Review – The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone


Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows…The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure.

Check out the magical book Trailer!

Publisher – Simon & Schuster Ltd

Date Published – 26th February 2015

Pages – 288 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Childrens

Source –

I was sent a limited edition book proof of this book by the wonderful Lovereading4kids, the publisher Simon & Schuster Ltd and the author Abi Elphinstone in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way.  Thank you all for sending me this book to read and review.

 ** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**

I literally have so much to say about this book that I am really hoping that this review can do this debut authors book justice!  I loved this book….. a lot!  Since the end of Harry Potter I have been looking for a book and / or book series that could fill that Harry Potter void in my life.  A book that has the right mix of great characters, humour, magic and action!  It’s taken me a while…and I present to you The Dreamsnatcher!

The Dreamsnatcher is about Moll, a twelve year old girl who lives in the Ancientwood with Oak, the great leader of the camp, his wife Mooshie who knows how to inflict pain with a tea towel, a protective feline wild cat called Gryff and a great gypsy camp full of characters and community spirit.   Moll was found abandoned in the forest by Oak and Mooshie with no family to call her own.  Moll, along with her wildcat Gryff, discover that some dark magic is at play and along with her best friend Siddy and a mysterious boy called Alfie they embark upon a magical adventure in search of the old magic of the bone murmers, special amulets, the truth and to find out what the terrifying Soul Splinter that killed Moll’s parents is all about!

Right from the start of the book debut author Abi Elphinstone captures the atmosphere and pace of the book perfectly and the sense that Moll and Gryff, whilst rescuing her horse Jinx, are in great danger is apparent and actually makes your heart beat faster routing for Moll from the offset.

The sense of good and bad is fantastically built up in the readers imagination in the sense that one half the forest, the good Ancientwood has good healthy trees and the bad side of the forest, the Deepwood has unhealthy trees with cages of bones, dead rats and a scary bone mask wearing leader called Skull!

Skull, a witchdoctor, is a truly terrifying  villain who creeped me out many times.  His whole presence is spooky and provides nerve-wracking tension and I think even Lord Voldemort would be quaking in his robes!

There are some touching friendships portrayed in this book my favourite being between Moll, a very head strong, brave and determined lead character and Siddy who provides the comedy element with his earthworm Porridge The Second and being able to fit eleven chestnuts into his mouth that Siddy thinks will one day make him famous was the deal breaker for this character for me.  Alfie, a mysterious boy from Skulls camp provides a sense of mystery and along with Raven his noble horse provide some great moments for the reader.  This being said Moll and her wildcat Gryff have a heart warming friendship also and again Abi Elphinstone captures the whole premise of a cat and their loving ways and even the cat language was perfect!

The Ancientwood community and gypsy camp family is again written perfectly.  Such great characters who all look out for Moll and Gryff.  My favourite of the bunch was definitely a yellow toothed, bow tie wearing character called Hard-Times Bob who’s party trick is dislocating his limbs for a laugh (ouch!).

Following these characters on a magical journey through woods, heaths, old cottages, rivers and dreamsnatches is completely page turning and with short fast paced snappy chapters the pages really did just keep turning.

This book has everything!  Magic, talismans, woods, tree spirits, rituals, voodoo wax figures, tree houses, oracle bones, witch doctors, riddles and puzzles, touching friendships, fab characters and an adorable wildcat!  This book is a real magical adventure.  The keywords that jumped out to me from this book were friendship, family, community and courage.

Upon receiving this book I literally had to prise the book from my 9 year olds, Corey’s, hands and in the end had to book share with him!  The fights we had over who’s turn it was to read the book before bed led to an interesting week or so.  Corey is planning to post his own review of The Dreamsnatcher on Tales Of Yesterday very soon over on his first Corey’s Corner post….but I can tell you now he absolutely loved this book!

I will be recommending this book to all the children (and adults) I know as one to read in 2015 and a fabulous author to keep an eye on and with the ending setting up book two nicely and is portrayed in such a way that you actually feel scared for what is coming I cannot wait for 2016 when the next book is published!

A fantastic, magical debut Children’s novel The Dreamsnatcher is a dream to read!

Also check out my 9 year old sons review of The Dreamsnatcher here!

Also find out the research behind The Dreamsnatcher here

I award this book 5 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books


You can pre-order / buy this book here

If you would like to know more about Abi Elphinstone  check her out on her website or follow her on twitter using @moontrug

Also please check out more reviews of this book and other fabulous children’s books on the brilliant Lovereading4kids website.

Check out this fab guest post by Abi with top 10 Shadow Keeper (which is the sequel to The Dreamsnatcher) Songs here

Do you think you will buy this book when it is out?  Or even pre-order the book?  I would love to hear from you!  Please feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the reply button at the top of the page or why not tweet me on twitter – @chelleytoy .  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Reading



Written by

I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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7 Responses

  1. E.J. Stevens says:

    I’ve been interested in The Dreamsnatcher since spying the cover on Goodreads. Now I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for your review (and Corey’s review).
    p.s. New follower thanks to a tweet by @yeahyeahyeah. 🙂

    • mchl1980 says:

      Thank You so much for the lovely comment about both my review and Corey’s review of The Dreamsnatcher….I would love to hear what you think once you have read it. It such a great read full of magic….it brill. Thanks for the follow also 🙂

  1. December 22, 2014

    […]  You can see my Mom’s review here […]

  2. February 2, 2015

    […] I have been lucky enough to have already read this book and it is as amazing as the beautiful inviting cover!  The Dreamsnatcher is the story of Moll and her wild cat Gryff and we go on an adventure through the forest trying to escape the terrifying clutches of the evil Skull!  Both me and my son LOVED this book.  It is all kinds of special and magical and just a fantastic read.  I will be recommending to everyone!  This book is going to be huge in 2015! (Chelle’s review of this book can be found here) […]

  3. December 30, 2015

    […] magic and wonderful.  Both myself and my 9 year old son loved it!  In fact you can find my review here and my sons review here.  Our February 2015 – go pre-order a copy […]

  4. February 1, 2016

    […] You can find my full review here […]

  5. February 27, 2016

    […] can find my review of The Dreamsnatcher here or Corey’s review of The Dreamsnatcher […]