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August 16, 2015

Steampunk Sundays: The Dream Engine by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt

Series: The Dream Engine 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: 
Source: via NetGalley
Genre: Steampunk | Young Adult

When Eila Doyle first hears the strange boy calling from somewhere deep in her sleep, she begins to question her sanity. In the gleaming steampunk world of Waldron's Gate, citizens aren't meant to dream -- and those who eschew their daily Crumble and dare to do so anyway face madness … and imprisonment in Joffrey Columns, the asylum of towers.

And yet, "Dreaming" of a very specific sort is what Eila does every day at the Ministry of Manifestation with her mind hooked to the great engine, called the Blunderbuss. She's accustomed to using her thoughts to Build all that the city needs … but never before have her thoughts been so dark, so laced with demons and shadows. Now those nighttime visions hint at dark conspiracy, a millennium of lies, and a fathomless secret hiding beneath the quiet streets.

As Eila follows the boy down the rabbit hole, she discovers secrets that were meant to remain hidden. She discovers an unknown caste of underlings, an unknown place underneath the city. And she learns of her terrible destiny as her own dreams and reality blur, as "what is real?" becomes something uncertain.

This thrilling young adult dystopian adventure is the first in the Dream Engine series by masters of story Platt & Truant, authors of The Beam, Unicorn Western, and many more. The Dream Engine will have you asking yourself "What is real?" along with Eila's strong female lead -- but watch what you ask for, because the answer may unsettle and disturb you for weeks to come.




If I were to be objective, I'd give THE DREAM ENGINE, a YA Steampunk adventure by Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant, a solid 3-cauldron rating. I liked the individual elements of the story, it has it's own uniqueness with just a hint of "formula" for the novel to fit the mainstream criteria. 

  • The myth is unique in that their God is referred to as "The Crown", and Jonah and his whale is preserved and are revered entities as well.

  • That said, the world building is a curious element as well. It's like the world is flat and there be monsters lurking in the seas. Everyone took this factoid for granted, nobody really tried to explore if there is any truth to that or if there's anything beyond the "map". Until now.

  • There are somewhat of a "caste" system and unbenownst to the population as a whole, this is a mirror-like world. Like there's a society that lives aboveground and there's a whole sect of people that lives under.  

  • THE DREAM ENGINE as a whole is very imaginative, it's not Victorian England or Western America, it's neither here nor there. The world building combined with the myth is very impressive and totally beguiling.

  • I love Eila (eye-la) Doyle as a heroine, she's very rational, not whiny, brave, curious, very likable young lady. She's not susceptible to flights of whimsy nor allowed herself to be lured by her emotions. She didn't annoy me at all! She almost always lean on what's logical and takes it from there. Eila's character is also interesting in that it's ambiguous. She's either the Messiah or Shiva, depends on which team you're batting for. 


However, the novel as a whole just didn't work for me. Why? Because there's a LOT of info-dumping and over half ot THE DREAM ENGINE was more or less dedicated to world building. Have you seen The Matrix? Imagine understanding the entire concept of The Matrix in 200 pages (give or take). 

Boom!

Yeah, my eyes glazed over. I can't stop yawning. And suddenly, the novel felt laborious (for me) to read. And I'll be honest, this is why I can't really give you details beyond the basics. There's just a LOT to process in such a short amount of pages. And again, I'm being very subjective here, a lot of people in Goodreads LOVED THE DREAM ENGINE. Unfortunately, this is just one of those books that's not the right fit for me. Yet another case of it's not you, it's totally ME. 









Talk Supe




31 comments:

  1. Too bad that info-dumping made this less enjoyable than it could have been, Braine! It still sounds captivating though, and a good heroine can make me read even when things are a little tedious...
    Have a spectacular Sunday :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Give it a go! You know my reviews, it's very subjective so you just might end up loving this more than I did.

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  2. The idea sounded good and I confess that the world is really intriguing but sorry to see that it wasn't a bit more. I can understand the problem though.

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    1. I'm starting to fear that I'm slowly withdrawing from ALL YA...

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  3. I hate Info Dumping. It can so take you out of a story really fast. I like that the world is intriguing, but you need the elements of a story to be good.

    Grace @ Books of Love

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    1. Info dumping how the world works is tough for me because it's important in appreciating a fantasy book. So much of the events hinge on that and I wish I grasped it better.

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  4. Well the world sounds interesting but whoa on the info dump. That can be rough for sure.

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  5. It's too bad that the world needed that much explaining. It must be my old age, but I find myself having less and less patience for books with worlds that I need to expend a lot of effort to wrap my head around, lol.

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    1. I'm the same way. Maybe I need to start taking fish oil or something

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  6. Ah, man, I hate when this happens. Awesome stories buried under the info dumping... But it's a sin I know all too well, as I too have committed it many times :) Too bad, this one sounds different, in a really good way.

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    1. Steampunk worlds are complex because it has elements that we don't always see or hear about. Hence it requires a lot of imagination and if your reader is slow like me, then good luck with that! lol

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  7. I will wait and see what you think of 2 ;)

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    1. I don't think I'll be reading the next one

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  8. Okay this sounds super intriguing! I haven't even heard of it before but I'm definitely curious about it now.

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    1. Give it a try and let me know if you liked it better than I did.

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  9. Too bad about the info dumping. The cover is lovely.

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    1. They updated it. The first one looked graphic novel-ish

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  10. The premise sounds intriguing, so I'm sorry the execution didn't live up to it. I guess I'll pass. Thanks for giving an honest review! As much as I enjoy finding new books to add to my TBR, it's also useful to know which books probably won't be my cup of tea.

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    1. I'm just not the right reader for this

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  11. This does sounds interesting. There's a neat draw to it's elements. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Great review. I've had those reviews where everyone on Goodreads raves about the book, but then I get it and it's just ok. I like how you ending your review "it's not you, it's totally ME". I've done that!

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    1. Yup, I'm taking full responsibility for this. It's ME!

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  13. I LOVE detailed world-building, but info-dumping? Not so much. The heroine looks really likeable, but if you say it's too much, I might wait for the second book and see if that one has more positive reviews before picking it up. Great thoughts! :)

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    1. I wish the world was built not in one conversation. I wish they showed it rather than told.

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  14. Info-dumping fails even the best authors. I think I'll give this book a pass, Braine! :)

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  15. A shame there was too much info in this book and not a lot of "doing" Sounds like a good concept though.

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

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  16. The info dumping sounds like it'd be a really tough head to get your head around, definitely brain burning!

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