Jessica Drake's fairly normal life is about to take an unbelievably odd turn.
When Jesse's father begins to question her paternity, Jesse's mother is adamant about the fact that she's his child but agrees to a DNA test anyway. The results are more than a little shocking. Turns out Jesse's results don't match her father after all. Nor do they match her mother!
The test results come at the same time Jesse's brother has noticed a strange woman watching their house. When the very same woman shows up at Jesse's school asking questions about her dreams and artwork, Jesse becomes convinced something fishy is going on. Then she connects with a group of others who have discovered the same DNA issues Jesse has and learns that someone has been killing them off one by one. And apparently Jesse is next on their list!
Jesse's house is burnt down, her mother is left fighting for her life in the hospital, and her brother has been kidnapped! Now it's up to Jesse to save him and hopefully avoid getting herself killed in the process.
Dreamwalker is a bit of an odd read. First, it's a bit all over the place. It starts rather slowly with Jesse's fairly mundane family life, but we do know that Jesse has dreams. And it's those dreams that inspire her artwork and some of her brother's gaming creations. The artwork that catches the weird woman's eye. Somehow Jesse knows that's it's important to keep her dreams secret, she's even sworn her brother to secrecy on the matter as well. But the significance of her dreams isn't revealed until well into the story.
This is the first in a new series so I can definitely understand why Friedman would take her time to develop the story and the world, but (and this is rare for me to admit) it almost develops a bit too slowly for my taste. I spent a good third of the book completely confused about EVERYTHING!
I did soldier on, and I'm glad that I did. By the time Jesse sets off to try and save her brother things do pick up and we start to get at least an inkling of an idea about what's going on. Honestly I think the fact that I have the second book in hand already was a pretty big push to continue reading.
I do love the idea of the parallel worlds and I think (I hope) Friedman has big plans for the series and how the story/worlds will further develop. From what I understand, this is C. S. Friedman's first foray into YA, in spite of my issues with it I did find the book entertaining enough as an adult that I think it has fair cross over appeal.
Book two in the series releases this week and I'll be posting a review tomorrow. I'm hooked enough to continue but do hope that the second book is a bit more rewarding than this first outing.