Will Dreycott is the Dream Rider, the agoraphobic teenage superhero who can walk in our dreams but never in the streets of his city. Case is his girlfriend, a survivor of those streets who hears voices warning her of danger. Fader is her brother, who is very good at disappearing. Together, they defeated a body swapper and a witch to save the world (The Hollow Boys).
In The Crystal Key, a trail of dark secrets leads Will, Case, and Fader to a mysterious world. Trapped between warring cults willing to kill for the Crystal Key, the three friends must master strange new powers that grow stronger and wilder the closer they draw to the truth.
This time it's not just the fate of the world at stake…but the multiverse.
Indiana Jones meets Teen Titans in The Dream Rider Saga, a fast-paced urban fantasy trilogy from "one of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction" (Library Journal).
Smith deftly blends ongoing tensions between these characters—especially questions of whether the two people closest to Will can ever tell him what they know about his parents’ past—with an exciting plot kicked off by the arrival of a bird-masked swordswoman in the tower who demands that Will hand over a “llave de cristal,” a crystal key. Secrets will spill and new worlds will be traversed, the storytelling always enlivened by the Smith hallmarks of crack dialogue, fun sleuthing and puzzle-solving, a strong throughline of emotion, a swift pace despite the book’s bulk, and a principled refusal to settle for the familiar.
Be ready for memorable beasts, weird magic, and fantasy worlds that are truly fantastic, such as “the glowing path to the Realms of the Dead” or a “crystal mountain rising from a crystal jungle in the center of a crystal island.” For all the wonders, though, the series is also compellingly engaged in Toronto street life and its characters’ very human hearts. New readers should start with book one.
Takeaway: This thrilling superpowered urban fantasy series continues to grip.
Comparable Titles: Lindsay Smith’s Dreamstrider, Robert L. Anderson’s Dreamland.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
"The engrossing second installment of Douglas Smith’s Dream Rider Saga trilogy… Smith continues to demonstrate an ability to expertly weave multiple complex fantasy elements into a cohesive whole. … With a measure of tension in the romance between Will and Case, the continued deepening mystery about events in the past, and the teens’ growing supernatural abilities, this fast-paced story delivers in a big way—and Smith has all his ducks lined up for an explosive conclusion that readers won’t want to miss." (★ Starred review)