'...amazing and unique ... like nothing else I've ever read. You will want to go there.' Stephenie Meyer - author of the Twilight Saga Suitable for ages 12+ Fast-paced and dazzlingly imaginative, Dreamhunter will draw the reader into an extraordinary fictional world in which dreams are as vividly described as the cream cakes in the tea shop, the sand on the beach or teenage first love. Set in 1906, Dreamhunter describes a world very similar to ours, except for a special place, known simply as the Place, where only a select group of people can go. these people are called Dreamhunters and they harvest dreams which are then transmitted to the general public for the purposes of entertainment, therapy - or terror and political coercion. Fifteen-year-old cousins Laura Hame and Rose tiebold both come from famous dreamhunting families, but only Laura proves to be blessed with the gift and once inside the Place she finds out what happened to her missing dreamhunter father and reveals how the government has used dreams to control an ever-growing population of convicts and political dissenters.
Knox's (The Vintner's Luck, for adults) debut for YA readers, the first in the Dreamhunter Duet, recalls Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's sci-fi masterpiece Roadside Picnic. Both tell of a mysterious geographic region (here called "the Place") with unusual powers and properties, and of the societal caste made up of those designated to explore it. The Place is where dreams originate; dreamhunters enter it, capture dreams in their minds, then return to "perform" them for the masses at the Rainbow Opera palace. The novel centers on 15-year-old Laura Hame, whose father Tziga is the legendary dreamhunter who discovered the Place as a young man. Laura is about to have her "Try," a coming-of-age ritual which will test her sensitivity to dreams. She succeeds and, a few days later, her father vanishes. Laura ventures into the Place to find him, but instead receives a letter from him, confiding in her the essence of the Place and saddling her with a terrible mission to clear up a mess of his own making. Knox's fascinating story imagines the intersection of a haunting dream-world with a gritty real world. A Regulatory Body oversees dreamhunters as if they were mundane laborers, maps point out the exact spots in the Place where certain dreams reside, and an industry emerges to sell eager customers the exact dreams they seek. And what Laura learns about how the government really uses dreams (especially in prison reform) makes for biting commentary. This fully imagined world will surely lure readers back for multiple readings. Ages 12-up.