The Dream Keeper's Daughter by Emily Colin
Published by Ballantine Books
Published on: July 25 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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An archaeologist discovers her presumed-missing boyfriend is trapped more than a hundred years in the past—a love story that transcends time and place, from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Memory Thief.
Eight years after the unsolved disappearance of her boyfriend Max Adair, archaeologist Isabel Griffin has managed to move on and rebuild her life with her young daughter, Finn, her last tie to Max. But after a series of strange incidents, Isabel begins to wonder if Max might still be alive somewhere, trying to communicate with her. She has no idea that the where isn’t the problem—it’s the when. Max has slipped through time and place, landing on his ancestral family plantation in 1816 Barbados, on the eve of a historic slave uprising. As Isabel searches for answers, Max must figure out not only how to survive the violence to come, but how to get back to his own century, the woman he loves, and the daughter he has only ever met in his dreams.
The books I have the hardest times reviewing are the MEH books, and THE DREAM KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is one such book. In the struggle to find something to say beyond, “MEH,” I can hyperfocus on the things that annoyed me, the end result being that the book comes across as far worse than it actually was.
That being said, this particular book sparked lots o’ irritation to draw that focus. The numerous references to the all-the-boys-want-her heroine as a modern-day “Lara Croft” (yes, seriously), the wholly unexplained magic system, the anticlimactic “plot twist” at the very end . . . It was all very basic.
Like the haphazard daydream of an adolescent girl put to paper.
Despite what I consider to be a fairly predictable plot, I can’t go into more detail without spoilers, so I apologize for the vaguery, but it can’t be helped. *shrugs awkwardly*
When the focus wasn’t on the (highly suspect) supernatural aspects of the story, it was on mundane post-pictures-of-your-morning-snack-b/c-yay-social-media type details like:
I park on a side street, feeling lucky to have found a spot so close, and make my way to the library, taking a shortcut through one of the tree-lined courtyards that houses some of the college’s older buildings. The sun is brutal, and the humidity’s not much better. I push open the door to the air-conditioned lobby with a sense of deep relief.
I’m so bored.
And bored and irritated are not what I look for in a book.
THE DREAM KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Emily Colin, if I’m being generous, is urban fantasy lite—maybe okay for dabblers who won’t care that supernatural details don’t hold up under scrutiny, but not for anyone who needs solid world-building despite the unreality of the story being told. Combine that with the caricature of a heroine, and I just can’t. Not recommended.
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