Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, #1)
The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.(Please note: This story contains vivid death scenes.)

Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, #1) Details

TitleDream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 29th, 2019
PublisherThe Parliament House
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fantasy

Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, #1) Review

  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Well now, I have to admit that the first thing drawing me into Dream Keeper would have to be that beautiful cover. But once I took a glance at what the book would be about I couldn’t help but be curious. As a long time fan of horror the line “start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep” stood out like a sore thumb and made the think of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, sign me up please. While Dream Keeper isn’t exactly horror it is a darker young adult fantasy with some gruesome d Well now, I have to admit that the first thing drawing me into Dream Keeper would have to be that beautiful cover. But once I took a glance at what the book would be about I couldn’t help but be curious. As a long time fan of horror the line “start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep” stood out like a sore thumb and made the think of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, sign me up please. While Dream Keeper isn’t exactly horror it is a darker young adult fantasy with some gruesome deaths involved so it may not be for everyone.Seventeen year old Nora has had an ongoing relationship with a figure in her dreams known as The Sandman every night for years. Nora learned a while ago that talking of The Sandman to her friends and family was a no no as it would only land her into treatment yet again. However, now another entity of the dream world has found Nora and this one is not her friend. The Nightmare Lord tracked down Nora after The Sandman hid the key to his escape within Nora making her the Dream Keeper and when others around her begin to die violent deaths Nora knows she needs to face The Nightmare Lord in his territory.The Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell is the first book of the young adult fantasy The Dark Dreamer Trilogy. One thing I can say is it’s certainly different and didn’t take long to grab my attention. While it has the darker almost horror vibe to some of it the story also has a bit of romance making it one of those that crosses genres and I do love a good mix to a story. Obviously being part of a trilogy there was an ending that left the door open for more in the series which will certainly be interesting to see what the author comes up with next.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    Right off the bat, I was extremely intrigued by this book. I've read three other stories by Duell, so I knew the writing was going to be flawless and the story would be unique. I was not disappointed!First off, I'm going to say I don't get scared or need a blanket when reading a dark or creepy book. Instead, I'm more like, heck yes that was awesome! And there was a whole bunch of fist pumping with the nightmare descriptions!The book is told in dual POV, and I already knew Sandman would be my fav Right off the bat, I was extremely intrigued by this book. I've read three other stories by Duell, so I knew the writing was going to be flawless and the story would be unique. I was not disappointed!First off, I'm going to say I don't get scared or need a blanket when reading a dark or creepy book. Instead, I'm more like, heck yes that was awesome! And there was a whole bunch of fist pumping with the nightmare descriptions!The book is told in dual POV, and I already knew Sandman would be my favorite chapters—which they were. But Nora's were great too—she was a strong character that made choices for heself. Now, let's get down to swoony business, the Sandman was sweet and can I just keep him in my pocket? Also, I want to go to my own private sand beach like now, have a sand whip, and kapow it against the sand, just because!So far, this is my favorite book by the author, fab-ab-ab writing and especially the world, which was such a cool concept. Loved it! Give me the next one, now!
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  • Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    This was such an engaging and entertaining foray into the dream and nightmare-scape.Such imagination was expanded here and I was ever so fascinated by the Sandman himself.If I'm being honest here he was hands down my favourite character in Dream Keeper by far: and the best thing overall about this story.I really would have liked to have dug deeper into his backstory than we actually did: hopefully, his particular tale will emerge gradually in future instalments.So In itself, as a story, the pros This was such an engaging and entertaining foray into the dream and nightmare-scape.Such imagination was expanded here and I was ever so fascinated by the Sandman himself.If I'm being honest here he was hands down my favourite character in Dream Keeper by far: and the best thing overall about this story.I really would have liked to have dug deeper into his backstory than we actually did: hopefully, his particular tale will emerge gradually in future instalments.So In itself, as a story, the prose used throughout Dreamkeeper had such a lyrical feel to it.Also though YA, this actually had a much darker vibe to it than I was originally expecting.This is not an actual criticism just an observation: I myself prefer it when there are shades of grey involved: makes things a tad meatier.So I found this a bit light on developed secondary characters and also it did get slightly repetitive at times in regard to Nora's nighttime wanderings.I also disliked that we never got a name for the Sandman: It left me feeling slightly disconnected to him as an individual and as an extension a romantic interest.I also found it a tad disconcerting that certain pivotal players were introduced so late in the game without any prior mentions.Despite this, I still enjoyed myself with this it's an extremely imaginative story.I also liked where this eventually took us and originally I was not sure if I was gonna read the next.instalment of this as I wasn't really that invested overall but with that finale how could I not: I so gotta see where this is heading to next.So on that note folks: I will love ya and leave ya.I voluntary reviewed an Arc of Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, #1).All opinions expressed are entirely my own.Reviewed By Beckie Bookwormhttps://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/www.beckiebookworm.com
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  • Sissy Lu {Book Savvy Reviews}
    January 1, 1970
    Whoah! Fans of Neil Gaiman, Splintered [by A.G. Howard,] and Nightmare on Elm Street, look no further. Your next read has arrived...or sort of, coming to a bookstore near you in January '19! ;D A book about the Sandman, and the Weaver? Sign me up! I loved Sandy from Guardians, but my *favorite* was Pitch, and if you loved him too I can promise that you'll love Weaver! I'm also a huge fan of Splintered by A.G. Howard and this filled a void for me, the world building is epic as well as eerie, and Whoah! Fans of Neil Gaiman, Splintered [by A.G. Howard,] and Nightmare on Elm Street, look no further. Your next read has arrived...or sort of, coming to a bookstore near you in January '19! ;D A book about the Sandman, and the Weaver? Sign me up! I loved Sandy from Guardians, but my *favorite* was Pitch, and if you loved him too I can promise that you'll love Weaver! I'm also a huge fan of Splintered by A.G. Howard and this filled a void for me, the world building is epic as well as eerie, and it is tangible at every twist and turn. I felt entirely immersed in this world, for better or worse [I'm thankful I didn't have nightmares because I'm a wuss!]Aside from the world, the characters were great, too, each of them had their moments of growth and they were easy to differentiate. Duell knows how to create characters with depth, which she uses to shatter your heart. The over-arching plot is great, too. A girl who is left to guard something precious and believes herself to be insane as she escapes to the dream world to meet "The Sandman" and prefers to be in that world versus reality. It's fast paced, it's romantic, it's horrifying, and it is altogether a wonderful book. Shelf it, squeeze it, and love it!
