Author: Amy Plum
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins imprint)
Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn't get any worse... but she was terribly wrong. Soon after the experiment begins, there's a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they'd rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can't find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.
Dreamfall is tense, dangerous, as chilling and atmospheric as a horror movie.
Cata is hopeful that this procedure will help with her insomnia and night terrors, that she'll be able to sleep without seeing the monsters that haunt her, the ones that come creeping in from her past. Fergus is hoping the treatment will help his narcolepsy, that he'll finally be able to live a life away from his parents, without the risk of falling asleep and hurting himself or others. After the malfunction in the lab, the patients are somehow thrown together, sharing the same dreamscape, and have to rely on each other as they're thrown from one nightmare to another. Fortunately for them, they have Jaime, a premed student observing the experiment, reviewing their files and making notes as the experiment goes awry. But with Cata, Fergus, and the other patients seemingly in comas, how is Jaime supposed to help them?
It's been a little while since I've read a book like this, dripping with horror, with fears and nightmares that could literally kill you. It's not that the overall idea is anything new, it's what the author has added that makes it different. The fact that all of them suffer from insomnia, that they cannot sleep and are suddenly trapped in a dreamlike state. For those who've been looking for YA horror in the vein of Simon Holt's The Devouring, eerie and overwhelming, you might want to give this a read.
(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)