Jordan Lewis is sixteen going on seventeen. She has vivid dreams that are starting to get more and more real. When Jordan and her best friends, Lauren and Audrey, suddenly end up in the town of Jordan's dreams, they discover that all is not as it seems. Why does the old hunchback woman keep calling her "dream walker"? Why does Jordan feel like she knows the charismatic Duke after only just having met him? What mystery lies behind the disappearance of Lauren's mother and little brother two years ago? How will the girls get back home? And what will happen when they do? Jordan has a decision to make before her seventeenth birthday in two weeks' time. And it will be the hardest decision of her life.
Let me get this out of the way, so that I have something good to say at the end. I was appalled at the amount of mistakes this book contained, but I didn't want to give the book an unfair rating if the version I read was a draft. When I found out the book had been edited and re-published by Bar Publishing, I asked for and received a copy of the edited version. Upon re-reading, I discovered that only about 10% of the errors have been corrected. It looks like they can't even decide if it should be "dreamwalker" or "dream walker"; the edited version has switched to "dream walker" everywhere except on the cover! Speaking of the cover, although I didn't like the original cover, the Bar Publishing version is even worse.
The mistakes continue even before the first page, with "Acknoglegments" instead of "Acknowledgments". The narrative mixes past and present tenses, the sentences run on, there is a lack of punctuation (apostrophes, commas, full stops, italics, quotation marks, capital letters), and innumerable compound words are written as separate words. Another personal bugbear: the book ends on a cliff-hanger. It even has the words "The End", but then it goes straight into another segment entitled "Audrey". Is this the beginning of the sequel? Please explain!
When I initially noticed this was going to be bad, I started cataloging the incorrect word usage errors (these numbers are from the original version but, as stated previously, only about 10% of the errors have been corrected in the revised version). Take note: this proves "spell-check" is not good enough, as all of these are all actual words, just incorrectly used.
Despite all of this, I actually loved the story. While I found it to be quite original, it did have elements that reminded me of James DiBenedetto's "Dream Student", Gabrielle Zevin's "Elsewhere", Audrey Niffenegger's "The Time Traveler's Wife", and even Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass". The narrator has a great voice. Even the run-on sentences and bad grammar can be excused as the way a teenager would actually speak. But it's still hard to get over the appalling lack of editing, even to the point of using some words I've never heard of before (bourdon and collogue) instead of the correct words (burden and collage). I would give this book a higher rating if it were properly edited. If you can get past these issues, you'll enjoy the story.
I received this book in return for an honest review (Lovers of Paranormal R2R).
See full review here: http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2014/02/dreamwalker-by-s-l-seay.html