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  • Sheila Goicea
    January 1, 1970
    See my full review of this book on my blog along with others at: foalsfictionandfiligree.comI received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from Parliament House Publishing. Thank you so much!Content Warning: Vivid Death and Gore, Profanity, Possible Emotional Abuse For every light there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare. Wow. I requested an ARC of this book on a whim. While a story based on the Sandman sounded interesting, I was apprehensive because of the warning in th See my full review of this book on my blog along with others at: foalsfictionandfiligree.comI received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from Parliament House Publishing. Thank you so much!Content Warning: Vivid Death and Gore, Profanity, Possible Emotional Abuse For every light there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare. Wow. I requested an ARC of this book on a whim. While a story based on the Sandman sounded interesting, I was apprehensive because of the warning in the description. While yes, there are vivid death scenes, I think it helps to make this story all the more realistic, and powerful. Nightmares are in our minds, but when they become a tangible thing…it shows how terrifying our realities can be.The story immediately starts off with the Sandman. The plot is divulged by the Sandman himself, along with the protagonist, Nora. For years, Nora has struggled to believe that she is OK. After her parents split, she began meeting the Sandman in her dreams after asking for his help to sleep. Convinced she was on the verge of a mental break, Nora’s mother is determined to “fix” her by sending her to counseling, and monitoring her day and night activities. Nora quickly learns that she must keep her dreams of the Sandman a secret so her mom doesn’t worry. While Nora thinks the Sandman is a part of her imagination that works in tandem to govern her state of mind, she realizes that her tie to this timeless being is much deeper than she realized. Because, the Sandman is real.One thing that this book does so well is that it never allows the reader to become bored. Moreover, it’s not filled with “plot fillers.” It’s filled with applicable and creative twists and details that literally give it a dreamlike quality. I find the concept of dreams and nightmares to be a very difficult topic to pin down, yet, I believe Duell did a beautiful rendering, and personifies them in the Sandman and the Weaver well. This book, without a doubt, will make you feel anxious! With Nora constantly waging war in her mind about everything in the waking world and dreamland, I constantly was questioning what was real and what wasn’t. I thought it was a very interesting take on a character. Although I can’t really say anything for spoiler reasons, I loved the ending! I kept thinking while reading, how is this possibly going to end? And when it did, I was shocked! This book was so well written. The writing style, description, overall creativity, plot line, and complex characters, altogether made a dream of a book. The author’s ability to create realistic monologues of the character’s thoughts floored me. There were a few areas that I felt that needed some explanation, but I’m hoping (and expecting) them to be explained in the sequels to come. Like: >(view spoiler)[The Sandman has basically always been around, or has for a long time. Doesn’t that make him immortal and unable to die? Also, non-human? More details, please! (hide spoiler)]>Why Nora?>More backstory on the Weaver and Sandman’s friendship and more of what happened. I really, really don’t want to wait until the next book comes out in this series! I’m very much looking forward to it! This book is a definite pre-order for me!Vulgarity: Some.Sexual content: Kissing.Violence: Quite a bit, with gore and vivid death. Because of this, I would highly recommend this be read by, at least, mature readers.My Rating: ★★★★★​My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream…Amber R. Duell’s DREAM KEEPER is a refreshingly unique read that fulfilled this fantasy lover’s dream of finding another hidden gem in the treasure chest of great reading!Nora has always met the Sandman in her dreams, but when she becomes a suspect in her friends’ murders, only the Sandman can help her find the killer. He has crossed the veil between dreams and the physical world, but he is not alone, the Nightmare Lord, his nemesis, has his sights set on Nora…and b Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream…Amber R. Duell’s DREAM KEEPER is a refreshingly unique read that fulfilled this fantasy lover’s dream of finding another hidden gem in the treasure chest of great reading!Nora has always met the Sandman in her dreams, but when she becomes a suspect in her friends’ murders, only the Sandman can help her find the killer. He has crossed the veil between dreams and the physical world, but he is not alone, the Nightmare Lord, his nemesis, has his sights set on Nora…and bringing her into the darkness.Start to finish, I was completely impressed with Amber R. Duell’s ability to create fantasy world filled with both light and dark while adding a touch of young romance to her tale and never missing a beat! Imagine a dreamscape and finding a friend, then finding them in your wakened world and if there is good, there must be evil for balance. Strong characters, especially Nora share POVs that are each so well-written, it is easy to tell who is “seeing” the events that are happening!Amber R. Duell has made my authors to follow list! Mark this date down, January 29, 2019, the date DREAM KEEPER releases.I received a complimentary ARC edition from Amber R. Duell!Series: The Dark Dreamer Trilogy - Book 1Publisher: The Parliament House (September 11, 2018)Publication Date: January 29, 2019Genre: YA FantasyPrint Length: 288 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • JenacideByBibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, The Parliament House, via NetGalley for an honest review. Opinion:When I saw Dream Keeper on Netgalley, I just knew I had to have it.A retelling of the Sandman, the weaver of nightmares, and a young girl caught up in the middle of it all? Sold. A YA story or romance, fantasy and magic? Sold. A Lord of Nightmares, and a Lord of Dreams. A Night World, and a Day World. It ALL just promised to be SO. AMAZING. I