Cover Image: A Multitude of Dreams

A Multitude of Dreams

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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This was great I loved this story and I loved these characters. This was a fun adventure and this is an auto buy author for me. It’s 100% worth the read.

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An Edgar Allen Poe retelling. If you like your atmosphere a little dark and gothic this is the book for you!

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I can’t speak to the Poe retelling.
I was into the plot as the initial premise is interesting, and I wanted to know about Imogen and Nico. But then it lost me with the introduction of vampires 2/3 of the way in. Overall it wasn’t super gripping, and honestly the characters all get a little confusing and blend together, without much happening. I received an advance review copy for free via Netgalley and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and author for the copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I tried really hard to get into this book but I just could not. It ended up in my do not finish pile which is sad because the synopsis was decent. I will try again one day

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I would have bought this book if I hadn’t received an e-arc for my honest review. I loved this book just off the cover, but the story made it even better! I will definitely be recommending this to my students who want a change from just romance or realistic fiction.

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A Multitude of Dreams is supposed to be a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's The Masque of Red Death which is definitely appealing! But it's set in some pseudo-fantasy (or maybe speculative alternate history) unnamed medieval world/castle/manor as one single bastion against a deadly plague that is now over 4 years later but, there's a mad king keeping everyone in!

The MC is a Jewish girl who was taken from her guarded Jewish area to stand in for a dead princess so aforementioned mad king didn't know she was dead, BUT... there are no other apparent religions or even religious ceremonies/items/literally anything in this world related to any other religion. So there's this historical oppression of Jews (valid and real) that draws on knowledge of the real world and real life history to be applied to a fake castle/semi-fantasy world but with no indication of who is doing oppression or why except "everyone who is not Jewish is oppressive for reasons we'll just leave you to figure out but do not exist in context." (Note: I would have this same exact issue if the MC was any other religion because one single real world religion in a fake fictional world makes zero sense in context; it is Very Weird to have one real world aspect and its historical cultural stressors be present in this non-real world with everything else stripped out).

Also there are vampires for some reason who exhibit no other vampiristic traits other than "we are drinking the blood of people immune from the plague" and "you can't kill us with gut sword" and "you have to invite us in probably."

It's kind of a mess, and I never got a sense of who anyone really was, especially the guy who was introduced as the first love interest before the second one came around -- a victim of 'too many named characters in a very small setting with very little substance amongst any of them,' which is a shame. The concept is good (except the vampires and I am a very big vampire liker) on its head and so much just falls short that I kept reading chapter after chapter in hope that some of my gripes would be ironed out.

Beautiful cover though!

Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for the eARC in exchange for honest review.

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A Poe retelling/story of Jewish oppression during the black plague?
Kind of?
We have our fake princess Seraphina, who is secretly Jewish and an imposter, and her longing desire to leave the boarded up castle her and her fake family have been trapped in. And then theres Nico, a grave robber/ the hero of the story?
To be honest I'm not sure about this one. I did give it four stars because I did enjoy reading it, but it's not one I would reread. I loved the set up of the plague and the survivors, but I don't understand this world. How is this world surviving when its ruler is locked away going mad in a castle? Do the remaining survivors just do whatever they want, whenever they want? It's not like any of the politicians can make any credible decisions. Part of the backstory is marry Seraphina off to a far away Prince, but why? There is no political gain to that at this point and I don't think lands and borders make much of a difference in a world where half the population has died from the plague.
I was very shocked by the sudden appearance of vampires, but I did really like the way it fit into the story and how the plague affected people differently and how these changes shaped their lives.
For a story that takes place 90% inside a castle, I did think the atmosphere and limited world building was really well done, and although The Poison Season is still my favorite of Rutherfords books, I do think this was a very fun YA read.

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While I enjoyed A Multitude of Dreams, I thought it wasn't as good as The Poison Season. I think that is because this novel just moved slowly. Things truly started happening at the halfway point.
I liked the idea of an illness creating vampires. I enjoyed the several comparisons with the rich and those that leach off people in real-world pandemics. Coming after COVID it was moving. And of course, I loved the illness being called the Red Death. I thought including that she was Jewish in a fantasy world weird, but the author was using it as a teachable moment and allowed her cultural heritage to shine through.
The characters have some development but there isn't a huge arc for the major or minor characters. The ending is a little too on the nose and doesn't match the tone of the rest of the book. But overall, I enjoyed this inventive vampire tale.

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What a fun and surprising story! I entered this book not knowing anything about it and was pleasantly surprised to find it is loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. It is dripping with mystery and is both opulent and darkly gothic, and I enjoyed every minute reading this book.

