The Dream Sifter is an original engaging mixture of science fiction and fantasy with the characters propelling the plot.
I loved this. I’d finished reading this a few days ago but strayed away from posting a review because if I would’ve attempted praising it the minute I’d turned the last page, this review would’ve consisted on only and only random excited words like oh my god or what just happened or wow. Yeah, you get the point.
The story revolves around Rai, a young woman with three moons on her wrist giving away her barren status, who has been banished by her previous Sept and wakes up in the Temple with no memory of her life before waking up in a creche. She is then adopted by the Durmah Sept upon request by Matriarch Bauleel, giving her a chance to start anew. But nothing goes as planned when Rai stops taking her medications that were aimed at toning down her senses. She can now smell things that don’t have a scent, see clearly through a thick fog and even read minds through emotions of people around her.
Personally, I loved the beginning. It was strong, captivating and dived straight into action. There was no time and words wasted to set up a scene or the dystopian world. All those aspects were well touched upon as the story progressed. With over 600 years of colonization, this world called Az’Unda is ridden with a plague that dates back to the same number. The Guardian Sept carries an immense responsibility of protecting the population by tracking the ones infected. This point gave the story an intriguing sub plot that connects to all characters directly or indirectly. The heirarchy was yet another impressive addition to this world-building. Here, women also ruled as Chieftess, Matriarchs and Priests.
This book is the first of the The Depths of Memory trilogy so commenting on the overall plot might not be the most appropriate thing to do right now. At least the plot points explored in the first installment is well woven, not leaving any place for loopholes—just those unanswered questions that I expect the next installments to have.
Moving on to the characters, I fell in love with them. Even though nothing about Rai is upfront or her personality isn’t exposed, the way she thinks, gets frustrated, tries her best to remember and how the third-person omniscient narrative explores her journey from I-don’t-even-know-who-I-am to a hell-yeah-I’m-this, brought her to life for me. The best bit about the characters—Graeber, Ponar, Jesse or Bauleel—is how each of them has been given a fair motive that connects back to the main character, Rai. All have their own reasoning for the decisions they made or will make. Plus, they’ve attempted mistakes too that might affect them immensely later on in the series. What can make the characters more three-dimensional?
The ending disappointed me a tad bit little. No, not the revelations or the last bit that is meant to drive the story toward the second part of this series. I was disappointed by the pacing of the climax. I’d read the books for hours to reach the disclosure and when I did, everything was almost being vomited by the two characters (who I can’t name in order to avoid spoilers). I wanted emotions being thrown in between or gestures that would give me some time to feel shocked. Instead, continuous dialogues with an urgent voice was all I got. I understood the circumstances that built up the climax and how this fast paced conversation can be justified, but I’m not here justify things I didn’t like, I’m only here to state them.
This is a great read for those looking for a science fiction merged into fantasy with a world and characters that’ll stay with your for long. I loved this and can’t wait to get my hands on the newly published second installment, Dreams Manifest.
I received a free copy of this book by the author herself but that in no way influences this review. Thank you Candice Bundy!