After his miraculous survival of the incident with the Deathmares, teenager Nolan Erling is now an official trainee with the DREAM Institute. Meanwhile, his friend Aeryn has her hands full with a new recruit who is more than she seems. However, the Dream Defenders soon uncover a sinister plot by the evil dream criminal Drexler to drain dreamers of their souls for his wicked purposes. The stakes get higher when Drexler’s plans threaten not only millions of dreamers but also the life of Nolan’s good friend Frostee. It’s up to Nolan and Aeryn to find and harness the power of a mysterious ring to save the day and protect the world of dreams.
THE DAGDA RING is another wild adventure in Neal DenHartog’s Dream Defenders series, and it doesn’t disappoint. Jam-packed with action and a thick dollop of imagination, the book sizzles from start to its surprising finish. DenHartog’s writing is clear and concise, and he knows how to keep the ball rolling. The story is a seamless mixture of science and fantasy that is easy to comprehend and doesn’t get in the way of the action. To be sure, the realm of dreams has been a well-worn plot device for some time. However, with DenHartog’s ingenious storytelling skills, everything feels fresh and new, and readers will find themselves highly entertained.
Plenty of favorite characters from the first book make their grand re-entrances. Nolan and Aeryn are admirable heroes with relatable traits and a relationship that is refreshingly free of clichés. It will be interesting to see how the pair continue to develop in future volumes of the series. Side characters such as the agent Penchant and the nightmares Bolt and Gearby reappear and add lots of fun to the story. Most impressive, though, is the highly creative world of dreams in which the adventure occurs. DenHartog has a knack for making the impossible seem possible. He expertly combines his scientific background with a playful imagination to craft a universe that is logical yet fantastical. It almost feels like it shouldn’t work, yet it does with a remarkable believability.
Loaded with action and imagination, THE DAGDA RING is a fine continuation of what is shaping up to be an unforgettable YA series.
~Heather McNamara for IndieReader