I received a free copy of this novella to review from NetGalley, on behalf of the publisher.
The Dream Runner, by Kerry Schafer, is over almost before it begins. Granted, it is a novella, but I ran through it in a little over an hour. And, I’ll say it now, it ends with a cliffhanger.
We meet our protagonist, Jesse Davison, as shes riding her father’s motorcycle back to her home town. She’s reluctant to get there because there are so many bad memories there. Jesse doesn’t have a choice because her boss gave her a job to do and because she inherited her father’s house. Her boss, the Dream Merchant, is easily the most intriguing part of the story. She spins dreams for the desperate, which Jesse delivers. We don’t learn how Jesse came to work for the Dream Merchant or even what the Dream Merchant is. That’s a not a bad thing, though. Schafer is incredibly deft at doling out clues and descriptions to keep the narrative flowing and your curiosity piqued.
When she arrives, Jesse has to confront a high school, sexually aggressive bully and the old boyfriend who accidentally caused her father’s death. Plus, she learns that a mysterious and ominous pair have been storing things in her father’s barn that require serious padlocks. Because The Dream Runner is a novella and part of a set of three, not much is resolved here. I actually feel a little suckered that I would have to commit to the other volumes to find out what happened to everyone. The Dream Runner is well written, but far too short.