Book Cover
Title Dream a Little Dream
Series ---
Author Julie Brady & Piers Anthony
Cover Art Tristan Elwell
Publisher Tor Books - 1999
First Printing Tor Books - 1999
Category Fantasy
Warnings None

Main Characters

Nola, Tina, Mitch, Spirit, Heat

Main Elements Dreams, winged unicorns

Nola and Tina are both girls with problems. They don't know each other yet, but they will, because each is a Creator, with the magical ability to turn dreams into reality. It would be a great gift and a great power - if either knew she had it.

But this world is hard on dreamers, whether they dream true or not. Nola is trapped in a terrible, abusive relationship with a man she once loved; Tina is an orphan who makes her living on the street. All their dreams are slowly being ground into dust.

It's a common enough tragedy, a sorrow and a grief and a shame upon the world, no matter who it happens to. But when dreams themselves die, when the great dreamers stop dreaming, whole universes of imagination are lost. And the land of Nola and Tina's dreams is fighting back.

Into their miserable everyday world soars Esprit, a winged unicorn dark as the space between the stars. He is the vessel of Nola's dreams, come to aid her in her battle with sordid reality. Following after him comes Pince Michael, whose quest is to find the human dreamers who can save his land from ruin.

And suddenly Nola realizes that the last thing she wants is to keep both feet firmly on the ground...

I hate to give a book a bad review, becausein the end, I usually enjoy almost every book I read. Unfortunately this book really came off as the kind of amateur fanfiction you can find on the net. I also hate to say this because as we find out in the author's notes, Julie Brady realy poured her heart and soul into this novel. Here are a few things that took away from the important message of this novel:

Inconsistent - it really jumped back and forth between so sweet and sugary you can feel yourself developing diabetes, to be so dark and depressing you're ready to just put yourself out of your misery, that the world is so messed up we might as well just give up now. Rape, murder, and abuse conflicted with pink ponies with polka-dots. At times I would have thought this book would have done better with a younger audience, but other scenes needed at least pg-13 ratings. Though there should be contrasts between the real and dream world somehow it just didn't work here. Anthony's Xanth is believable, for whatever reason I can't define. Here I couldn't take Kafka seriously (including it's name), even though this world was never meant to be "real" while Xanth was.

Naming - Maybe this is a result of Anthony's punning flowing over, but I just could not accept that the main bad guy's name was Reility. Why not just call him Reality? And of course poor Spirit got saddle with the nickname Esprit, which is of course French for Spirit. Because it wasn't his real name from the start it came off as something from a corny romance novel. I actually kind of like Heat's name though, it was unusual, and made you wonder how he got that name.

Convenience - A flaw I find in amateur or new authors is when you are just about to die, there is no hope, there is no chance of survival, the world is coming to an end...oh by the way did you know that Heat had a laser in his horn? Zap! And everything is good to go again. I'd forgive this if it happened once or twice, but there were too many instances of "oh by the way, I just happen to have this power too".

I'm not sure which author wrote this, but I find this quote applies here - "Suspension of disbelief is not the same as hanging it by the neck until dead". I kind of felt my belief being strangled a bit as I read this novel.

Now it wasn't all bad, though I had to force myself a bit to read it (I didn't give up on it though). The premise, the moral, the message Julie Brady wanted to get across was a powerful one. That our dreams are more powerful than we think we are, and it is a terrible thing when the dreamers stop dreaming. Whether they be Creators or not. And Mich is such a sweetie. After all, who doesn't wish for a Prince Charming to come sweeping down on a winged unicorn to rescue them ^_^

Posted: July 2008


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