mean I just…loved it…With the desc Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, The Parliament House, via NetGalley for an honest review. Opinion:When I saw Dream Keeper on Netgalley, I just knew I had to have it.A retelling of the Sandman, the weaver of nightmares, and a young girl caught up in the middle of it all? Sold. A YA story or romance, fantasy and magic? Sold. A Lord of Nightmares, and a Lord of Dreams. A Night World, and a Day World. It ALL just promised to be SO. AMAZING. I mean I just…loved it…With the description above basically giving away the ENTIRE book, I realize that it would be vastly unnecessary for me to give my own synopsis. So, let’s just jump right in, shall we? I have a feeling this review if going to be short and sweet. Well…short and sour.This book had a TON of promise, but really fell flat for me. The reason for that MAY be because it feels like it targets a younger audience, Pre-Teen/Teen, by the characters coming across as childlike and adolescent rather than somewhat mature. The author chose to use phrases like “sorry, not sorry” in one instance, and then words like perturbed and grotesque in the next. Though the writing is VERY descriptive and paints a beautiful picture of the dream and nightmare world, I felt like I was caught in a wind tunnel of conflicting writing styles. At one point it feels eloquent and mature, and the next it is simplistic and feels cheesy. I almost felt like I was reading a soap-opera at times. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a strong connection to Nora and the Sandman, especially when it came to their romance. When the reader starts this book, they are thrust right in the middle of the story. There isn’t much of a premise, so it eventually “backpedals” you through past events to catch you up. Sometimes this works in stories, but in this case, it was just confusing. Due to the quick start, and even quicker romance, it doesn’t give the reader adequate time to connect to Nora and the Sandman. The Sandman ended up sounding like a brooding teenager even though he’s supposed to be decades old, and Nora didn’t seem to have much of an emotional response to the murders around her…which is strange. Shouldn’t she be freaking the f**k out? I would be! So instead of exciting and fresh, these characters came off as quite dull and unimpressive. The flow of the writing and the structure of this story also left me a little unsettled. With the beginning starting from nowhere and being rushed, it made me think that this series was going to be PACKED with exciting moments. I mean, it would have to be for this to be a trilogy and start that way, right?! Well, yes and no. I wasn’t bored while reading, but I DID feel like there wasn’t a lot of meaningful and necessary moments happening. Things felt a little out of order, or rushed in spots and slow in others. My editing brain kept wanting to rearrange different paragraphs and sentences, so it was a bit hard to get through. Another confusing aspect was that a bunch of REALLY important characters didn’t come into this story until the end. By the time I got to these new characters, I was already checked-out of the story and skimming the lines. Maybe if they were introduced earlier, it would have kept my attention and interest more. I thought the character of Baku was very creative, so I wish he would have had a bigger role and made a stronger connection with Nora or the Sandman. It could have been a memorable and amusing duo for the reader to get hooked on.This really came off more negative than I was anticipating, which is unfortunate. This story had a lot of great ideas and moments, but I think some final editing could have really improved it. Though I am slightly curious to see if the writing and characters improve in book two, I probably won’t be picking up the next copy. With the characters and flow of writing falling short, Dream Keeper turned out to be a real dud for me. This is of course, is just my opinion. A lot of other readers really enjoyed this story, so don’t use my words as law. Even though you could. 😉
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Paranormal*Rating* 3.5-4*Thoughts*Dream Keeper is the first installment in author Amber R. Duell's The Dark Dreamer Trilogy. A fair warning, this story is dark. There are grotesque death scenes that may not be suitable for those who are triggered by blood and more blood. Personally, none of this affected me in the way I rated this book overall or my desire to read the sequel. This story alternates between 17-year old Nora Gallagher, and the Sandman who is t *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Paranormal*Rating* 3.5-4*Thoughts*Dream Keeper is the first installment in author Amber R. Duell's The Dark Dreamer Trilogy. A fair warning, this story is dark. There are grotesque death scenes that may not be suitable for those who are triggered by blood and more blood. Personally, none of this affected me in the way I rated this book overall or my desire to read the sequel. This story alternates between 17-year old Nora Gallagher, and the Sandman who is the only one who has kept her sane since her parents divorce. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Ash †Reviews of a FearStreetZombie†
    January 1, 1970
    Okay so I had this really long review written and sadly, it didn't save. So I'm going to try this again and hope it saves. A person can only have so many emotions! ... And lemme tell ya... This book has a lot of emotions to sort through. LolI freaking LOVED this book. It was Rise of the Guardians meets Nightmare On Elm Street. Two of my favorite things! From the very first sentence of this book, I was instantly hooked. I never wanted to put this book down.... and I didn't unless I had to sleep. Okay so I had this really long review written and sadly, it didn't save. So I'm going to try this again and hope it saves. A person can only have so many emotions! ... And lemme tell ya... This book has a lot of emotions to sort through. LolI freaking LOVED this book. It was Rise of the Guardians meets Nightmare On Elm Street. Two of my favorite things! From the very first sentence of this book, I was instantly hooked. I never wanted to put this book down.... and I didn't unless I had to sleep. Lol Which let me just say, the things in the nightmare side of this book... Will give you nightmares. Least it did for me. Not surprised though. It was written so well, it