To Follow the Waves by Amal El-Mohtar

The Mammoth Book of Steampunk

Title: To Follow the Waves
Author: Amal El-Mohtar
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: SteampunkStrong women
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: They stayed like that for some time, Hessa breathing through slow, ragged sobs while Nahla touched her head.

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Hessa is a crafter of dreams, but when her own dream starts to hover over her reality, she finds out that there’s a lot in the world that she doesn’t truly understand yet.


The notion of dream crowns and the ways in which these can work was completely foreign to me. I loved the idea of layer upon layer of intricate memory and thoughts. The way that emotions are literally carved into stone to give a beautiful and long-lasting way to live in one’s own happiness. And I also loved the way in which this dreamscape is layered upon a questing desire and an LGBTQI desire.

I was kind of expecting a happily-ever-after, run off into the sunset ending to this story. The fact that it didn’t quite end in that way was really refreshing. And a great reminder that this isn’t what actually happens in real life. After all, not everyone gets a happily ever after. And obsessing over one woman and weaving her into your dreams doesn’t necessarily mean that she wants to be in them…

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Image source: Amazon

Book Review


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