This review is part of a MotherTalk blog tour, and I received this book from the publisher to review.
The Dark Dreamweaver (The Remin Chronicles) is a tween/teen fantasy novel by Nick Ruth,with illustrations by Sue Concannon. The book blends imagination, magic, dreams, and monarch butterflies – some of our favorite things!
The beginning of The Dark Dreamweaver is dense, with a lot of information and small print. Our listeners liked the story, but found that the chapters were too long to read all at once (they, um, fell asleep). However, they loved the story itself. The beginning is slow, too – there’s a lot of set-up information that the reader needs, before the “good part” can begin. This can be hard for younger readers/listeners, as many might put down the book, not knowing how good it can get from the beginning!
Remin is a land of imagination, where dreams are created. The wizard of Remin, Houdin, has been forced out of Remin by his arch-enemy, Thane. Thane is creating nightmares and bad dreams for all the people around Earth. Houdin is stuck in the body of a caterpillar on Earth, and asks David (a young boy) to help him return to Remin and fix the situation with the dreams and return him to his original form. To do this, Houdin must manipulate David’s dreams that night so he can return to Remin.
The world within Remin is fascinating – once our little readership group had gotten to that part of The Dark Dreamweaver, it was hard to stop each night! There are wizards, magical creatures, doors that talk, wands, talking animals, and bad guys – all things that excite the imagination and minds of young listeners.
Once we had gotten through the first couple chapters of The Dark Dreamweaver, we really enjoyed it. Our reading group was on the young end of the age spectrum (7 & 9 years old), but it wasn’t too scary for these kids who have listened to Harry Potter books 1-4! I would recommend it for ages 7+ as a read-aloud chapter book, or ages 9+ for read-it-themselves. This is with the understanding that kids aren’t incredibly sensitive to magical violence and suspense (ie: kids who have already enjoyed Harry Potter). Now that there aren’t any more Harry Potter books coming out, my kids are looking forward to more books in the Remin Chronicles – sequels to The Dark Dreamweaver.