Spiritual warfare is such stuff as dreams are made on in this Christian fantasy.
By day, Archer Keaton is an ordinary high school freshman. At night he is a Dreamtreader, patrolling the Realm Between and battling the minions of the Nightmare Lord. But all is not well in the Dream: The other Dreamtreaders have vanished, and ominous tokens have followed Archer into the waking world. His daytime life isn’t so great either: Crush Kara barely speaks to him, and new kid Rigby Thames is attracting followers into a dangerous hobby, threatening both the Dream and the Temporal realms. Dream warfare is hardly an original trope, but it is handled deftly here, with carefully delineated rules and vivid imagery, from groan-worthy to grisly to shatteringly beautiful. Except for heavy-handed paranoia about “lucid dreaming,” the evangelistic subtext is well-integrated but not intrusive. The characters mostly read like real people, with all their messy complexities; even Rigby, with his wince-inducing accent and staged Brit mannerisms, reveals unexpected nuances. The plot clips along with a fine balance between worldbuilding and action, and the climactic twists are truly surprising, providing both a satisfying conclusion and sufficient sinister foreshadowing to fuel the promised sequels.
What it lacks in richness and profundity it makes up for in thrills; not a bad choice for a wholesome adventure. (Fantasy. 10-14)