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Olivia is a sixteen-year old girl with a mother who drinks too much and a stepfather who considers a day at the casino is the same as a day at the office. Olivia can think of only one thing to do, run.
Now on the run Olivia can only think of her father and know that if he were still alive she would have a much different life. She meets up with Sebastian who she feels an immediate connection to but when he tells her she is his destined, the one person in the world he can connect to she begins to wonder why it doesn't sound that crazy.
She is revealed to a group of teens who call themselves Cognitives, who posses special gifts and Olivia begins to believe that this home, until one night her father speaks to her in a dream telling Olivia that he is alive and needs her help.
I have never believed in destiny, and I never wanted to.
But destiny brought me to a home and a life I never knew existed.
Destiny showed me who I really am...
My name is Olivia and I am a cognitive.
Olivia was a very different read. She isn’t the typical girl who falters from a challenge. After running away from home she has nothing to lose except a sad past. With this behind her now, her dialogue with Sebastian is more honest and witty. I guess I like that she doesn’t fall for Sebastian immediately but she trusts him. The train ride in the beginning of the book is a great introduction to Olivia’s witty banter and playfulness with Sebastian. Then her world is broken when she speaks to her father who she believed dead in a dream. After this Olivia is more fragile then before, but still determined to grab the life she was meant to have.
Sebastian is a character that Kristen Robertson actually gives the reader a chance to decide whether to trust him or not. After Sebastian explains all of the destined talk to Olivia he never comes off creepy. He’s more of a beacon to Olivia who is pretty much at her lowest point when they meet. He does come off a bit serious in the beginning but I enjoyed how Olivia peels that layer away simply with her interaction with him. The best thing about Sebastian is that he is a loyalist. He will stand behind the people he cares for no matter the cost.
I adore how Sebastian and Olivia have this connection that they both almost seem scared of it but ultimately surrender to it. Personally speaking, when you have a connection like the characters do, you are scared at first. I feel the reason is the simplicity of finding someone and connecting too quickly, you can’t believe how easy it is to allow the insane feelings you have for someone who was a stranger just before. I feel Robertson hits the mark on these feelings.
When meeting the other cognitives in the book I found it refreshing that the other teens don’t know as much as expected. They live in a secure home, safe and sound until Olivia shows up. They all have their individual stories with a secret to reveal, but even though they deal with identity issues they have just the right amount of witty humor and sarcasm that teen readers will love. But don’t forget, wherever you find secrets you set a path for mystery, and there is a big one to uncover on Olivia’s journey. After finding that her dad may still be alive she finds breadcrumbs that will lead her to something that intertwines her to all of her cognitive friends. Just when you think author Robertson has Olivia’s story set in place she surprises you with a bit of a twist that keeps you reading.
One thing that The Dreamwalker has is constant little character surprises that navigate the story, Jackson who serves as a mentor to the teens, Brooke and Kyle who are in a committed relationship, Powell the lost soul and Rasha who pushes everyone away. Kristen Robertson has managed to set off a tiny spark for each of her characters that will surely blaze through her entire series. I will say that I wasn’t expecting the cliffhanger ending at the end. Or I guess I should refer to the many cliffhangers left at the end of The Dreamwalker, they will have any reader waiting impatiently for Kristen Robertson’s next book.
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