To Dream is to Die by Sarah Lampkin (Book #1 The Dead Dreamer Series)

to dream is to die

To Dream Is To Die by Sarah Lampkin

Published by Sarah Lampkin

Published on the 8th of January 2019


296 Pages

Purchase from Amazon AU| Amazon UK| Amazon US| Fishpond AU | Booktopia | Book Depository | Dymocks

My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I received a copy of this book from the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Brenna Whit is eighteen and just beginning her foray into College, she’s hoping that this will be different than high school, that she won’t be seen as the withdrawn freak, that she’ll actually be able to make a friend or two. Mostly she’s hoping that her strangeness won’t effect her life how it did in high school. You see, Brenna died three years ago, she was dead for six minutes, when she came back she’s never been quite the same. When she sleeps, she doesn’t sleep, her spirit leaves her body and she can walk through the Fade with the other spirits. When someone sees her in her spirit form, she panics and instantly thinks that her secret is out, however, maybe she should take a step back and not think the worst of everyone. What follows is a paranormal mystery of sorts, in a college setting with a young woman still trying to find her feet, in both worlds.

I’m a little peeved at myself that I let this one sit in my to be read pile for so long. I absolutely flew through it and am kinda biting at the bit to get the rest of the series. I’d put this in the paranormal/supernatural genre, and probably not quite young adult, but it doesn’t feel like it fits into the new adult genre.

Our protagonist is eighteen years old and is fresh into college, she’s straight forward, says what she thinks, always seems to think the worst, thinks she is better off on her own, and pretty much a bit of a snarky bitch. I don’t have an issue with these things, but I must admit, her character did irk me at times. She comes across so bullheaded a fair bit and even though this story isn’t exactly young adult, sometimes Brenna’s comments and reactions came across rather childish, once again, she IS eighteen, so it is kinda expected I guess. Brenna also comes across as someone who had to grow up too fast, who is strong despite the odds stacked against her – as in, the poor woman never gets to actually sleep or rest, her spirit ejects out of her body as soon as it’s asleep, so I guess you could probably chalk up a lot of her snipey, mean comments to the lack of sleep. I know I wouldn’t be very fun to be around if I never got some damn rest. She’s not a bad character, and I am looking forward to seeing how and if she develops further through the series. When we first meet her roommate, Erica, I got instant spinal crawl, the girl just set me on edge, but, that doesn’t mean I like the way that Brenna and her new bestie Aeria treated the girl. Yes she comes across as a bit of a tramp, yes she tries to weasel her way onto other people’s potential boyfriends, but I think that once our girl and friend realised there was something else happening to Erice, they could have tried to be a bit less bitchy. Essentially they were being bitches for bitches sake, and I wasn’t a big fan of this. Once again, our characters are all around the age of eighteen, so that petty childishness hasn’t quite left their personalities, I sincerely hope there’s a bit of a change in this the further through the series we travel, and to be honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing Erica making a regular appearance in future books. Damon was an alright character, I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t quite love him either, I”m waiting to see how things go further through the series, though I was pleasantly surprised that a certain trope hasn’t occurred between him and Brenna, thus far anyway. All of the characters were well written with distinctive personalities which was nice.

There’s not a great deal of world building and that fine, this type of story doesn’t really need it in my opinion. The small nuances that were included were a nice change and I really enjoyed them though. For instance, we have the Fade, which is the spirit plane of the human world, Brenna can interact with other spirits while in the Fade, but most of them just turn away because they can tell that she’s not dead like they are; we also have the demon doors, and the fairy doors. I absolutely loved the addition of these and thought they were freaking brilliant! I love how the opening of these doors hinges on the lunar cycle, what absolute sheer brilliance, it’s so simple but one aspect of this world that I absolutely adore! These doors are also a big part of the plot as Brenna comes across a door that is sealed, which she’s never seen before. Little side point, I loved the old woman and I sincerely hope she makes regular appearances in the following books!

The story itself was extremely fast paced and easy reading, I absolutely flew through it. One thing that did irk me a bit was that I feel it could have done with another round or two of editing. The writing didn’t flow as well as I believe it could have which was a little bit of a downer for me, but obviously it’s not a massive issue because I’m absolutely dying to read the rest of the series. I just found that there was a little bit of an issue with the characters moving through the world, as in, there wasn’t enough description of it. For instance, our characters are eating in the cafeteria at lunch and stand up to leave, there’s a bit of conversation then all of a sudden they’re walking through their dorm room door. There was no actual ‘travelling’ so to speak, one minute they were in one place and the next they were somewhere completely different. This is just a little thing of mine, it may not be an issue for others at all, it’s just something that I picked up that happened more than once which jolted me out of the narrative a bit.

I enjoyed the ‘mystery’ part of the story, though it was pretty obvious the whole way through who was going to be responsible for what, this isn’t a deal breaker for me as the story was super enjoyable and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book, I’m really looking forward to continuing the series and cannot wait to see what happens next. If you like a quick, easy read with an engaging story that has a hint of the supernatural, give it a go 😉

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