Dream London by Tony Ballantyne- Review

Cover- Dream London

In Dream London the city changes a little every night and the people change a little every day. Captain Jim Wedderburn has looks, style and courage by the bucketful. He’s adored by women, respected by men and feared by his enemies. He’s the man to find out who has twisted London into this strange new world, and he knows it. But the towers are growing taller, the parks have hidden themselves away and the streets form themselves into strange new patterns. There are people sailing in from new lands down the river, new criminals emerging in the East End and a path spiralling down to another world. Everyone is changing, no one is who they seem to be, and Captain Jim Wedderburn is beginning to understand that he’s not the man he thought he was…

First off, I just want to say that I sorta picked up this book based on the cover, which is gorgeous. I do judge books based on their covers after all, even though it might be frowned upon by some readers. Anyway, the cover was really cool so I read the little blurb on the back and it sounded pretty neat too. I decided that I would buy this book and see if it was as interesting as it sounded and, long story short, it was SO weird but also SO awesome! Dream London is certainly nothing like what I normally read and it was totally worth it.

Tony Ballantyne created an image of London that is mind-blowing. Streets move, buildings stretch and shrink, strange creatures arrive from parts unknown, and for God’s sake, there are no decimals! Captain James Wedderburn (who isn’t actually a Captain) has profited from the changes of Dream London. He runs a whorehouse and has made a name for himself in this strange new reality. Of course, this doesn’t last and he gets in over his head trying to find out who caused London to become Dream London and then stop them. Captain Wedderburn is torn between two rival groups- the Cartel, who want to stop the changes and the Daddio, who takes over people by infecting them with tongue worms. Tongue worms are the stuff of late-night pizza fueled nightmares.

The characters are as unique and crazy as Dream London itself. Captain Wedderburn is a bit dashing, but also arrogant and a bit of a dick. Honey Peppers is an adorable little girl with a particularly creative sailor’s vocabulary. I laughed out loud at little Honey Peppers and her vile litany of profanities. Mr. Monagan is a frog that wishes to be a man – he’s one of the more normal characters.

It gets a bit philosophical eventually, with talk of why being individual isn’t always good and sometimes being part of a larger group is good. When everyone only thinks of themselves and plays lone wolf they lose the power that being a pack holds. The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives (thank you Game of Thrones).

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little different than their regular read. Okay, well maybe a LOT different to me. Based on the absurdly fascinating storyline and the mostly likeable characters, this book deserves 4 out of 5 stars. I would also like to mention that a second book titled Dream Paris will be released August 25!


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