Every time the concept “body invasion” appears in a book, I regard it with absolute awe and creepiness (an odd combination, methinks).
The concept, however, is uber-cool. Smith brings us to a fantasy world where using dreams in the form of espionage is completely acceptable – as a dreamstrider, Livia works for the ministry, and she inhabits another person’s body while they are asleep.
If I placed Livia in a character category, she would be right next to Alina Starkov from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. Over the course of the book, she’s on the downside; on the plus side, it fits so well with Livia’s character and past. Livia lived her entire life as a tunneler, trying to survive day by day, until she meets Professor Hesse, where she is introduced to her potential as a dreamstrider and the good she can do for the empire for her citizenship and freedom.
But enough about Livia and how she’s secretly awesome even though she will never ever admit it. I didn’t feel very into Dreamstrider – the passphrases in the Land of the Iron Winds are written in a very rhythmic style, but I didn’t care too much aside from the fact it sounds poetic. But poetry and I don’t get along, and this is why I will never read Ellen Hopkins. I have nothing against the author, though.