felt like you were right there in the story. It was so amazing. I have always had a bit of obsession with the Sandman, I guess since I was little and first heard the song "Mr. Sandman" then I grew up and saw Rise of the Guardians and that was the last nail in the coffin, I've had a solid obsession ever since. So when I saw this book on NG, I knew I HAD to read it. I couldn't pass it up. I was more surprised when I was accepted but started the book right away and I am so glad I did. Every character was so strong! And I do mean EVERY character! Even the small characters who you hardly saw, everything fit so perfectly. And if you know readers, they HATE when characters come in mid story and you're suppose to instantly know them like they are just as important as the main characters. Oddly enough, even though characters came in late, there was no annoyance there! It was like "Oh, hello. Welcome. Welcome. Have no idea who you are but welcome, anyway!" ... and you knew them. Like, yeah they literally just came in but they are written so well, you feel like you have been reading about them through the whole book. It's new! Lol Amber Duell has talent there, that's for sure! Lol I have never read a book by this author before but I am so thankful Dream Keeper was the first. It makes me want to devour everything else she has ever written. If all her other books are written like this, I know I will love them just as much. HahahI honestly can't wait for book two! I don't want to wait forever, but it already feels like it's been forever! X_X That ending! OMG THE ENDING!!!! It was like a cliffhanger but not!! It left you trying to flip pages that weren't there in hopes that more pages would magically appear so you could finish the story. Also, I saw that ending coming from a mile away but I was still wasn't expecting. I know that sounds crazy but it's true! Ughhh It's driving me crazy. I want to know what happens next! I NEED TO KNOW!!!If you get the chance to read this book, READ IT!!!!!
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  • Kalyn Josephson
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book! It's just the sort of fantastical escape that I enjoy. The dream world Amber creates is so beautiful and terrifying, the villain compelling, and I can't even being to describe the ending. Let's just say I need book 2 immediately. If you're a fan of dark fantasies, this one's for you.
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  • Hélène Louise
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't finish this book and stopped at the half. Not because I didn't like it at all, I was rather entertained, but because of some important things lacking and suddenly some insufferable ones appearing.From the very beginning I had some great difficulties suspending my belief about one particular point: the sandman is not human and is ageless: he exists since forever, since the first humans. But in this story he's also and mostly a seventeen years old boy with magic powers. He had the exact p I didn't finish this book and stopped at the half. Not because I didn't like it at all, I was rather entertained, but because of some important things lacking and suddenly some insufferable ones appearing.From the very beginning I had some great difficulties suspending my belief about one particular point: the sandman is not human and is ageless: he exists since forever, since the first humans. But in this story he's also and mostly a seventeen years old boy with magic powers. He had the exact personality of your random sweet YA literature love interest. I couldn't fathom why this ageless non human being suddenly falls in love with Nora (only one year ago we learn, how convenient since he knows her since she was twelve years old while he was....already millennias old). To be honest the heroine also wonders about it, but the book doesn't offer any satisfying answer. Well this part wasn't so bad, the story was good and easy to read, and this kind of stretch is frequent in fantasy romances. But in my opinion the story would have been more touching if it had begun earlier, if we could have met the characters when they were falling I love, attending to their interactions. With more showing not telling.In this book the two main characters aren't three dimensional ones, just very classic YA characters, not bad, not good.Still, since the passage that made me brutally stop reading, I was about to put one more star to my review. But if approximative psychology is acceptable in YA reads (it shouldn't, but there we are) some misuses are not. To explain myself clearly I'm going to write an extract and also make some small spoilers. If you want to read this book whatever it be and don't want it be told any detail about the story, please stop reading now. At the middle of the story our heroine, Nora, has suffered a lot. Since the age twelve (she's now seventeen), she dreams every night about the sandman, who became a dear friend. She has been psychiatrically treated and used to think that she may be crazy, as her sandman can't exist in real life. If the reader understands that the sandman actually exists, in her dreams but also since the beginning of the book in human form, Nora has just found about it. Nora and the sandman also have just confessed their love to each other. So far so good.But Nora has also just learned that the Weaver (the bad guy, the one like the sandman but for nightmares' side) has killed one of her acquaintances. Thanks to him, she has seen a young girl stabbing herself to death with a pencil, has discovered the gory mutilated corpses of her two best friends (incidentally there wasn't any therapy envisioned for her after that, so weird), have learned that her (rather estranged but still) father have just died, and is now desperately searching her missing sister, who has been abducted by the Weaver and is actually asleep, having such horrible nightmares that the experience will probably lead her to permanent insanity.And here's the scene between her and Ben, aka he sandman, aka her brand new boyfriend: "We rushed up to the nearest building, and I plastered myself against the back porch. The Sandman smirked. 'I don't think that's necessary ', he said.I stuck my tongue out at him. 'Says you. If we get caught you can magic your way out of here. I waved a hand a hand at the shed. 'Check, please'.'Sure, let me get my invisibility cloak out first.'Sandman', I growled.He laughs. 