Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Fractured Dream (The Dreamer Saga #1) by K.M. Randall

Release Date: June 21, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Have you ever wondered where fairytales go once they’re created?
It’s been eight years since Story Sparks last had a dream. Now they’re back, tormenting her as nightmares she can’t remember upon waking. The black waters of Lake Sandeen, where her Uncle Peter disappeared decades before, may hold the secret to Story’s hidden memories, or a truth she’d rather not know. On a bright summer afternoon, Story and her two best friends, Elliott and Adam, take a hike to the lake, where they dive into the cool water and never reemerge. What they find is beyond anything they’ve ever imagined could be possible, a world where dangers lurk in the form of Big Bad Wolves, living Nightmares and meddlesome witches and gods.
Now Story must remember who she really is and somehow stop two worlds from ultimate annihilation, all while trying not to be too distracted by the inexplicable pull she feels toward a certain dark-eyed traveler who seems to have secrets of his own. The fates of the worlds are counting on her.

At the core of this story, there's a really interesting bunch of new ideas floating around.
The author has a definitely has a vivid imagination, and a talent for creating worlds.
So why only 2 stars?
Well, for starters, I almost DNF'd this book...twice.
The first time around, I was only about 5% into it, and I din't think I could take hearing the main character's name, Story, anymore.
And by that, I mean that instead of saying 'she did such-n-such', or 'her thoughts drifted',  or 'his friend was sad', the author used the character's proper name.
In fact, it was so annoying that I started highlighting her name on the pages in a effort to see if I was going crazy. 
I wasn't.
On one page alone, Story is used 13 times!
I haven't seen any other reviews that mentioned this though, so maybe I have an uncorrected copy, and the newer version is different?
Anyway, I put it down for a few weeks, and then decided I was just going to power through this sucker.
And I have to say, the name thing stopped pretty soon after that. So, YAY!
Ok. The second time I almost DNF'd, was about 20% through, and I just couldn't take the juvenile tone of the book. Story is 20 years old, and home from college on a break.
But everything about her and her friends screams HIGH SCHOOL. 
As in, somewhere between 15 and 16 years old. Which would be fine, if they were supposed to be immature. At 20 years old, they just sounded goofy.
I don't know how to properly explain it, but the characters just felt like they would have been very comfortable in a YA book.

Then there was the over-explaining.
For example, her friend, Elliott, get's all excited about meeting a goddess and says it was "Terramazing". 
"Story grinned at Elliott's silly quirk. He had a way of putting two words together when he was talking fast so that he could get the sentence out faster. She knew this one meant both terrifying and amazing."
Wow. Thanks for explaining that, 'cause I sure couldn't have figured it out on my own.

In fairness, the book got progressively better, until I finally was invested in the story enough to keep going...without motivating myself with promises of chocolate.
At that point, though, I mainly just wanted to know if all my guesses were correct about who certain people really were, and where certain threads of the plot were headed.
I was.
The Big Reveals were pretty easy to guess, and since I figured them out very early on, there weren't any GASP! moments for me. Boo!

I don't want to go out on a sour note, though.
So I want to say that the ideas the author came up with in this were actually pretty darn original. There's a whole mythology created about dual worlds, that mixed up gods and fairytales in a really interesting way. Some of it was pulled from recognizable tales, and some of it (Story's origin, especially) seemed wholly original.

This was evidently the first book in a series, but I'm not interested in reading the next one. At all.
However, there are lots of reviewers who loved Fractured Dream, so check out some of the other reviews, before you decide whether or not to grab this one.


Carmel @ Rabid Reads said...

Kudos to you for giving this book a second chance even though it didn't work out. I hate it when authors use the same words over-and-over again, I know it's hard to avoid it entirely where character names are involved, but it IS do-able. And, even if that issue was rectified in the final version, the other cons you listed just won't cut it for me.

Anne Hannah said...

Thanks, Carmel! Once I notice the 'word' thing, then it's like I'm hyper-aware of everything else that's wrong with the book. That's one of the reasons I put it down the first time. So many people seemed to love it, but it just didn't do it for me.

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