The Dream Walker Land of Mystica Series Volume 1 by Michelle Murray, paperback novel, 119 pages, published in 2014.
Miranda is a college student when she becomes plagued by vivid dreams of a different world. As they interrupt her sleep and put her studies at risk, she feels that she might be going crazy. A simple spell from a local bookstore, and Miranda is transported to Mystica, the land of her dreams, and a land which is in trouble. In Mystica there is an old legend of six wizards, three white and three black, who were imprisoned in stone. Since then the magic has been gone from the land. Now the black-hearted wizard, Midnight, is free and rampaging through Mystica with an army of dark creatures and Miranda must find and free the wizard, Lightning, the only person that can stop Midnight before all is lost.
This was a simply written adventure with magic. It lacked the depth that I would expect from a fantasy fiction for young adults, and was really much more suited to middle and upper primary school children. I flew through the book in one evening, as it was an easy and enjoyable read.
The premise of the story is basic; a land in trouble, one special saviour goes on a quest to save said land. It’s a popular theme in books I’ve read lately, but I tend to like these stories, and I did like The Dream Walker, but I thought that it had unfulfilled potential. There could have been a lot more depth, greater description of the surrounds, and the way the characters moved or spoke. The time Miranda spent in each part of Mystica seemed too short, and the action scenes were somewhat truncated. However, the story is still sound, and it would be great for younger or less mature readers.
There were Ice Men, wizards, magical forests, warriors, Kings and castles, all good elements for any fantasy adventure! My favourite part of the story was when Miranda and Walking Bear travelled through the Forest of Lost Souls. I liked the idea that the trees could change the paths and whisper to each other. The trees could protect the forest from malevolent forces, while assisting those with good intentions. Miranda definitely had good in mind. She accepted her task bravely despite the danger she faced, and despite the fact that she didn’t even know that Mystica existed before she was asked to save it. I liked her and I hope we get to know her better in the future volumes of this series.
A handful of spelling and grammatical errors happen in most published work, but there seemed to be more than average in The Dream Walker. It interrupted the flow of the story a couple of times, but should only bother you if you’re a bit pedantic (like me). The formatting also changed midway through the book, going from paragraphs separated by a line at the start, to no separation later on. And the lines were double-spaced, which left me turning pages often. However, these things can be easily overlooked once you really get into the story.
The Dream Walker was a fun and interesting read, and I will be recommending it to my third grader to read. The second book in the Land of Mystica Series, The Dream Walker Returns is now available too.
*I received this book from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.