The premise of Plum’s thriller is intriguing, if not entirely original: seven teenagers struggling with debilitating insomnia are chosen for an experimental program that hopes to cure them; instead, it plunges them into dreamscapes that represent their nightmares. Observing the procedure is Jaime, a Yale premed student who plans to write a paper on the project. Plum (the After the End series) alternates among the perspectives of Jaime, 16-year-old Catalina Cordova, and 18-year-old college student Fergus Willson, maintaining a quick pace as the teens bounce through each other’s nightmares, facing off against their fears, while Jaime digs into their backgrounds. However, the scientists’ actions after the death of one of the participants in the project is head scratching, and while the nightmares are mildly scary, the gore (of which there is a fair amount) seems forced. Overly familiar character types don’t help (Catalina is a token “stubborn” girl, while another teen, Ant, harbors a secret that won’t surprise anyone), and the jarring cliffhanger ending may leave readers more irritated than anxious to learn what happens next. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stacey Glick, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (May)
PRAISE FOR DREAMFALL: “Plum has done something remarkable with Dreamfall, it feels simultaneously like classic horror but also undeniably modern. The mind prison she creates is claustrophobic and terrifying, disorienting and dark. Horror readers will love the fresh premise and fast pace.” —
Madeleine Roux, New York Times bestselling author of the Asylum series
“Dreamfall is a gorgeous nightmare and an ominous mystery, a compulsively riveting read that delivers twist after twist. I can’t wait to enter this dream again!” —
Rachel Caine, #1 internationally bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series
“A beautiful nightmare. Horrifying and impossible to put down.” —
Danielle Vega, author of the Merciless series
“Dreamfall is a chilling descent into madness, where dreams become reality. You’ll never sleep again!” —
Kimberly Derting, author of the Body Finder series
“Surreal and terrifying, Dreamfall is an adventure wrapped in a nightmare.” —
Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten and the Don't Get Mad series
“Plum crafts a wicked dreamscape.” —
Natalie C. Parker, author of the Beware the Wild series
“Reminiscent of Neal Shusterman’s FULL TILT, this novel is a fast-paced nightmare come to life.” —
School Library Journal
“Deftly and concisely blending hard-edged action, suspense, and a well-crafted cast of characters, Plum delivers a compelling must-have science fiction/action/horror mash-up that will leave readers anticipating the next instalment.” —
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Will appeal to fans of nightmarish fiction looking for an easy, but scary, read with a relatable premise.” —
Plum crafts a wicked dreamscape.
PRAISE FOR DREAMFALL: “Plum has done something remarkable with Dreamfall, it feels simultaneously like classic horror but also undeniably modern. The mind prison she creates is claustrophobic and terrifying, disorienting and dark. Horror readers will love the fresh premise and fast pace.
A beautiful nightmare. Horrifying and impossible to put down.
Deftly and concisely blending hard-edged action, suspense, and a well-crafted cast of characters, Plum delivers a compelling must-have science fiction/action/horror mash-up that will leave readers anticipating the next instalment.
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
Will appeal to fans of nightmarish fiction looking for an easy, but scary, read with a relatable premise.
Dreamfall is a gorgeous nightmare and an ominous mystery, a compulsively riveting read that delivers twist after twist. I can’t wait to enter this dream again!
Surreal and terrifying, Dreamfall is an adventure wrapped in a nightmare.
Dreamfall is a chilling descent into madness, where dreams become reality. You’ll never sleep again!
Exciting and tense! Prepare for the unexpected! You’ll stay up all night with this one!
PRAISE FOR THE AFTER THE END SERIES: “Wonderfully riveting. A fascinating twist on the apocalypse, and a reminder that things aren’t always as they seem.
PRAISE FOR THE DIE FOR ME SERIES “I devoured this lush, mysterious romance, which delivers a refreshingly human heroine alongside a hero truly deserving of the title.
Plum’s debut is the perfect combo of romance and thrills, with heart-pumping action that will make you jump and love that will make you cry out for joy. You’ll hang on every word, reading late into the night till the end.
Gr 7 Up–Cata, Fergus, and five other teens are test subjects in a sleep disorder treatment study. Fears or traumas have resulted in various sleep disorders, such as nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, and insomnia. This treatment promises the teens a cure and finally a good night's sleep. But after the test begins, a small earthquake causes equipment to malfunction, and the test goes horribly wrong. Instead of peacefully waking from the treatment, the test subjects are comatose, but in their heads, they are trapped in a communal nightmare, much more terrifying than anything each has experienced individually. The teens must navigate their way through the dream world without being killed by the monsters they face—among them zombie monks, soldiers, and sinister clowns—while Jaime, a medical student observer, tries to tell the disbelieving doctors what's really happening. Reminiscent of Neal Shusterman's Full Tilt, this novel is a fast-paced nightmare come to life, told in alternating points of view. It seems everyone, from the test subject teens to the doctors, has something to hide. Plum develops the characters just enough to keep readers guessing about their motivations. VERDICT A definite purchase for libraries serving younger sci-fi and horror fans, who will be eagerly waiting for the sequel.—Jillian Woychowski, West Haven High School, CT
Jaime Salvator, a top pre-med student at Yale, witnesses an unprecedented sleep experiment involving teenagers who suffer from insomnia—and how it goes dreadfully wrong. At the beginning of the experiment, an earthquake occurs that disrupts the Tower, an electrical output system that is attached to the seven subjects, who have been induced into REM sleep. Each of the sleepers has been catapulted into a shared dreamlike state filled with monsters, slime, and like scenarios based upon some of their worst nightmares. Narrative perspective alternates among the teens as they rely on one another to evade the horrors of their collective nightmare. In the experiment lab, Jaime secretly engages a hacker friend to help find information in an attempt to learn more about the patients' backgrounds. The frame story takes a wildly unrealistic turn when, after a horrific fatality occurs in the lab, the doctors conducting the experiment actually leave Jaime alone in the lab with the remaining six comatose patients. With plotting reminiscent of a teen B-movie, the author relies upon a cast of stereotypical characters that in one case borders on xenophobic, as one of the narrating subjects describes Remi, a refugee from a fictional, war-torn country in Africa, as a kid who "looks out of place in a way only a foreigner can." Jaime is probably black, implied by references to affirmative action and her origins in "one of Detroit's worst neighborhoods." Falling in line with the trend of the multivolume series, the abrupt ending to this book is not an innovative cliffhanger but a shallow contrivance to sell the next book. In this case, as each chapter is predictable, the sequel will be more of the same. (Science fiction. 14-18)