I keep lists.
The recommendation was not forgotten.
And I'm glad.
This duet surprised me. Author Elizabeth Knox is a New Zealander and I loved her writing. First surprise. (I've had bad experiences in this department, hasn't everybody?) Knox's writing is lyrical and deliberate, slow and thoughtful. I wouldn't say it is something I'm always craving (pacing is so important to me, and these are on the slower side -- but this feels careful rather than painful), but these are a lovely journey to take when you're looking for new talent and something special and different. I needed talent after my disappointment with Clare.
Dreamhunter, Elizabeth Knox (Book 1)
- The story and world are so strong and so original that I kept feeling as though I was reading a classic -- something that had already proven its worth for a century of readers; that I was reading something that deserved my time. Essence of set-up without spoilers: the people of the story's world live near "the Place" -- a place where dreams may be gathered and brought back by a select few who can do so, to share through communal sleep.
- The characters say things worth saying (yes, read into this whining about Clare still)
- The relationships between the core group of friends and family is more important than romance.
Dreamquake, Elizabeth Knox (Book 2)
- While the writing remains strong in Book 2, I grew a tad impatient with this book. I still enjoyed it...but I was conscious of the time it was taking to read the book.
- The novel's climax arrives around three quarters of the way through, and from then on it feels like a wind-down. But in retrospect, it is a satisfying close, even if it doesn't pack a huge punch.
- I unfortunately didn't connect with the love story or love interest at all, which is a shame. This didn't ruin the book, because I don't think this book is a love story. Not romantic love, anyway. It's a sideline.
- And oddly, while I didn't mind the protagonist's voice (she's an intelligent youth, not a bumbling whino), her choices and emotional responses more than once surprised and confused me.
- Again, I closed the book and felt I'd finished something timeless, epic and classic...and that I'd never read anything quite like it. I think it retells well, too -- the kind of tight and original story that you could tell to your child from memory over a week of bedtimes.