Today continues our look at the gothic YA fiction of Heather Ingemar with a look at Collecting Dreams, a collection of three short stories involving Isabele (great name, right?) and her introduction to the supernatural creatures that feed on our dreams in the night.
The story begins with Dream Drinker, where Isabele rescues her friend Madeline from nightmares by recapturing her dreams and destroying the strange creature that she comes to learn is a dream drinker. Unfortunately, she is unable to return the dreams to Madeline, as the jar falls and breaks and they dissipate into the ether. This becomes a constant reminder as Isabele herself begins to undergo a frightening transformation.
The story continues with Dream Seeker, where we learn that two years later, Isabele is plagued by an unnatural hunger for dreams. Since killing the last dream drinker, is she now destined to follow in its path? And finally there is Dream Hunter, where Isabele goes on a journey to find a cure among the moon flowers, all while evading an angry Soul Eater. But will she make it before her transformation consumes her?
I have to say I was fascinated by the world Ingemar created here. On the surface it seemed so much like our world but at night when everyone was asleep the creatures would all come out to play. It reminded me of tales I’d read about monsters as a child, the type that live in the closet or under the bed, except these could take your soul. There was a kind of old fashioned nostalgic fairytale feeling that this collection had and I really enjoyed that about it. It lagged a bit in the beginning, but I think it was setting up the normal world so we could better appreciate the supernatural aspects of it later on. And I didn’t necessarily fall in love with the main character, but I did sympathize with her very much. So I think the story was effective in that aspect.
Overall, I give the collection a strong B, as I enjoyed the wordlbuilding and the fantasy aspects of it very much.