by Charles de Lint – This YA novel is book 2 in the Newford series. It focuses on two teen cousins, Ashley and Nina, as they get drawn into affairs in one small part of the Spirit World. The adult secondary characters, Cassie and Bones, are recurring characters (a fact I know only because I’ve read much-later books in the series that include them) who help Ashley enter and understand (a bit) that world.
Much shorter than his other Newford books, this was de Lint’s first YA novel and it makes some concessions to the genre. The stakes are still life and death, for one or both girls, but there’s only one plotline, little violence, no romance, and no adults as primary characters. The language, never very raw with de Lint, is suitable for any age group.
The Dreaming Place is a quick read and a good introduction to the mystical world of the Newford series, especially for young adults or for those who are unsure about taking on a new-to-them fantasy series that has a couple of dozen titles (so far). I recommend it without reservation. (finished 10/5/11)