'A dramatic and original fantasy... a story of family affections and tensions - a tale of character and feeling as well as mysterious event'. Margaret Mahy, award - winning children's author"

Review

"Captivating ... Dreamhunter is an example of great writing ... Compelling, highly original." (The Sydney Sun Herald)

"A lyrical, intricate and ferociously intelligent fantasy" (Kirkus Reviews)

"Knox's fascinating story imagines the intersection of a haunting dreamworld with a gritty real world ... This fully imagined world will surely lure readers back for multiple readings." (Publishers Weekly)

"A tantalising feat of imaginative fiction ... perhaps the most dazzingly inventive of her books to date." (Magpies Magazine)

“It is like nothing else I’ve ever read. The characters are so real, you’ll feel like you know exactly what they look like and how their voices sound and what they would say or do in any given situation. More than that, you’ll want to hang out with them. Then the world is so amazing and unique. You will want to go there. You will want to walk into ‘the Place.’ And you will want to sleep in a dream opera.” (Stephenie Meyer)

"Elizabeth Knox creates a world recognizable as our own but with a geographical twist - a mysterious land called 'the Place.' Only 'dreamhunters' can go there to capture dreams and bring them back to share with others. Laura and Rose are cousins and children of famous dreamhunters: Laura's father, Tziga, discovered 'the Place'; Rose's mother performs her dreams at the famous Rainbow Opera. (Others deliver nightmares for prisoners or relaxing dreams for hospital patients.) When her father disappears, Laura finds herself on a terrifying mission to find him. Edwina Wren skillfully conveys the dreamlike quality of the story with a wistful tone. She also develops fitting character voices - Laura is sensitive and anxious, Rose is pert and confident, and the golem-like Sandman is a bit scratchy." (AudioFile Magazine) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't remember how I found this book; I believe I ran across one of the author's other titles at work, thought it looked interesting, and checked out the rest of her back catalogue. However it happened I'm very glad that it did, because this is the best thing I have read in a long, long time.

Fifteen-year-old Laura and her cousin Rose inhabit a world very much like our own - they have Jesus, 'The Mill on the Floss', demotic Greek, hockey. They also have the Gospel of St Lazarus, and the Place: a pocket of land, a fold in the universe, unmeasurable and inaccessible to all but the very few and most elite - the Dreamhunters. The Place is a world where dreams are marked at map locations; Dreamhunters cross the border at one of two points, sleep in a specific grid reference, catch the dream that has its existence there, and take it back to share with a paying audience. For this is 1906 and, in this world, dreams are what cinema became in ours - more, because each dreamer experiences the dream as their own. There are dreams of healing, dreams of adventure, dreams of peace, dreams of romance - Rose's mother, Grace, specialises in these - and, although Laura is initially unaware of this, there are nightmares, too, and Laura's father, Tziga Hame, the Dreamhunter who first stumbled (literally) upon the Place some twenty years before, has his own dark trade in these. When he vanishes, he leaves Laura this legacy, along with a duty to repair the damage he's done. He also leaves her a strange companion to help her with this burden.

We end on a shocking climax; this is part one of a two-part story, continued in The Dream Quake, which I am impatiently waiting for the postman to bring me any ... day ... now.
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Format: Hardcover
Mm, this seemed slow to start with, developing character and relationships. The concept is clever, and good; people who are able to catch dreams, as if they are residual ghosts of a place, by moving into an area simply known as the Place. Yet things are not as they seem to be.

There are many complications that both enrich and confuse the reader; the golem, sandman, NOWN, has interesting connotations, and I hope the sequel will unpick that more.

If you can move through the slower sections and accept some of the inexplicable actions and events then this book is well worth the read, chilling in a true sense, leaving you feeling cold inside with the message about what we do to ourselves.

One peculiarity - why do I keep thinking of Cornelia Funke's books when I go to pick this one up??
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book suitable for adults and teenagers. I think it was written as a children's book and so aims to keep your interest at all times. This is what I wanted; an exciting story easy to read and hard to put down!
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Format: Hardcover
The Rainbow Opera is an amazing book, one of the best I've read in many years. It is well written, packed with suspense, adventure and intrigue, as well as humour and a splash of romance. I really can't wait for the sequel!!!!
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Format: Paperback
Quite strange story and universe, but I really liked it. It was a more mature kind of fantasy, I have never really read anything like it, and enjoyed it very much. It's a kinda heavy story though, but good if you give it time.
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Format: Paperback
Set in New Zealand in a different, dystopic era - a fantasy place where operas are conducted by dreamhunters for the public. I could imagine the Place as E. Knox described it - the grasses, the paths, the sense of emptiness through which it sets dreams. The theatre, Rainbow Palace, was also vividly imagined. There are the poetic descriptions around Laura, the protagonist's, actions. I initially liked the Sandman - the golem - that Laura interacts with. Then the plot and the interactions started to unravel for me, and the darkness at the heart of the book pushed me further away from the story. It didn't make sense for something so dark to be a book for children. The lack of an ending necessitating the reading of book 2 for the resolution did little to make me want to read book 2. I felt like I had read not a complete book but the first part of an interesting story, because the book did not have an ending - it did not satisfy. However, I merited the story 3 stars due to the originality of plot points and characters.
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Format: Paperback
For me, this book was good. I thought the idea was very original; something like a mixture of JK Rowling and Cornelia Funke. The idea of showcasing dreams like a film was appealing, and some of the descriptive passages were particularly well written. However, I did think that changing viewpoint so often between the creation of the sandman NOWN and the heroine Laura Hame was confusing. Despite this, a good read.
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