Book Review: Emerald City Dreamer by @lunalindsey

Emerald City Dreamer (Dreams by Streetlight Book 1) by Luna Lindsey – 4 stars

Jina and Sandy survived the unthinkable. Now they’ve set up a secret Order in Seattle to fight the impossible – fairytale creatures born of human nightmares and nourished on dreams. Their tools: iron, lore, science, glamour, and support groups. As beginners, without access to the ancient societies of faerie hunters, they must rediscover how to protect themselves. And in order to fight the fiends of the world, Sandy must take control her inner ghosts.

As a dreamer in a rock band, Jina unknowingly feeds the fae and attracts unseen enemies at every turn. Now, they’re finally on the tail of at least one dark monster bent on evil. She is a dreamer, so she must follow her heart – but which way does it lead?

Jett is an elf who only wants to protect her hodge-podge clan of faeries from the encroaching world of science and religion – which have systematically slaughtered her kind and the beliefs that gave birth to her people. True dreamers are rare beings, and when she finds them, she does everything she can to protect them and claim them as her own.

Ezra is a teenager who never feels comfortable in his own skin. Most people like him well enough, but when he looks in the mirror, he sees a demon. He has been taken in by the Garbage Eaters, who expect obedience and purity. Before long, he suffers a crisis of faith that may lead him into real danger.

Delve into this deeply developed, internally consistent world of the fae, and meet beings who are simultaneously alien, elegant, and terrifying, fueled by dreams and the creative energy of artists.  Glimpse the secret world of Tir Nan Og through the eyes of fully fledged four-dimensional characters living in a Seattle that is just a bit weirder than you think.This is a  story with psychological depth, a page-turner with unexpected twists and turns.

When prey hunts, who will lead the chase, and who will run?

This story is good, it has a nice plot and pace, and the characters come across as very real. The faerie mythology and snippets of historical context felt lovingly researched and detailed. Though the setting seems a bit sparse, it’s done well enough to be there without being distracting.

I got a little lost in the beginning, because the story switches point of view between four different characters: Jina, Sandy, Jett, and Ezra. Their lives all interconnect, yet Ezra felt like an odd man out, even when I understood his purpose in the story. The more I read, the more I cared about Jina. The rest all seemed secondary to her, and while their stories were somewhat interesting, seeing their perspectives muddled the story for me. Perhaps that was the point, as it’s difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys for most of the book. When it finally does settle out, there’s still some niggling doubt.

The end bothered me. Without offering spoilers, everything was generally fine until a climactic confrontation between Jina, Sandy, and Jett. The story takes us into a strange semi-dream sequence that essentially fixes everything. It felt forced and a bit silly when compared with the weighty, grave nature of everything leading to that moment. That major plot arc deserved to have more time spent on its climax, and the three characters deserved to have a more satisfying, real resolution.  It’s still resolved, though, and has a good setup for the next book.

Despite the ending, this book did provide me with several hours of entertainment, and I recommend it to folks who like urban fantasy with a literary bent. This is a study in self-destructive behaviors and the people who love them. So to speak.

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