The Dream Gatherer by Kristen Britain

This little book of two short stories and one novella set in the Green Rider universe was a decent way to stem the sadness of knowing that the next Green Rider book is still probably years away. I do hope that Britain didn’t push off working on the next book too much in an effort to get this one out the door!

If I had to find a common thread between the different pieces in The Dream Gatherer, it would probably be “rambling.” It’s great to meet some new characters and revisit some older ones (especially the Berry sisters!), but many of the plot points somehow didn’t feel rooted to anything. This is especially apparent in the novella, where the various scenes feel more like snippets to allow us to view the characters doing interesting or funny things, rather than a cohesive story arc. Why the inclusion of the pirate? He hardly seems to add anything to the story, so I’m left wondering why he’s there at all. Perhaps he’s a character I’ve forgotten–it’s been a while since I’ve read a Green Rider book, after all.

The book also had a surprisingly New Agey feel; there is a lot of talk of healing and taking your time to work through things. These sorts of topics normally aren’t my cup of tea–I’m more the action or intrigue sort–but I guess this focus does make sense, especially after the hyper-violence of the last book in the series.

One last thing to note is that the stories are interspersed with many of Britain’s illustrations–a very nice, personal touch. If you are a diehard Green Rider fan, pick this up. If not, I imagine that you won’t need the novella for extra context when the next book in the series finally drops. And if somehow you’re at the end of this review and have never read any of the series at all, well, what the hell are you waiting for? It’s the fantasy series you never knew you needed.

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