Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Waking Dreamer (The Waking Dreamer #1) by J.E. Alexander Review & Giveaway

Emmett’s dream is always the same. Tingling with half-forgotten memories, he stands in an unknown room surrounded by mirrors, curio cabinets, and nesting dolls. A painting, Belshazzar’s Feast, hangs on the wall, its disembodied hand numbering the King’s final days. Then comes the stranger, the serpent-wielding young woman with the glittering amber eyes. Her words are always the same. Emmett will soon save her. Then the supposed hero awakens to his unremarkable life, awaiting the next night and the same maddeningly familiar dream.

Seventeen-year-old orphan Emmett Brennan remembers nothing of his past—not the boiler room in which his needle-ravaged mother gave birth to him, nor the Druids who tenderly delivered him. He can’t remember the cabal-summoned Revenant that clawed itself from shadow to hunt him, or why his mystical midwives hid him from the necromantic creature. Approaching adulthood, he is unaware of the dark forces that still search for him or the mysterious sentinels who secretly protect him, but on the eve of his eighteenth birthday that will change. The Revenants will find him. Only the young woman from his dreams can help him confront all he was once made to forget. Together, they will brave the nightmarish landscape Emmett’s waking world will soon become.

First, the cover of The Waking Dreamer totally captivated me.  I  instantly wanted to know him and  his story.  His name is Emmett and he has a recurring dream.  Emmett is going to be a hero, if his dreams come true, that is.  But first, just weeks before his eighteenth birthday, Emmett decides to find his birth mother, so he embarks on a road trip.  I love road trip stories, so I was really excited about this premise of the story.  What Emmett doesn't know though, is that once he left his caregiver, he's not hiding from other forces anymore.

But along Emmett's journey, he meets druids, bards and he begins to learn a bit more about himself.  He's a great character but I didn't believe in him.  I think I put that in part to the way the story is written.  Emmett's journey isn't easy - in fact, many times his life is endangered.  He learns of a world that he never knew existed and some of the battle scenes had me on the edge of my seat. As the first book in a series, I know that a lot of world-building is necessary.  The only suggestion I have for The Waking Dreamer is that the detail portion of the story needs to be edited.  It was so tedious, that I found myself skimming those areas.  

However, the plot is solid and I was really entertained, waiting to see where Alexander was going to take his cast of eccentric and memorable characters next.  I really did enjoy it and would recommend to any fantasy genre reader!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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