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This was a very spooky YA fantasy novel! I would definitely recommend to anyone who thinks it sounds good!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher

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A plague is sweeping across the land and the aristocracy has sequestered themselves in the castle to protect themselves. After years of isolation, Princess Imogen is holding onto her own secret and is desperate to leave the castle, no matter what she may find outside the walls. Meanwhile Nico has survived the plague and enters the castle in search of survivors. Their first impressions of each other are not as they seem but they work together to untangle the machinations at hand. At times it was a bit predictable and there were a lot of different elements thrown in together, but the overall premise was interesting. Fans of zombie/vampire novels with a historical element will like this one.

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I always enjoy reading novels that are retellings or reimaginings of classic pieces, so I was excited to see the connection to “The Masque of the Red Death.” I enjoyed the novel, but I did feel like there were slow parts of the plot in the first half that would unfortunately cause some of my student readers to give up on the book. I did start to see the pieces coming together before they were revealed, and while I know that sometimes happens because of my wide experiences as a reader and YA readers don’t necessarily have the same experience, in this case, I think they would see many of those moments coming and would want those conflicts or plot twists handled more quickly than they are. I do hope that the final version includes some kind of distinction for which POV you’ll see at the beginning of each chapter. I figured it out and switched back and forth in my head, but chapter labels would’ve made those transitions more fluid for me. Overall, interesting story concept with a good little background romance!

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This was my first Mara Rutherford book though I have seen here books around and have been interested in them.

This book was so magically written I could picture everything as a read it. The words flowed beautifully even when the story itself was kind of tragic.

I was a little confused by this book. It felt like a realistic book set in an older time. With the reborn though it also felt magical. So wasn't sure about some things, it confused me a little. Like the religious aspect with the Jews, or some of the stuff going on with the plague. I guess that would be only downfall. Would be some more background on the world would have been nice.

Thank you to Netgalley for this copy.

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Sigh. I really enjoyed this book and yet it falls so short of what it could've been.

It all comes down to there being too many elements and not enough book and worldbuilding. With the amount of elements that are introduced this book should've been for adults, and significantly longer.

3.5 rounded up.

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This was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's "A Masque of Red Death" and it was ok. The cover grabbed me from the get go but as I read, I just felt meh about the world building and writing itself. Just not my cup of tea but not bad. The dual POV was cool as well as the concept.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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A wonderful take on The Masque of Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe, this is a read that discusses plagues, survivors and who do you really need with you in order to survive.
This book is a yes if you like some horror elements, an examination of the treatment of jewish people in times of plague and aren't hoping for the romance to be front and center.
This book is a no if you don't like blood and some violence because it will be found here. Or if it's summer - read this in the season it was meant for!

Here is the set up: the Mori roja has been spreading for years taking out everyone who comes in it's path. To protect themselves from the plague the king and his daughters - including Imogen our protagonist are staying locked in the castle. However, it's been years - food is running out and Imogen wants out. But everything isn't as it seems. Princess Imogen holds a secret and time is running out for her.
Elsewhere Nico lives out of the castle amongst some survivors. Serving Lord Craine he starts to wonder if surviving the plague was the only danger he has to face. .

My thoughts: This is a great fall/winter book. it's spooky, it's gothic, you have a clock that keeps chiming 3. I appreciated the characters and how they interacted together. Nico and Imogen having a slow burn and getting to know each other and sharing themselves was a good build up. It didn't feel too much like a "oh I guess we have to end up together now." nor was there too much love triangle nonsense happening though that definitely could have gone that way.

I love how Rutherford ratcheted up the tension throughout the novel. You get the hints Nico gets as you start to sense that something isn't necessarily right here but you're to scared to really accept what's wrong. The climatic events of the story were well done. Things were tied up but not so perfectly that I was happy with everything. (In fact there is still one character who....ooooooh)

I look forward to reading more from this author!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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If you like your atmosphere a little dark and gothic. Open this book.
If you like plot where they are going to save the world from zombie/vampires. Open this book.

But you must like both. If one of the above is not your cup of tea. Set this book aside. This book has woven these two (atmosphere/plot zombie/vampire) so intricately together that each is integral to your enjoyment and the overall tone of the story.

Honestly ....I put off reading this one for much too long. And I really shouldn't have. I was interested in the ARC and got approved....and left this sitting on my shelf. I was hesitant. While it sounded intriguing....I then heard some great book hype reviews. And little me got scared, because I rarely get access to top -notch books. So I thought, gosh what if I don't like it. If you like Erin A Craig - you might like this book.

This it pulled me in from the beginning. There are only three things I would want to change. A) The title - we need to make that better to give us the real vibe of this book, the title is so bland after having read it B) Magic, I did want a little bit of fairytale/gothic-y/creepy magic to make an appearance, and none did - so I was somewhat disappointed C) The ending - I know most people will like it but I was hoping for a little bit of a horror twist, and was somewhat disappointed

Overall a great read and Mara is going on my author list! Can't wait to start into her back list books

To Inkyard Press and Mara Rutherford - and, of course, NetGalley - thank you for the ARC. I am soo sorry I put of reading it for so long. Shame on me!

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