Some nightmares never end
In his sleep, Louie starts visiting a magical world where he meets his father, who died when Louie was still a baby. But nothing turns out to be what it seems, and great horrors loom very close by ...
Welcome to Dreamland
A mysterious teen ghost story about fear and loss and losing yourself in dreams, Dreamland was originally published in Danish to great reviews, and is now available in English.
BOOK BLOGGERS ON DREAMLAND
“Really awesome, well thought out and creepy.”
“A thrilling ride down into the subconscious … I can only recommend it!”
★★★★ Eva Lucia
“I loved the concept of Dreamland—more than once I held my breath as Louie went there.”
“It is hard not to get dragged into Dreamland.”
Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Fiction
Autlhor: Nick Clausen
Kindle Edition, 162 pages, Published March 19th 2019
Paperback, 162 pages, Published March 20th 2019 by Independently Published
“Dreamland is merely a small part of the dreamworld,” his dad said. “All around us is this. I call it the outskirts. That’s where nightmares come from.”
Louie stared out into the wasteland and felt a growing discomfort.
“Something lives out there,” his dad went on, his eyes searching the horizon. “Once in a while they come close enough to the border to be glimpsed. And if you listen carefully, you can hear their voices.”
Louie held his breath and listened. The silence on this side of the edge was deep and calm, only interrupted by bird song now and then. On the other side a cold wind howled.
“Do you hear them?” his dad asked.
“I only hear the wind.” But as he said it, he realized the wind was the voices. It was a chanting choir of faint fragments; whispering, giggling, alluring.
“… hi, Louuuuie …”
“… how sweet he is …”
“… come out here …”
“… we’ve been waiting for you …”
“… visit us, Louuuuie …”
They kept saying his name. The sound made him shiver. The voices seemed to rise and fall with the wind, but at the same time it seemed like they came from inside his head. There was something drawing, almost hypnotic about them. Louie wanted to step closer, just so he could hear them a little more clearly …
Dad’s voice pulled him back, and he looked up.
“Don’t listen anymore. If you listen for too long, you end up taking the bait. The reason I show you this is so that you can understand where the voice you heard is coming from.
Are you ready to get lost in DREAMLAND and face your innermost fears and wishes?
Louie meets a man on the playground in his dream. A dream that is the beginning of his journey to reconnect with his father whom he never met. Now a young teenager, Louie lives with his caring mother who is still struggling with the loss of her husband to cancer. With fears of commitment, she has found reasons to move into new apartments over and over in an attempt to dodge more faults in this world that could hurt her even more. A family dynamic that is loving and grieving at the same time.
Dreamland opens up a whole new world for Louie to escape into. His mother's ways aren't always the best of ideas and he is aware of her struggles. This is why he doesn't give her much of opposition when she eludes to another move.
As Louie's mother is beginning a new relationship, Louie is moving on too...in dreamland. He enters it more and more often in his sleep and this is where he meets his father. This is where they spend time together and make up for the missing years. Great conversations, memory recaps and a shared interest in telescopes and stargazing unite and bond their relationship lost over the last years.
But nothing is ever as good as it appears to be. There are demons and dark creatures in this dreamland and Louie's entire life will be affected by what happens in there. Dark forces mingle within and don't want to let Louie back out. What ensues is a struggle of survival and the greatest fear for his mother to endure.
Will their little family recover this nightmare?
I was kindly approached by the author to review his novel. Admittedly, I was hesitant at first, as being trapped or confined in a dream, or anywhere for that matter, is one of those things I don't like to imagine or feel. Upon learning more about this novella and reading it, I realized it wasn't as intense of horror as I initially thought. There were some dark forces at work, but completely manageable.
To me, the relationship and family dynamic/trauma/loss became the forefront of the plot and was enhanced by the dreams Louie had. There is a real sense of grief that hasn't been addressed in the characters to move on properly, resulting in this arch in the plot when realization hits and new decisions have to be made. A subject any single parent raising a child after the loss of one parent can connect with. If by intended purpose or not, this novel combines the fantastical with realism to broach a difficult subject. Whereas young readers might be more drawn to the aspects of dreamland in this novel, adults might connect more with all the other aspects.
This novel is a translated work of fiction from Danish into English. According to the author, the "Danish libraries categorized the story upon release as fit for kids from 12 years to read it on their own..." and I will agree with that. The writing reflects to be readably suited for that age but here in the States, it is rated "young adult" which I will not exactly agree with. Young Adults will most likely not find a match of interest here as the targeted audience unless specifically interested in the subject of loss. I do think it is very readable and perfect for middle graders and as guided reading to point out empathy and understanding of loss.
I enjoyed reading this novel and connected with the message. A great mixture of heartfelt and spook in one. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and the author has been great to communicate with.
Definitely a book to recommend.