CSFF Blog Tour: Dreamtreaders

Archer Keaton’s life, when he’s awake, is fairly ordinary: a brother, a sister, a dad, school days, chores. Friends, including that one he would like to have as more than a friend.

But when Archer Keaton is asleep, his life is extraordinary. He is a Dreamtreader – roving the Dreamscape, meeting its many and often strange citizens, repairing breaches between the Dream and the waking world, and – every once in a while – confronting the Nightmare Lord.

Dreamtreaders is written by Wayne Thomas Batson and is the first book of his new trilogy. Like Archer’s life, the book is made of two parts: the waking world, with its routine issues of school, family, and friends, and the Dream – a perilous and intoxicating place, in which the rules of the waking world are suspended, and the rules of the Dreamworld take over.

So the novel mixes a school story with a fantasy adventure, ultimately bridging the two in a logical and interesting way. The world of the Dream is intensely imaginative, and though it seems at times the living definition of freewheeling (how wild is a place where you can simply think anything into existence?), it is still governed by its own strange laws, some of them quite unforgiving.

The world-building of Dreamtreaders is excellent – as we see primarily in the Dream, but also in the waking world. Scoville Manor, including its charming-but-odd menagerie, is a fine piece of craftsmanship. Batson’s skill as a writer brings home his imagination to his readers, helping us not only to see his worlds but to feel them.

Characters, too, are well-done, from the precocious Kaylie to the nettlesome Master Gabriel to the slimy Bezeal. Archer Keaton is an admirable protagonist, adventurous and brave and caring, with well-measured amounts of flaws and mistakes.

The imagery of the book, usually quite compelling, got too disturbing a few times, especially in the final storming of Shadowkeep. I also thought Rigby and Kara’s turn during the same section a little too abrupt; it confused me initially, and I wished it had been foreshadowed earlier in the book.

But the thing is, I really enjoyed this book. It swept me up and away. In Dreamtreaders, Wayne Thomas Batson does justice to humanity’s ancient fascination with dreams. Recommended.


Tomorrow I will be sharing an interview with Wayne Thomas Batson about Dreamtreaders. He had many interesting comments about the book, just as you’d expect, and I hope you’ll come by to see it.

Now we have the links:

Dreamtreaders on Amazon;

Wayne Thomas Batson’s website;

and the blog tour participants:

Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner

Carol Keen
Jennette Mbewe
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer

Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis

Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.