Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: NY, 2005.

This one took a bit of acclimation. The book starts with one of the dreamhunters, Tziga Hame, broadcasting dreams to an audience. This part of the world is very different from ours. Part of the world of the Hames and the Tiebolds is the Place. Only a few can go there, and even less can catch dreams to share with others. The origin of the dreams is unknown, as is the reason for the existence of the Place, but the dreams have been used for decades to affect people, mostly pleasantly.

Cousins, Laura Hame and Rose Tiebold, are daughters of famous dreamhunters; they are coming up on their chance to Try to enter the Place. If successful, it will change their lives forever. Laura's father, Tziga, has been hiding a secret from the family regarding the Place, one that's tearing him apart. He disappears due to political intrigue, but he has left clues to the secret in the Place.

Tziga's disappearance is devastating for Laura. She's determined to find the clues her father left and frustrated that her aunt and uncle are standing in the way. She finds that she has inherited an unsuspected family power and what her father asks of her may be too much to ask.

The story is a dark fantasy with tantalizing aspects. The dreamhunting is an odd concept to build an industry around, yet Hollywood has some similarities. Some history of the Place has been revealed in the book to explain Tziga and his behavior. I'm wondering if some cataclysmic event happened to initiate the Place and some explanation will be in the sequel, as the story is definitely left hanging and there appear to be links to the Hame ancestors. Laura and her father's exceptional power is a cool idea, though it has some dark implications. The characters are great with tender and passionate moments. The story is full of mystery and anticipation. The cliffhanger makes me want to start the next book Dreamquake now, and I can since it's available already.

related-dreams, family life, political intrigue, exploitation

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