'Hold on, Nancy Drew'."So, a few pages before Nora was falling to pieces - which was perfectly normal. But suddenly she has the heart to banter and flirt with the sandman while searching for (the body of) her sister?!It was the final straw, I just can't read this kind of incoherent story. It's a shame as the author has made some commendable efforts for some many other points, as the difficulties of Nora's situation (she can't say anything because she knows she'd be immediately directed to a psychiatrist), or the fact that the police, if not believing her guilty, still believe that she's hiding something and don't stop interrogating her.It's just that I don't believe possible to tell such a story. A sweet teenage love story can't be told in such a dramatic and horrible context, one must chose the book's totality at some point.To conclude if you don't mind such logical flaws in your readings, and if the pitch of the book appeals to you, you may like it much more that I did. (I thank Netgalley and The Parliament House for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Such an amazing tale!The Sandman and the Weaver of Nightmares. Wonderful writing and world building, just wonderful, I tell you. It’s days later, and I’m still thinking about the picturesque night realm that author Amber R. Duell has created. The characters are relatable, the fantasy world rich and lovely, even during nightmare sequences, and the abilities of the Sandman and Nightmare Lord were a joy to see in action. I’m excited to see this series continue.This is an amazing YA Fantasy that I c Such an amazing tale!The Sandman and the Weaver of Nightmares. Wonderful writing and world building, just wonderful, I tell you. It’s days later, and I’m still thinking about the picturesque night realm that author Amber R. Duell has created. The characters are relatable, the fantasy world rich and lovely, even during nightmare sequences, and the abilities of the Sandman and Nightmare Lord were a joy to see in action. I’m excited to see this series continue.This is an amazing YA Fantasy that I cannot recommend highly enough. Especially for fans of A.G. Howard’s ‘Splintered’ series.‘Dream Keeper’ will be available on January 29, 2019.#DreamKeeper #NetGalley - I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. Read more reviews! http://dreamerjbookreviews.blogspot.com
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  • Inga Lady Of Bookland
    January 1, 1970
    WOW...I need a bit more time to put my thoughts together but what a ride this was. My review probably will be ready later today :)Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell was kindly provided by publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. So I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Dream Keeper was my first book by Amber R. Duell. I must say, she delivered an amazing dark YA fantasy romance that partly takes place in a real world, an WOW...I need a bit more time to put my thoughts together but what a ride this was. My review probably will be ready later today :)Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell was kindly provided by publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. So I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Dream Keeper was my first book by Amber R. Duell. I must say, she delivered an amazing dark YA fantasy romance that partly takes place in a real world, and in dream and nightmare realms with gruesome murders, scary nightmare creatures and a cute romance. This unique story griped me from the very beginning and didn't let me go till the last page. The book was thrilling, dangerous, dark but beautiful and imaginative at the same time. Dream Keeper was written in dual POV - told from Sandman's and Nora's sides, both of them were interesting and strong characters, also the villain of this story was intriguing. I enjoyed every aspect of this book - the plot, the writing, the world and characters. A great beginning to a new and exciting YA fantasy - The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, to which I'm giving 4.5 stars. I can’t wait to read the next book.Full review will be posted on my blog (https://journeyinbookland.wordpress.com) in February
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  • Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Let's begin with how gorgeous the cover for Dream Keeper is because it is one heck of a beauty. In a way, it gives off great dreamy vibes that could go dark any minute. Welcome to the world where dreams and nightmares form. Amber Duell brings us to an interestingly crafted world where dreams and nightmares are separate from each other I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Let's begin with how gorgeous the cover for Dream Keeper is because it is one heck of a beauty. In a way, it gives off great dreamy vibes that could go dark any minute. Welcome to the world where dreams and nightmares form. Amber Duell brings us to an interestingly crafted world where dreams and nightmares are separate from each other in one world. That world is co-ruled by the Nightmare Lord and the Sandman, who are now enemies after a falling out. From a young age, Nora is entrusted with the secret of the Nightmare Lord's escape, becoming the Dream Keeper, and is protected by the Sandman for five years. Dream Keeper gets dark and gets dark quickly. Duell introduces us to Nora's peaceful world, but only for a little while. The Nightmare Lord finds Nora's whereabouts and will do anything to get her to release that dream so he can release his nightmares into her world. Nora finds her friends and family's safety compromised, with people connected to her meeting their death in all kinds of gruesome ways in their sleep. Dream Keeper gets dark within a few chapters and continues to bring that darkness throughout most of the book. Engaging but predictable. From the first page, Duell keeps us engaged in Nora's story, having something that will get us to turn the next page and finish the first installment. However, Dream Keeper is predictable. I found myself losing some enjoyment because I was always ahead of the characters by a step or so. Didn't buy that relationship. We have the beginning of a relationship with Nora and the Sandman going on, and I'm not buying it. Despite the two knowing each for five years, it feels out of place distracts from the plot of the story. I still want to read the sequel. Despite the predictability and the lack thereof relationship, I want to continue in Dark Consort, the sequel to Dream Keeper. I'm curious about Duell's plans for Nora and want to know more about what will happen next to the characters.This review was originally posted on Bookwyrming Thoughts
