Friday, December 29, 2017
Book Review: Dreamlander (K.M. Weiland)
This is my second KM Weiland fiction book, and I really loved this one too. It's a long book, but so packed with activity it doesn't really feel long. Things get more and more complicated, and Chris and Allara have to make a lot of hard choices. Concerning the plot, and concerning each other.
I really liked how they both had a lot of inner demons they needed to deal with, and that those demons affected the plot, too. Chris is dealing with his guilt, and with his relationships back on Earth. Allara's dealing with learning to trust, to have a bit of faith. They spark change in each other. Love isn't a major plotline, I don't think, and I really like that simply as companions in the craziness, they change each other.
Chris is a precious bean who gets into way more than trouble than he probably ought, but I really liked how he has to face the consequences of his actions throughout the book, and not simply deal with the guilt early on and continue on as normal. Consequences don't always show up right away, and I appreciated how Chris had to deal with his actions throughout his story, both in Lael and on Earth.
Mactalde was an interesting villain. His goals weren't complex, really, but rather simple. They were ones I could totally understand (even though he's still a murdering scumbag). But the simplicity of his wants and goals was interesting. He just wants one thing, something that, at the base of it, is something that wouldn't really be a villainous desire. But he tacks on revenge, and that's when he becomes evil.
The worldbuilding made Lael feel both new yet familiar at once. There were new names for different kinds of plants, animals, and foods, but at the same time something about the world was familiar? Or it didn't feel too strange in some ways, which I liked. I wasn't drowning in so much newness that I didn't know my right from my left. Lael firearms were a really cool concept too, using moisture to power them. It and the sky cars kind of gave the fantasy world a little bit of a steampunk/modern feel? Maybe that's where the familiarity stems from.
I was a little confused by how the dreaming/the Orimere worked. At first I thought Chris was holding the Orimere all the time to go between worlds, but then apparently he doesn't, unless he wants to bring something to/from the worlds. So that aspect was a little confusing sometimes, but usually I didn't need to fully understand it most of the time.
I liked the themes and messages in this, too. They're skillfully woven in, but still visible as the characters have their arcs to face and overcome. It their center, it has a very Christian feel, but never states it as such. But that actually makes me like the themes even more, really. God is at the center, but it's not obvious. And I really appreciated K.M. Weiland's skill in this. As a Christian, it was fun to see the themes, but also realize that God is at the center. Redemption is a major theme, I think, and I love how it was explored, even if sometimes it wasn't how I expected.
And, lastly, my favorite character: Orias. I loved this man. I really liked the worldbuilding that surrounded his race, but him in particular I loved. He, like Chris and Allara, is forced to make choices. Sometimes they aren't good choices. But he resigns himself to it. He just needs a lot of hugs and love. I was always looking forward to Orias POVs. XD
Violence/gore: There is a lot of violence (seeing as how Chris lands himself in a war), and it gets bloody, but it's not described in excessive detail.
Profanity: If there was any, it was only referenced.
Sexual content: Two characters share a few light kisses.
Other: Chris' father is a drunk. Wine is consumed by some characters.