(Ignore the stars. I hate 'em.)
Okay, so I have to confess I'm not quite the right audience for this, as I prefer in media res openings to anything else, but I'll try to critique this like a person who still loves descriptive openings.
So I'm sure you're well aware of the rationale behind 'never ever open with a dream sequence'...and I am wondering why you chose to violate it here, despite the subject matter of the story. Is the information from the blurb going to be revealed later on? Why isn't it part of the setting that's then undermined (or twisted) as we enter his dream world?
Anyway, the quality of the writing itself is solid (although I'm still up in the air about the "I've heard her cries" line in the first paragraph), but I think if you want to use this as the opening it needs to establish stronger themes. Right now it's kind of loose and drifty; pretty to be sure, but it doesn't say anything about the actual book (okay, I haven't read the actual book so I can't say this for sure). From a more visual perspective, I could easily see this being the first five pages to a comic book or the first scene in a movie--and the depth of description helps push that--but for a book-length project, I'd think more about what it is meant to be.
As far as maybe adding to this bit goes, I think I'd have to read the rest of it to get an idea, but how about more of a sense of the girl? Maybe. Maybe.
I hadn't gotten around to replying to this since I was in Seattle visiting my girlfriend and only had dA on my phone ;-; Sorry for the long wait!
Thanks so much again for the critique! It's definitely helpful with building the stronger themes in it (which I'll be working on when I get some time this week). As with the "dream" setting, it isn't truly a dream that is occurring at this point, but a piece of writing (which becomes prevalent in the opening chapter). I'm still up in the air about using it right now, but my editor at Hachette said to keep it in for the time being.
Thanks again! I'll be working on some of the things you pointed out