Despite the apocalyptic narrative, this is a character study, focusing on the two agents and layering exposition over their respective quirks ... Kiernan’s writing — starkly visual, tongue in cheek and disturbingly visceral — carries the day as the story churns toward its uneasy conclusion. And since the door is left open for future stories (and other futures) featuring Immacolata and the Signalman, let’s hope Kiernan will delve further into their adventures.
The novella form allows Kiernan to construct a discomfiting narrative that skips like a stone across water, sketching out a brief but provocative landscape of fright and inevitability for our planet up against Lovecraftian cosmic horrors ... Agents of Dreamland is not a comfortable or comforting read—and that’s quite refreshing. The mix of noir and horror tropes, here, makes for a claustrophobic and unnerving reading experience ... It’s treading familiar ground, especially for fans of Kiernan, but doing so with the kind of panache and skill that makes it a distinct pleasure rather than a predictable experience ... classic Kiernan, and I recommend it thoroughly.
Kiernan’s novella is a study of fear, curiosity, and awe at things that remain unknown or inexplicable. The characterization is brief and understated ... Kiernan’s subtly haunting voice draws the reader in, and her work demands a close reading as well as requiring some familiarity with the conventions of dark fantasy and horror.