Title: Lucid Dreaming
Author: Cassandra Page
Genre: Urban fantasy
Date Read: 06/01/2016 – 07/01/2016
(Thanks to Cassandra Page and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
So, I have to get a confession out of the way first. Even though I knew that Cassandra Page lives in Canberra like I do, for some reason, I was totally taken by surprise over the fact that this book is also set here. Every time I recognised a location, I kind of stopped and squeed a bit. I’m sure people who live in New York or London are totally used to this, but no one ever sets books in Canberra, so that added a whole extra level of fun.
Lucid Dreaming centres on Melaina, a half-Oneiroi, or dream spirit, who works as a “dream therapist” to pay the bills. But when she treats a client whose dreams are inhabited by a nightmare creature, it draws the attention of the creatures’ master, who isn’t happy. When investigating leads to near-death experiences and her friends and family being in danger, the chase is on for Melaina to figure out what exactly is going on before her own, and others’, nightmares come to get them.
I really enjoyed reading an urban fantasy with supernatural creatures we don’t often see. As well as the Oneiroi (we meet a couple of full-blooded ones throughout the course of the book), we also experience their opposite, the Mara, and some other nightmare creatures.
I really appreciated the characters in the book, too. I’m all for a feisty character with snappy dialogue, but sometimes it wears a bit thin when every single event or comment from someone is responded to with a witty retort. The dialogue in Lucid Dreaming flows well and strikes a good balance in this regard. Dialogue also serves as a world-building device and as such it never got too info-dumpy.
There is an explicit sex scene about three quarters of the way through, which isn’t really my cup of tea. I think that’s the only thing for which some readers might require a heads-up. Apart from that, I recommend this as an entertaining, original piece of urban fantasy.
(This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016. Click here for more information).