Thursday, July 28, 2022

Review: The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar

This cover was too beautiful for me not to request an ARC of it. And I was lucky enough to be sent one. This was a book I really hoped that I would enjoy, as it sounded pretty incredible. And I did like it. But sadly not enough. And so it ended up being a two star for me. And I have so many thoughts. But I did not hate this.

Which is a plus for me. Though I must admit that I did not read too much about what this book was about before I requested it. Was pretty sure it was a fantasy story. Did not know it was also contemporary. Which is something I don't like much at all. Oops. But I did like the fantasy of this story, for the most part, anyway.

But then there is the writing. And I do not know how to share my thoughts about it all. The writing was not bad. I did like it. But oh, the way this book was written was not for me. Not one bit. Every single thing was described way too much. All the time. It drove me insane. There were so, so many words I had never heard of before, used to describe food and beauty and everything. It was not good. There were way too many things that were described and it never stopped. It gave me a headache and very much made me unable to focus for a lot of the time I read this book. It just was not for me. I do not think it was needed to describe everything that way. It was too much, truly. Because it made me not able to picture anything at all. So many unknown words as well.

I liked that this book was different from what I am used to, with a lot of Hindu mythology and customs. But there was so much I did not know. And so this was not really a book for me. But I found it both beautiful and interesting to read about. And so I enjoyed it a lot. I think the Hindu parts were great. Maybe a bit too little of it all, as there was so much focus on describing everything, haha. I just cannot stop mentioning it. Because it is what I remember most about this book. Sigh. It was not a good thing. It was disappointing.

One thing I did not enjoy was how this book just started without any explanations about the world and the creatures in it. Because I did not know anything about the nagas and such. Until I noticed mentions of a snake tail and fangs and hissing. Just. What. That should have been explained more, right away. As I did not understand it at all. The world was interesting and full of things. But felt like it was not written enough about, because there were so many things unsaid. We learned more about the place, but never enough.

This is a book that tells the story of two humans living in an immortal world full of snakes that can change forms. I guess. It was not explained well enough at all. And I still do not know what the world was. Hmm. It might make more sense for those who know the mythology. Which I did not. But it really should have been explained more and written more about, so that I could understand it too. At least I liked reading about those snakes, haha. Also mentions of their enemy, the eagles. It was all a little silly, to be honest.

Which I probably feel because this book did not make any sense to me. We learn little about the snakes, they can shift into looking human. And shift into all types of snakes. But their regular form seems to be some kind of mix between human and snake, with a huge tail? I honestly have no idea what they looked like, because it was never once described. Only everything around them was always described. Rude. I also found so much of this book to just be silly. Like those meant to be mean and scary. They were not.

Anyway. This book was about Tanvi and Venkat. Tanvi is a dream runner. A mortal girl stolen away into this other world or whatever, having her memory of her life taken away, so they could use her to steal other humans dreams. This was interesting to read about, but this book did focus way too little about the actual part of being a dream runner. We only see her do this in the beginning. I wanted to know more. Tanvi is supposed to only focus on this, she's not really there anymore. Until she starts remembering.

Which is all that this book is about. Tanvi remembering her life, before she was taken away at age ten. And this is the part that I did not like much about this book. Because I did not care. I did not care one bit about Tanvi and her twin sister that she had left behind. We have to read so much about it. About what happened the night Tanvi ran away, how mean her sister had been. I did not like her at all. And this book was focused way too much about all of that. Sure, parts of this were interesting. But not nearly enough.

Then there was Venkat, the other human living in this place. He was not able to be a dream runner, as he had some other type of powers that made him able to edit dreams or something. I'm not sure. His powers were kind of exciting, but was also focused too little on. Venkat was a very sensitive boy full of feelings. Which I normally like. But it got to be too much and I just could not bring myself to love him. He was too boring. Tanvi too. A tiny bit of romance, and it honestly made no sense, because this story was so weird.

I tried my best with this book. There were a few stories included, folklore. I do not know if they are real or not. But they were a little messed up, ha. I did not like them. I just. I do not know what to say about this book. Two stars. I read it, I liked it mostly, but I did not care for it at all. It was too boring and nothing truly happened. Huge thank you to Harper360YA for sending me a free review copy of this book to read and review. I'm glad that I gave this book a chance, as I did like it, despite not loving it. You should try it too.

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