Joon has always felt something is missing from his life, as if he is meant for something different. The past year has been especially difficult after losing his grandmother, as well as learning he was adopted. Joon has never quite fit in anywhere and with no more family and few friends, he is lonely. Yet Joon isn’t always comfortable around other people, doesn’t really like to be touched, and isn’t really attracted to others.
Things begin to change for Joon one day in a cafe when, on a whim, he gets a psychic reading. The reader affirms Joon’s feelings that there is another path for him, and lets him know his opportunity is coming to a make a choice that will change everything for him. She also tells Joon his soulmate is out there, something for which he barely dares to dream. But soon thereafter, her predictions come true as Joon’s whole life begins to change.
Trey has been in love with Joon forever, but they have interacted only in Joon’s dreams. Joon is a dreamwalker and has been coming to Trey in dreams their whole lives, but Joon also doesn’t remember any of it. Trey finally has a chance to meet Joon in person, to tell him all about Tasier, an organization of people with special powers just like Trey and Joon. But Joon is scared and overwhelmed and has no memory of Trey, let alone of the love they shared.
Slowly, Joon begins to learn more about Tasier and the role he plays, as well as more about his past and his birth parents. He also begins to learn more about his own abilities to time travel and dream walk. But best of all, he starts to remember Trey and that special bond the two share. However, all is not perfect, as there are threats to Tasier and to Joon that put them all at risk. He is going to need all Trey’s support, as well as that of his new friends in Tasier to stay safe and find the future he desires.
Dream Bound is the first book in Arian William’s new Tasier series, with the first book focusing on Joon and Trey. Williams creates an interesting world here with a secret organization filled with people of varying special abilities. We see time travelers, dream walkers, and people with various psychic powers, though the full scope is never really spelled out. For reasons we learn over the course of the book, Joon has been brought up outside of this world, despite his birth parents having been high ranking Tasier members. This provides a nice access point for readers, as we are learning along with Joon more about his background and abilities, about Tasier itself, and about the various people who are key players in the organization.
Joon and Trey are sweet together and there is a nice dynamic between them. I could feel for Trey, having loved Joon for so long, and being loved back, but then realizing that real-life Joon has no memory of their past. He wants nothing more than to just reach out to him as always, but must keep himself reserved so as not to overwhelm Joon. Fortunately, this doesn’t last too long and Trey is a great source of comfort for Joon. I will say that at times Joon feels a little childlike to me, though he is supposed to be 21. For example, he is very attached to a stuffed animal friend. Joon is a character who we see being taken care of by everyone around him, rather than seeming like he is a key actor in his own story. Some of that makes sense, given Joon is new to the Tasier world, but at times it made it hard for me to see him and Trey as equal partners.
Another area where I struggled somewhat here is with the pacing and the energy of the story. It is such an interesting set up and there is so much to learn about this world, but I found the book sort of slow. I think partly this is because not a whole lot happens, despite so much information being given. Everything is also parsed out in little bits and pieces, so the information is quite drawn out, and often we get part of the story, only to be told more will be revealed later. The first half of the book is mostly seeing Joon learn about Tasier, his past, and his powers, as well as reconnecting with Trey. Even once we learn that someone is after Joon and that there is a grave danger, we don’t find out anything about this group or what they want or anything about the threat until almost the end of the book. Even when the bad guys take action, it is over in a flash. As a result, the urgency felt so diminished to me and I felt like most of the book was just learning background with very little actually happening.
I think the author’s writing style also contributed to this sense of low energy. There is a lot of passive voice and sense of things being told to us rather than shown. At times, I found myself having trouble with tenses, trying to understand if something was currently happening or had occurred in the past.
There is a lot to like with this book and I think there is a nice set up for future stories in the series. We meet a lot of side characters and there seems to be plenty more to explore with future books. I just found the storyline and the writing style here didn’t have the energy to really keep up with the engaging premise. But if you are intrigued by the set up, particularly if you like stories featuring time travel and special abilities, this one is worth checking out.