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  • Helenasghost
    January 1, 1970
    OK, so right now I am flailing at the thought of this not having another instalment until heavens know when. Flailing so hard that the flapping of my arms and gums could probably cool bystanders in this disgusting summer heat. I have already posted my appreciation to Instagram, Twitter, 3 different private messages and I'm pretty sure all neighbouring houses within a 1km radius from my residence know how much I love this novel by now.It starts out with Nora meeting the Sandman in a dream at age OK, so right now I am flailing at the thought of this not having another instalment until heavens know when. Flailing so hard that the flapping of my arms and gums could probably cool bystanders in this disgusting summer heat. I have already posted my appreciation to Instagram, Twitter, 3 different private messages and I'm pretty sure all neighbouring houses within a 1km radius from my residence know how much I love this novel by now.It starts out with Nora meeting the Sandman in a dream at age 12. She is hellbent that he is real and protecting her from the things that go bump in the night. Her family on the other hand thinks she is a little cuckoo and have sent her to all the best doctors for psychoanalysis. Eventually she stopped speaking about him but every night she still meets him on his tranquil beach, ready to talk away the days woes.It's sweet and innocent and a little saddening until a few chapters later when someones neck gets snapped and Ben appears! Ben is the resident hotty of the piece and is so cool and calm and covering in sparkly moon dust tattoos. Oh and did I mention Nora starts hearing creepy taunts from some shadowy weirdo when he show up? She's a 'Dreamer', a term has never heard and is fairly sure is part of her psychosis. Because like there could ever be a disembodied voice telling her how the man with the snapped neck died before anyone else ever knew right?Anyway, the main character Ben and Nora are so very couple goals and smoosh and in any other life they would be all kissy faces and stolen moments. In this novel however, they kind of don't have time on account of all the people being murdered and some crazy guy named 'The Weaver' (sinister right?) trying to chase them down and steal a dream that was given to someone else because that's what you do when things need safekeeping.Now The Weaver is basically this novel's equivalent of the Big Bad Witch. He's nasty, has a vendetta against The Sandman and is basically out for total world domination because he got locked away from the 'Day World' and banned from tormenting people for five years. He's such a happy chappy and more or less the King of Nightmares (if you want to cause people terror, why not be the best in your field). Honestly though, I imagined him like a younger, more svelte Hades from that Hercules movie. He is perfection when it comes to angered celestial beings.Along the timeline of the story, Nora jumps between the Day World (waking world) and the Night World (the world of dreams). Duell provides a close to seamless transition between each and has just the right mix of both to incite a gradually increasing, slow burning fear for Sandman and Nora's lives.Earlier I mentioned that this was not your usual tale of two teens. Going in I expected love and rainbows and forbidden romance. What I got was a sprinkling of this with a ton of gore and terror and death. I cringed at the graphic depiction of a girl KILLING HERSELF WITH A BALLPOINT PEN. It incited visions of that oh so kitschy scene with the pencil in the ankle from the Evil Dead and it was thoroughly enjoyable. There's eye gouging and tearing off of skin and I was completely in my own little gore filled paradise throughout.Let me also say, that ending, while a little predictable, made me feel both sorry for Nora but also like she deserved it just a smidge because why would you ignore a celestial being? Like, really, are you that stupid! Her outfit became kick arse while her plight kind of sucked.Here is where I should be discussing plot points and story pace and all those things that 'real reviewers' talk about. What you need to know is, I haven't been able to just sit and read a book cover to cover in a good six months. But it only took me 2 hours and 45 minutes to read this almost 300 page piece of amazing. Enough said.All I can say is that this is an absolutely positively amazing novel that earns my first 5 star rating of the year. I'm picky and writing this straight after finishing and yelling at random people Shia LeBeouf style to just read it.I received an advanced reading copy from Netgalley and the publisher Parliament House Press in exchange for an honest review. Any opnions contained within are that of the author and have in no way been influenced by the publisher or its affiliates
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  • Tonja Drecker
    January 1, 1970
    A trip in Dreamland holds so much more than expected, especially when it comes to what lurks in the shadows.Nora isn't sure whether she's crazy or not, but it doesn't matter. She needs to hide her vivid dreams and hallucinations no matter what, or it's back in therapy with her. Not to mention how badly her mom would take it. But the dreams aren't letting go. They're becoming more alluring than before, especially the stranger, the Sandman. When strange and horrible deaths begin occurring in real A trip in Dreamland holds so much more than expected, especially when it comes to what lurks in the shadows.Nora isn't sure whether she's crazy or not, but it doesn't matter. She needs to hide her vivid dreams and hallucinations no matter what, or it's back in therapy with her. Not to mention how badly her mom would take it. But the dreams aren't letting go. They're becoming more alluring than before, especially the stranger, the Sandman. When strange and horrible deaths begin occurring in real life right in front of her, and a dark voice awaits at every turn, Nora's sure she'd gone off the deep end. But reality is worse.The premise in this book grabbed me in. To be caught up in a battle between