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Collecting Dreams – A Review

July 27, 2009

Blurb:

There are eyes in the darkness.

Late one night, Isabele awakens from a sound sleep to see a creature unreeling dreams from her best friend’s head. That’s the start of things, as reality takes on a wild and supernatural turn into the shadows and shimmering light of stolen dreams.

Once lost, they aren’t easily reclaimed. And she’s been touched by the monster….

Isabele’s smart, capable, and kind, but will she still be the same after she’s made her way through these three tales? Learned cannot be unlearned. Done cannot be undone. Who Isabele will be still remains to be seen.

Fun Fact: So engrossed was I in my reading, that I forgot that I was supposed to be taking notes as I went…woops! 😀

Anyone remember when i gushed over Heather Ingemar’s Dream Drinker short story in the StereoOpticon:Fairytales In Split Vision Review?

Well, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Ms. Ingemar was working on a collection of Dream Drink tales to be included in one bang up Novella! As you may have deduced, because you’re all smart cookies like that, Collecting Dreams, a YA novella, is the sweet, sweet fruit of her labor.

I love YA, especially realistic gritty YA. (Which Heather superbly delivers!) Possibly because I’m only just on the verge of losing my status as a ‘teen’, but can still remember all the struggles and horrid emotions that goes with the territory. I find coming-of-age stories to be cathartic.It helps that Isabele manages both to be relate-able and an enigma, thanks to her little predicament.

The novella kicks off with Dream Drinker, originally published in the Anthology, StereoOpticon: Fairytales in Split Vision. Wanting to keep the story details fresh in my head, and because I so enjoyed it the first time around, I decided to read it again.

I’m still as charmed, if not more.

Here is an updated version of my review from the Anthology, now including my thoughts on Dream Drinker, Dream Seeker and Dream Hunter:

My inner kid clapped with glee as I read, and re-read, Dream Drinker and rooted for Isabelle the whole way through. The concept of the small creature who eats dreams was absolutely fascinating to me. I think it helped a great deal that I felt I could “hear” him. Which, brings me to another point…

Ms. Ingemar’s dailogue is well placed, paced and never feels forced or trite. Forced Dialogue bugs the heck out of me, especially because I know *I* have such a hard time writing Dialogue. Ms. Ingemar makes it seem effortless, using it subtlty and sparingly, and, as I metioned, in such a way that her character’s voices shine through.

The ending, which I still consdier to be a spoiler so I shan’t give it a way but for a few hints, is very remincient of Old School Fairy Tales. I got to the last line and a wicked thrill shot through me. Both fitting and satisfying, and a perfect way to open up this world for more adventures. Which leads us to…

Dream Seeker, which picks up two years where Dream Drinker left off, and our charming and strong-willed heroine Isabele must fight both herself and a new creature of the Underland in order to keep the Orphange and its inhabitants safe. Disgusted with herself after an accident, Isabele steals way into the forest where she comes across the Soul-Eater, who has a bargain for her that she wished she’d have refused out right and that only makes the Orphanage more dangerous not only from other Underland creatures, but herself as well.

But in this is a small twinge of hope, for the Soul-Eater had let slip a possible cure for her ailment…to a place where very few reach unscathed.

And yes, I also loved the concept, “design”, and execution of the Soul-Eater. Heather Ingemar’s vivid descriptions left me with wonderful mental images for my imagination to ponder. And he’s absolutely wicked! Which takes us to:

Dream Hunter picks up immediately where Dream Seeker ends, still in the thick of Isabele’s issue. She must leave the Orphanage if she wants to protect the closest thing to a family that she’s ever known and she already has reason to believe that the joruney ahead of her will be treacherous. But the promise of a cure lures her on. The Soul-Eater, however, isn’t about to make it easy for her….

Isabele’ strong will and determination put her at the top of my list of Favorite YA Heroines, and while her ending might not be the stuff of Watered Down Fairytales, it’s no less magical and satisfying.  I adored Collecting Dreams!

If you’ve been intrigued by what I’ve had to say about Collecting Dreams by  Heather Ingemar, I urge to drop by Drollerie Press and pick yourself up a copy at the very resonable price of $1.99.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2009 5:42 pm

    OMG, thank you for such a wonderful & lovely review! I am very thrilled that you enjoyed the stories so much. 🙂

  2. July 27, 2009 6:01 pm

    There are reasons I love you.

  3. Soleil Noir permalink*
    July 29, 2009 10:39 pm

    Heather- You’re most welcome. 😀 Looking forward to reading more of your work!

  4. Soleil Noir permalink*
    July 29, 2009 10:40 pm

    Deena- 🙂 You’re too kind, thank you.

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