Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
Dreamhunter is a book about an alternate world where dreams are physcial things that can be caught and broadcast like television shows. In the world of the book, the Place is a land where only Dreamhunters can enter. If they are skilled enough, they can catch different dreams and make their fortune playing them for rich viewers at the Rainbow Opera or to heal patients at hospitals. But everything is controlled by the Dream Regulatory Body. They govern who can enter the Place and use the Dreamhunters as entertainment and healing services, but there is a dark side to the business as well. Dreams can be used to harm people, to teach them a lesson, and the Dream Regulatory Body hires some of the strongest Dreamers to work in the prisons and correctional facilities, basically scaring and brainwashing the inmates back into obedience. Laura Hame is a young Dreamhunter and the daughter of the man who found the Place in the beginning. But he has showed her how evil dreams can be if they are not used for good. He has gone missing, and it is up to her to show the rest of the world the injustices being done to the poor people being subjected to the dream torture, and the poor Dreamhunters who are controlled and ordered by the government to carry these painful, violent, horrifying dreams.
Something from the book that I found interesting was that there was a lot of suspense leading up to Laura's revealing of the Dreadful Dream that her father burdened her with. It was up to this little 18 year old girl to venture out into an uncharted wilderness, catch a dream that made unrepentant murderers beg for death, and show it to the rest of the world. It was suspensful because Laura was always at risk of getting caught, both by her family and by the Dream Regulatory Body. I liked that some of the really important plot twists and secrets were kept until the very end of the story.
I would recommend this book to anyone 12 and up who like thinking about dreams and alternate realities and also for those who are interested in the limits of government control over a society. It was an interesting piece to read, although slow going in the beginning, but not just an ordinary fantasy book or paranormal romance novel. Ths book made you question how much control the characters really had over their lives and over their own minds. It was somewhat thrilling to see these characters going behind the will of the Regulatory Body to try and free a people who didn't even know that they were being controlled and trapped and brainwashed.