dreams and nightmares, ones which open up in real life, is terrifying and a wonder at the same time. The Sandman enters reality with unexpected grace and normality, something which added to the story. The Nightmare Lord, on the other hand, holds his creep factor high by never fulling appearing outside of his horrible voice and chills of air. The real terror unfolds with the vivid death scenes, each more brutal than the last. The tension remains high and there's definitely tons of unexpected twists and turns. In other words, there's a lot to make this a read which is hard to put down.While Sandman and the Nightmare Lord held a lovely magical atmosphere, there was a little lacking on the Sandman's side. Dreamland didn't hold any wonder, which was disappointing, and his power wasn't as startling as it could have been. But holding him back also made the romance end more believable. The author digs into his head instead of Nora's during a few chapters, which allows him to grab some depth. Depth was also missing in the background information concerning the Sandman and the Nightmare Lord. The battle between the two is fierce, and the threat of the Nightmare Lord is clear, but there is little behind the shared friendship beforehand as well as the moment it fell apart. More would have helped.There are two amazing characters which sadly really make an appearance toward the end of the book. These two have more richness and possibility than the Nightmare Lord, and it will be fun to explore them in the upcoming books. I still wish they would have appeared earlier.In any case, this is an engaging read which holds dark moments, cute romance, and a bit of mystery, and it opens up well for the rest of the series.I received a complimentary copy and found this book entertaining enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    This book is vividly full of nightmares that will make your skin crawl. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this book up, but descriptions that made me truly shudder was not one of them. This book propels readers into a world of dreams, somewhat reminiscent of Freddy Krueger, and just as chilling. While I enjoyed the premise and world building, I struggled to find a true connection with the characters. I was rooting for them for sure, but never truly felt as though I got to know them, whi This book is vividly full of nightmares that will make your skin crawl. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this book up, but descriptions that made me truly shudder was not one of them. This book propels readers into a world of dreams, somewhat reminiscent of Freddy Krueger, and just as chilling. While I enjoyed the premise and world building, I struggled to find a true connection with the characters. I was rooting for them for sure, but never truly felt as though I got to know them, which made plot points plod on at times and also built confused feelings surrounding some character choices. However, these slow paced moments coupled well with moments of exciting action. Overall, this was a very well written, young adult adventure that I am sure the targeted demographic will love.*** A huge thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
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  • Amanda (MetalPhantasmReads)
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an ARC of this book for the Rockstar Book Tours blog tour for an honest review. My review is posted after the tour is over due to the tour's guidelines. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no quotations will be used*Oh man I'm bummed that I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought :/ I just had a few things that were annoying, overly dramatic and just not what I had hoped. A review will be posted on November 5 on the blog and the link will be here once the review is live.
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  • Zola
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Netgalley. It was well-written and very readable, but the combination of juvenile language and the extreme death depicted as well as other adult themes was a little confusing when put together as it made it hard to work out who this was aimed at. I guessed the ending about halfway through and didn’t really grow attached to any of the characters. It had the promise of my sort of book, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
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  • Maggie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author for the free copy. It’s much appreciated.Here’s the thing. I really like this book. But I also got a little bored towards the end and skimmed. The story is great. Very creepy in the best way possible. I was loving the imagery and how grotesque it could be at times. It gave me some Nightmare on Elm Street vibes, which is always a good thing!Nora has dreams where she sees the Sandman, and this has happened for a long time. They are a weird sort of friends. But it gets more Thank you to the author for the free copy. It’s much appreciated.Here’s the thing. I really like this book. But I also got a little bored towards the end and skimmed. The story is great. Very creepy in the best way possible. I was loving the imagery and how grotesque it could be at times. It gave me some Nightmare on Elm Street vibes, which is always a good thing!Nora has dreams where she sees the Sandman, and this has happened for a long time. They are a weird sort of friends. But it gets more complicated when bad things are happening around her, and she’s the reason why. Sandman has to do everything he can to protect Nora while she’s also trying to protect those she cares about. It’s a really good story with many layers, characters, and world building.The only issues I had was the story just seemed too long to me at times, I was just waiting for more to happen and it wasn’t. Also I didn’t like how Sandman never really had a name so I didn’t think of him as a person so it was hard for me to connect with him as a character. Also it was a little strange to introduce important characters in the last 30 percent of book with no preface mentioning them ever so I was a little thrown off.Don’t get me wrong. This book is great. I just am not in the creepy mood yet, but this book is going to be a top pick in October if you want spooky. I’ll probably be picking it up again close to Halloween for some chills and to better enjoy the story.
