Dreams of Shreds and Tatters - Amanda Downum

Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum


Acquired: ARC via Netgalley


Genre: Urban Fantasy


Published: 12 May 2015 by Solaris


Available: Book Depository


I don’t read enough stories that follow people in their 20s. I enjoy urban fantasy because magic, choices and life often collide in a realistic way. I found Liz’ sense of loss, isolation and confusion to be so relatable but I also really wanted to provide a safety net for some of these characters as they spiralled inwardly.


Dreams of Shreds and Tatters is a grim urban fantasy with mythological beings and atmospheric writing. The dream world reminded me of a very grown up take on the Labyrinth. The rescue mission is heartfelt and slow. These flawed characters stumbled into a strange world of power and unequal exchanges.


I found the story shone the most when Liz and Blake were the main narrating voices among the multiple narrators. (Although Lailah was an intriguing character. I’d be happy to read a novel/novella that explores her back story.) The characters’ relationships are mature and complicated with a heady dose of angst. There are many LGBT characters in the main cast but everyone’s romantic relationships took on a gritty or grim route. There’s a sense of elitism and snobbery among the art student/gallery crowd but Alex’s occasional wry humour was the saving grace in those scenes.


I encountered (and googled) some unfamiliar words. Eg. Apoxia, susurru, cilice etc. However, I have a fondness for words so I’m always up for a challenge. This is definitely a haunting story. I hope the characters discover more hope beyond the ending.


First chapter excerpt can be read here.