Publisher - Black and White Publishing Publication Date - 17th May 2012 Paperback - 432 pages Genre - Young Adult
Source - Received from publisher for review
Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it.
Reviewed by - Chrissie
Book Info - Seventeen-year-old Sarah Midnight has never had a normal life. To the outside world she is a typical teenager, but on the inside, Sarah holds an unimaginable secret. Her parents are demon hunters, part of a web of Secret Families who have sworn to protect the world. When they are mysteriously killed, Sarah's world is shattered but she knows she must now take up their fight.
Unprepared for the task ahead, she finds herself thrust into a world of incredible danger, full of things she never even knew existed. Including her enigmatic long-lost cousin who, out of the blue, turns up on her doorstep just when she needs him most. He claims to be there to help and protect her, but how will she know who to trust in this perilous new life? And can she stay alive long enough to complete her parents' quest when they have left her so defenceless?
Sarah has to learn, and learn fast - the demons are all around her and death waits for no one...
My Thoughts - I really enjoyed this first instalment of the Sarah Midnight trilogy. Sarah is a complex and interesting main character and I really loved reading about her. She belongs to a Secret Family - families with special powers who help to rid the world of demons. Each family has a dreamer, a person who dreams about demon attacks before they happen, so that the demon can then be hunted. Sarah is the dreamer for the Midnight family. For years she has suffered horrific dreams and then been left alone at night whilst her parents run off to fight the demon. The anxiety of the dreams, as well as never knowing if her parents are going to come home alive, has caused Sarah to suffer from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is the first time I've come across a character suffering from this affliction and it not only made for interesting reading, but also made Sarah seem so much more real.
At the beginning of Dreams we see Sarah trying to come to terms with her parents death, just as she realises that her parents have kept a lot from her over the years and that they have left her completely unprepared to deal with demons on her own. At times, Sarah shows herself to be very naive, despite her upbringing, and this was very endearing. But sometimes it was taken a little too far - like the times she would try and negotiate with a demon who was intent on killing her just because she didn't want to kill. Each time I would be thinking 'Huh? Really?' and then luckily her cousin, Harry, would intervene and save the day. But other than this minor gripe I found Sarah to be a great main character.
Harry is another interesting one - something you can say about Ms. Sacerdoti is she certainly knows how to create intriguing characters! He is keeping a very big secret from Sarah. The reader knows from the start what this secret is and it certainly adds a whole new dimension to the story. On the whole, I really liked Harry. He is fearless and strong and does everything he can to keep Sarah safe. There were a couple of times when this protectiveness bordered on possessiveness, and although it is obvious he does this because of his need to keep her safe, it still made me feel a little uncomfortable whilst reading it. But I'll admit that Harry did still manage to have a funny effect on my heart rate whenever he was around *sigh*
The storyline is fresh and imaginative, with a great mixture of action, intrigue and romance. At times, near the end, there is a very dark feel to the narrative and it is easy to get sucked into the desperate mood of the story.
The one thing that, for me, made Dreams lose a star was the sheer number of POV's this story is told from. There are a lot of characters in this story and it felt as though everybody got a turn to have their say at least once. While it was interesting to hear the other character's views on the events, I did feel as though it was a bit too much. But this was the only major gripe I had with the book.
Summary - Dreams is a great start to what promises to be a fantastic trilogy. It's got demon hunters, forbidden love, tragedy and betrayal and in a lot of ways it reminded me of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The ending is fantastic and has left me wanting more of Sarah Midnight!