K. Bird Lincoln’s story of paranormal clashes in Portland is a fun reworking of traditional legends across several cultures and mythologies. Our protagonist Koi (yes, Koi, her mom had a fish thing, okay?) is struggling with the pressures of college life, compounded by her father’s failing mental condition (Alzheimer’s) and the awkward fact that she reads emotions on contact, which can be a lot less pleasant than it sounds – particularly when she’s brushing elbows with a serial killer. Things get even more complicated when a cute but suspicious guy shows up from overseas, looking for her helpless dad.
But not gonna lie, I came for the Japanese mythology, and I was not disappointed. Lincoln has not just grabbed a popular youkai for a quick exotic flavoring, she’s made a creature less known in the west key in this paranormal world, giving it new mythology with the old. She’s written a story which contradicts none of the traditional stories but does not rely solely upon them, either. There’s a hint of a larger unknown world to be unveiled, too – which only makes sense, as this is the first of a series.
Readers who want variety in their urban fantasy beyond the werewolf and vampire staples are advised to pick up Dream Eater.”
– Laura VanArendonk Baugh, author of Kitsune Tales and The Songweaver’s Vow