[REVIEW] Dreamscape: Saving Alex

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Series: N/A
Kirstin Pulioff
 young adult, adventure, fantasy, magical realism, coming of age
 April 15, 2015
Purchase: Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Alexis Stone is used to getting away from life’s frustration with Dreamscape, a video game she's loved since childhood. As her family prepares to move, a sleepy night of gaming pulls her into the world like never before. Trapped in Dreamscape’s realm, Alex is about to learn that being a hero has consequences… and this time, the stakes are deadly. Will helping the rebellion cost her everything she knows and loves? Or will she betray them to save her own life?

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Dreamscape is a fantasy-adventure. When I read through the plot saying that Alex got trapped in a game, I was instantly sold. For some reasons, stories set in a game catches my attention. It could be the adventure, the fascinating way of placing the hero in an entirely different world, or how the hero basically just faces everything.

While Alex is packing her stuff with her best friend, they unexpectedly stumble upon their old game called Dreamscape. They played for a while to pass time and when Natalie fell asleep, Alex found the game asking her if she wants to save the Queen and thinking that it's just asking her to play another game, she just said yes to it. Next thing she knows, she's slowly being transported into an entirely different yet familiar world - she was suddenly transported to the world of Dreamscape.

Dreamscape has a very interesting premise. It has a very elaborate and engaging world. Pulioff written a very nice world that's really fun with Alex even talking about BGMs and game monsters. Alex's adjustment to the world was really good. Perhaps one of the things I really like in here. As Alex finds herself in the world of Dreamscape, she looks at the things around her, at the game she used to play, and the adventure ahead of her. She also tries to look at the differences this world has from the game - the appearance for a mysterious young man named Arrow.

Dreamscape introduced a very hesitant but likable heroine. Alex's transportation to the world of Dreamscape is not just a plain adventure but it's Alex's exploration of herself. Alex was sent to the world of Dreamscape to be a Hero but she doesn't see herself as one. Almost half of the book, she battles herself internally. She knows the world well but she's not sure if she can shoulder the lives of the people in it - the people who count on her to save their queen. Her adventure in the world of Dreamscape allowed her to realize a few things in her life. It allowed her to understand the things her parents does. It allowed her to accept their home moving easier.

While I think that it was a really nice coming of age story inside a fun adventure, Dreamscape had its down moments for me. There were times when I felt that things were going quite fast, or things were going quite slow, things were getting a bit stagnant. The story also tried to incorporate romance but I didn't quite took it seriously because the development on their romance wasn't very good; and I was so sure that Alex won't be staying in their world.

Setting those few things aside, I think that Dreamscape was a really nice fantasy-adventure story. It could have been great if it was a duology or something because the world could have been expounded further and a few more things well developed. Alex as a heroine was really good - she's likable and would sometimes allowed me to look back at myself. While I find it short, I think Pulioff nicely wrapped the story - it looked back on things that were mentioned in the beginning (which I thought was completely set aside), it did what it was supposed to do, and the ending really showed how much the adventure influence and developed Alex.

OVERALL, Dreamscape is a nice and quick read. It's recommended for those who enjoy standalones that focus on adventure with a dash of romance.

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What I Like: (1) Alex, as a heroine, (2) the world of Dreamscape, (3) the adventure Alex and Arrow had, (4) its focus on adventure than on any other things, (4) how the story was nicely concluded

What I Didn’t Like: (1) how some things seemed to be compromised to shorten the story (I think that this could have been a greater read if it's a duology or trilogy),

~this book was provided in exchange for an honest review~

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Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in the foothills of Colorado, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing an adventure, she’s busy living one.

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