Within an enchanted forest, there is a vast iron fence “adorned with spikes.” Within that fence lies the Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary. Within the school’s walls, safe from the dangerous outside world, live four children who dream in unison.
Plum, Artem, Vien, and Gwendle are best friends who share everything—even their dreams. They’ve been at the school since they were babies, but there’s a lot they don’t know. Why were they chosen to attend the school? What do the men and women in pink suits who take blood samples and ask a lot of questions do with the information they collect? The four have always had control over their dreams, but lately, they’ve begun experiencing unnerving deviations; they aren’t as fully in control as they thought. Then Artem disappears from the waking world and appears to Plum in a dream. “You have to leave Brassmere,” he warns. Plum ventures outside the school’s protection and soon learns that their lives are a lie and that the truth is the insidious stuff of nightmares. The third-person narration is firmly entrenched in Plum’s perspective, but her friends are fully developed and not merely supports. There are a few minor plot holes, but readers will likely overlook them and focus on the action and mystery. The book assumes a white default.
A quietly thrilling adventure. (Fantasy. 8-13)