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June 6, 2019

The Dreaming Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations by Simon Spurrier ~ a Review

by MK French

Daniel, Lord of the Dreaming, has disappeared. Denizens are now subject to monstrous dreams, creatures beyond the borders of the realm, and madness is descending upon all of the senior storytellers of the Dreaming. Opportunists try to seize this as an opportunity, but it opens up a whole host of other problems.

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Pathways and Emanations
June 2019; Vertigo; 978-1401291174
ebook, print (200 pages); fantasy manga
Pathways and Emanations is the first of four volumes expanding on the Sandman series written by Neil Gaiman. He wrote the first part of this volume, where we discover the crack in the sky and that Daniel is gone. Lucien the Librarian tasked Matthew the Raven to go look for him wherever he can, and Matthew discovers a lot of oddities instead of Daniel. They make sense for readers of the Sandman series since we see a lot of the other characters from that series again. Lucifer and other denizens of hell, Eve, Mervyn, and all of the background characters that make sure the Dreaming is running smoothly are back. We're also introduced to Dora, a relative newcomer to the Dreaming, who steals bits of dreams to give to others. She needs actual food and sleep and can create portals into and out of the dreaming, as well as breakthrough dreams while knowing who the dreamer is. The other denizens of the Dreaming don't know these things, even those that have been there for millennia.

There's a larger story at work here, of course, because this is volume one. Not to spoil the twists in the plot of this volume, it very much echoes some of the story arcs within the Sandman comic run, and does refer back to it at times. This story works better if you know who the characters are and why they act the way they do, but there are enough references to their role within the Dreaming that it isn't entirely necessary to be familiar with the first run. Though if you haven't read them, please do yourself a favor and read them. The Sandman follows Dream of the Endless, one of the seven eternal beings that rule over an aspect of reality. Myths and stories are born in the Dreaming, so there are threads of myths from various cultures that are woven throughout the series. This one doesn't carry the same scope, but it does feel as though later volumes of this series just might.

Buy Pathways and Emanations at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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