The Dream Crystal by Mark O Bannon (The Dream War Series: Book 1)

4/10 I found this book intensely irritating.

All of the world’s dreams are about to die. The Shadow People have come. Always near, they linger in the darkness, ready to devour dreams, hopes, aspirations and desires…

Aisling, having lost her dream of becoming a fashion designer, learns that she’s a Faerie changeling. Disquieted by the fact that her faerie parents are kidnappers, she has decided to rescue the human child she was exchanged for, but her “sister” is no longer among the faeries, having been taken by the Shadow People. Ith, the Lord of Shadows, is trying to control the dreams of mankind, which are under the protection of the faeries, so they’re at war…

Aisling, who doesn’t believe in dreams any longer, is falling in love with a handsome, mysterious stranger – one of the Shadow People.


I found this book intensely irritating, the main character Erin/Aisling is impulsive but does not think about consequences or even about her friends, either wondering why no one is hitting on her or being jealous of her friends who are. Erin/Aisling is a changeling, which means her parents swapped her at birth for a human child to keep her out of a war so they could protect her. Without knowing her heritage she has always felt like an outsider and only finds out she isn’t who she thought she was when her world starts falling about around her. Changeling’s are viewed with contempt in the Land of Dream as most of them are not able to use magic in the way that a Faerie who has been born there can.

The author spends way too much time telling us of the outfits each of his characters are wearing in minute detail and as they are faeries this happens quite a lot. But it is not interesting to read paragraphs on the clothes they are wearing. This would make sense if Erin/Aisling wanted to be a fashion designer and only cares about beauty, but is unnecessary to move the story forward.

Most of the characters are not well rounded, with each being given one trait that they follow excessively. It’s a shame though as there is a good idea behind the story, of faeries from the land of dream battling the never fully explained shadow people from the shadow land. It is a familiar concept, are the shadow people fallen faeries? Are you dead if you fall into the Shadow Land? If you can fall can’t you also come into the Land of Dream? Which is proven by the main character, why don’t the people who have turned to Shadow stay in the Land of Dreams? They have the same powers. The struggle between the Queen of Dreams and Ith the Shadow Lord is not fully understood as the battle over control of passion and freedom etc... are not fully defined and neither way seems to be ideal.

Unfortunately this seems to be the first in a series, which may explain more of why this world is the way it is, but if it continues to be as underwritten as this it is probably not worth exploring further. I would hope that character development is improved and that you can actually start caring about what happens to people in this book. For me there was no connection with any of the characters and what befell them.

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Mark O Bannon's The Dream War Series series

The Dream Crystal

The Dream War Series: Book 1

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