Imaginative Middle Grade Fantasy

Dreamwalker - Rhys Bowen, C.M. Broyles

I've read and enjoyed books by Rhys Bowen in her "Molly Murphy" and "Royal Spyness" mystery series.  So when I saw this venture by her into Fantasy I was immediately interested.  

Dreamwalker is a Middle Grade fantasy that should appeal to fantasy fans in the target age range. I enjoyed it very much, and my younger self would have loved it.  I am already looking forward to the next book in the series.

When we first meet Addison, "Addy", her mother has just passed away and her aunt is packing her up to take her from California to England. Her aunt is a busy professional who is unused to children and has no time for Addy, and not much compassion for her either. We quickly learn that Addy has very vivid and unusual dreams.  What do these dreams mean?  She's placed in a boarding school in Wales that is a bit odd and strange things occur.  Is the Haunted Hallway really haunted?  Is the headmistress Miss Neves to be trusted?  Who is the red-headed girl Addy sees in her dreams?  Why does she dream about flying a dragon?

The story moves a bit slow in the beginning, although Addy's dreams and other strange occurrences help maintain interest. The pace does pick up and once it gets going it is full of adventure, mystery, danger and magic.

I liked Addy and her friends and found them fairly realistic kids.  I was pleasantly surprised that they are not pressured to involve themselves in assisting against the dark elements (intentionally vague, don't want to give spoilers), but reassured they are free to choose their path.

I'd recommend this to preteen and young teen fantasy readers, particularly those who enjoy stories where the characters are transported to another place.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through Netgalley in consideration of an honest review.