Dream Rising (Dream Runners: Book 5) by Ann Hunter

Publisher: Racing Into Romance Press

Date of publication: March 3rd, 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Series: Dream Runners

Dream Shatter—Book 1 (review here)

Dream Runner—Book 2 (review here)

Dream Watcher—Book 3 (review here)

Dream Giver—Book 4 (review here)

Dream Rising—Book 5

Dream Legacy—Book 6

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

The battle for The Capitol has begun.

Logan and Reina have revealed the truth of what The Circle has been doing for a century. Citizens now realize that their beautiful utopia was built upon their stolen dreams. With The Circle unmasked, everyone now has a choice of whether to rise up against them for their tyrannical crimes, or stand aside.

Despite being seemingly defeated, The Circle has one more card to play: their martyr, and Logan’s best friend, Jonas Basker.

As the face of propaganda against Anyone, the late Jonas still has some pull amongst the people. That is why Logan and Reina must prove Anyone’s innocence by showing citizens how subverted The Circle really is. Luckily, their new friend has a secret worth going to the grave for.

With the government’s covert archives being targeted for destruction, time is running out to save what little remains of the good still left in Logan’s world.

Can The Circle truly be stopped?

First Line:

“Citizens of The Capitol, you have been lied to.”

Dream Rising by Ann Hunter

Things you need to know about the book before you read the review:

Dream Rising is the 5th book in the Dream Runners series. You cannot read this as a stand-alone book. You must read books 1-4 to understand what is happening and better grasp the different relationships. If you do not read those books first, you will get confused.

Dream Rising is appropriate for anyone over 16.

There are some trigger/content warnings in Dream Rising. If any of these trigger you, I suggest not reading the book. They are:

Violence, some of it graphic.

Grief (Logan is mourning the deaths of his best friend, father, and biological mother).

Mentions of Reina’s near rape and assault by two of the Duners.

Forced captivity (Logan holds Naressa, and The Circle holds Baelfyre).

Mind control (through the chips) makes the chipped people become zombie-like creatures.

Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):

At a significant personal cost, Logan and Reina have revealed the truth about what The Circle has been doing to The Capitol’s citizens. But The Capitol, not admitting defeat, is running propaganda featuring Logan’s deceased best friend, Jonas Basker. Having gone to ground, Logan is holding Naressa, his adoptive mother, captive. Naressa tells Logan that The Archives, where all the records have been stored since the city was founded, are scheduled to be destroyed. She also implies that Jonas’s grandfather, Baelfyre Basker, has something to do with the chips being corrupted, and he needs to be killed. So, Logan, Reina, and Sparky must stop the Archive from being destroyed and figure out the deal with Baelfyre Basker. But what they find out might change their minds about everything.

Main Characters

Logan Kent: Logan is a mess in Dream Rising. He has witnessed his father and biological mother being killed before him and Reina being threatened with death by Naressa. Logan is still grieving the death of his best friend, Jonas. He is in hiding from The Capitol’s armed forces and has Naressa with him, who is playing mind games. Logan also has the mystery of the chips and why they malfunction to solve. I did worry about his sanity during this book because, with everything that was revealed and happened, I thought he would crack. I believe Logan would have if it weren’t for Sparky and Reina. He handled what was revealed towards the end of the book pretty well (I know I wouldn’t have), and I liked how he adapted.

Reina: Oh boy, was she spicy throughout the book. Her anger was palpable at the beginning. I understood her anger. I would have been angry if I had a time bomb in my head. But, towards the middle of the book, her anger turned to an unwavering resolve to end the chip problem. I wouldn’t say I liked her and Baelfyre’s plan, but there wasn’t any other way.

Naressa Kent: Saying that she was evil is an understatement. She messed with Logan’s head until the end of Dream Rising. She knew what she asked Logan to do when she sent him after Baelfyre.

Baelfyre/Jonas Basker: Baelfyre and Jonas (they share the same body) was a very unexpected twist to Dream Rising’s storyline. There were glimpses and mentions of Baelfyre throughout the previous books, but I thought that was it. I liked how the author explained how Jonas came to share Baelfyre’s body (it was heartbreaking). I also liked how Reina and Baelfyre devised a plan to free the chipped. It was a risk but worth it.

Sparky: Sparky the Duner was a significant part of this book. Sparky proved to be a great friend to Logan. He also was pretty clever (which surprised me).

Mandy Potkins: I was thrilled when Mandy was brought back in this book. Mandy had been keeping Baelfyre/Jonas safe from The Circle. But she has a secret. I can guess what it is, but until I read Dream Legacy, I can’t say for sure.

My review:

Dream Rising was a great read. The author focused my attention on Logan and Reina’s storyline while introducing characters and embellishing storylines.

Early in the series, I decided that The Capitol would not be the dystopian society I would like to live in. But after this book, it is even more confident for me. I would never let anyone put a freaking chip in my head (so I guess I would be an Anyone). I was slightly freaked out by the chipped people becoming zombies and what The Circle made them do. Reina and Baelfyre devised a solution. It might not be ideal (there were considerable risks with what they were going to do), but it made sense.

Dream Rising ends with a cliffhanger, as with the other books in the series. I wasn’t thrilled by this, considering what was revealed. But at the same time, it did its job and made me want to pick up Dream Legacy.

Many thanks to Ann Hunter for allowing me to read and review Dream Rising. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

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