The Dream Traveler is an interesting book that isn't quite what you expect.
Spirits have escaped from the badlands, pushing everyone in Cardonia to leave their homes in search of safety. Cardonia isn't just any land - it's people are far from what we would consider normal. They have talents, powers. These vary and range from animal speaking to persuasion to dream traveling. Raven is our main character. She travels far from home with her family. After a while, they get settled and begin to create new lives for themselves. Only Raven seems to see that not everything is as it seems. Can you trust even yourself when there are people with the power to guide your mind? As she is coming into her dream traveling powers, she meets a group of people who want just what she wants. Freedom to know their own minds. Loyalty to their queen.
What I liked:
Most of the secondary characters are very well done. They provide a diverse cast that is only going to do great things in subsequent books. The world is fascinating and the danger felt very real. Towards the end, I was on the edge of my seat. I'm probably not the target audience as I think this is more for the younger side of YA, but it was enjoyable all the same.
What was just okay:
I didn't feel like much actually happened. It wasn't that the pace was slow, because it wasn't, but after the spirits escaped and the journey began, there were very few ups and downs to get me excited. Raven seemed like a very young sixteen. She did things like whine and stomp off - almost like a brat. She had her very strong moments, don't get me wrong, but I would have liked more of them. There is also very little world building. It's a great world that could be expanded upon and I hope it is in the sequel.
I'd definitely recommend this to pre-teen or young teen readers who love a good fantasy world with the potential to be a great series!