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  • queen0f_hearts
    January 1, 1970
    Before I start: By Parliament Press, I was provided a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion. How do I put it? This book was quite meh. Of course, it was entertaining and worth reading to some degree but I think it could have been so much more! The premise of the book, especially the Sandman lured me and I felt so very intrigued to read this story. I expected him to be a mysterious character in a magical world. I wanted all the impossible, I mean, it’s the Dream World! But what did I get?T Before I start: By Parliament Press, I was provided a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion. How do I put it? This book was quite meh. Of course, it was entertaining and worth reading to some degree but I think it could have been so much more! The premise of the book, especially the Sandman lured me and I felt so very intrigued to read this story. I expected him to be a mysterious character in a magical world. I wanted all the impossible, I mean, it’s the Dream World! But what did I get?The great advantage of this first installment in the trilogy was the love between Nora and the Sandman. It was overly cute and considering their distanced worlds, him being immortal and all that drama, it really was what I like to read about love stories. On the other hand, if I want a love story, I’ll go read Jane Austen, or re-read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I got my hands on Dream Keeper because of the fantasy and the magic. And exactly this is where I feel let down..., sadly.The magic, of course, was there but ooooh, we’re in the Dream World! Where is the dream palace with Prince Charming and his white mount? Where are the unicorns and the faeries? Where’s my secret spot in which I always feel happy? Where is the area in which my fictional family is real? I think you get me? To my mind, the Dream World should be so much more than a beach. The same goes for the Nightmare Realm. I felt disappointed in the world building which actually wasn’t a serious world building at all but a series of different locations. Even the Weaver’s Keep was so very devoid of imagination! Darn it, he’s the WEAVER, LORD OF NIGHTMARES, THE MOST POWERFUL and he settles with weaving in such a ...den? He actually seemed at least a bit prouder than to be satisfied by such a place.And just like their territories, the Sandman and the Weaver were quite lame character as well. The Weaver was the evil counterpart of the Sandman but though he didn’t hold back from killing innocents and though his simple aim was to expand his power and territory, he lacked character depth. There definitely was room for it if the author had told us more about his inner struggles, considering he and the Sandman were friends once, until he was deceived by exactly this friend. I think there should have been more emphasis on this part of their shared past, and also more explanation and details. It was sort of the same with the Sandman. Since some of the chapters were told from his point of view, it was easier to understand what’s going on inside of him. But for the most part, I still felt left out. There was a great deal of feelings and thoughts regarding Nora and I really appreciated those but his connection to the Weaver should have been played out in an at least almost equal way. I seriously missed the real, dramatic, drastic emotions which makes the characters appear more realistic, so I as reader can feel with them, can bond with them. Unfortunately, though I wanted to, though I was ready, it didn’t happen and this makes me sad because I’m sure, both could have been so great characters. They actually ARE great character! I like their designs and their magic but I wished so much, I were able to link with them...In contrast to those two, there was quite a lot about Nora which shouldn’t surprise anyone as she’s the main protagonist. At first she literally drove me nuts. All her questioning herself and her sanity, it soon felt too much for me and I began to dislike her. This is no real complaint about her though, as it’s just my personal taste to prefer strong, determined and independent women instead of whiny ones. The story went on and I actually was reading it for scenes with the Sandman...and there honestly were pretty many which made me squeal. Then chapter 8 came and I felt disgusted by the bloody scenery. (IN ALL SINCERITY, READ THE TRIGGER WARNING OF THIS BOOK! It’s only that one chapter which crept me out...but well, it did it gloriously.) Anyways, soon my opinions changed and as I’ve already written, the way I felt my interest in the Sandman fade away, I found myself rooting more and more for Nora. Her character development throughout the book was amazing and I couldn’t be prouder of her. Considering the very end of this first installment in the trilogy, I’m curiously what will come of her in the sequel.Talking about the end without giving spoilers away: Was this unexpected? I really really really can’t tell and this annoys me. I mean, I knew something was off. Every blind person would have seen it..... buuuut... I feel way to reminded in Pirates of the Caribbean and in Davy Jones to be 100% surprised and blown away.Last but not least, let me focus on the actual gems of Dream Keeper: Rowan and Kail!!!! I loved them!! I loved them so much!! Like woah, I really loved them!! They were everything I could ask for! Firstly, their designs were breath-taking and I admired them more than the Sandman, the Weaver and both their realms put together. Their little castle-thingy caused goose bumps on my skin (especially the spiders); I was glad I wasn’t the one to explore their home but it entertained me to observe Nora do it. Finally, Rowan and Kail were perfection! Can one trust them? Absolutely not! Do I like them? Yes! Very much so! If the entire book, or trilogy happened to be about them, so let it be! They were fascinating and obviously plotted something and hopefully more than I think to understand by the end of this book. What were their true intentions? One can’t know. What is their connection, their relationship? I have no clue. This is the kind of intrigue I seek when reading a book. Characters that captivate me. Unfortunately, they didn’t get much screen time but without a doubt, the chapters which contained these two were my favorite parts.To conclude my review, though there were characters I loved, this book wasn’t more than average and I don’t feel as if I would have missed anything extraordinary if I hadn’t picked Dream Keeper up. About reading the sequel, I can’t decide it yet. It depends on what it’ll be about. Give me the blurb, I’ll let you know. That’s all I can say for now.
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  • Jessica Julien
    January 1, 1970
    This book blew me away! I was addicted to it from the very first chapter and had a hard time putting it down. Duell does an exceptional job pulling the reader into the world of Dreams and introduces us to a darker concept of the night world where nightmares seep into reality. Her take on the Sandman is brilliant and I loved every second of it.The characters are very relatable and unique--they each have their own personalities that lead the story and with a little bit of romance, it makes the sto This book blew me away! I was addicted to it from the very first chapter and had a hard time putting it down. Duell does an exceptional job pulling the reader into the world of Dreams and introduces us to a darker concept of the night world where nightmares seep into reality. Her take on the Sandman is brilliant and I loved every second of it.The characters are very relatable and unique--they each have their own personalities that lead the story and with a little bit of romance, it makes the story well rounded. I loved the relationship between the main character and the Sandman and how their story develops throughout the novel. One thing that I was shocked (in a good way) about was the amount of blood and gore. It actually wasn't too bad, but I was NOT expecting it yet I LOVED the darkness Duell pulls into the novel making it feel real, twisted, and horribly sublime. I highly recommend this novel and I can not wait until the next one is released ... Please Amber, might I have some more!?!
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  • Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    "The universe always kept the balance. For every light there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare." Introduction: I had the opportunity to read a sneak peak of The Dream Keeper and was immediately intrigued. Duell's depiction of the Dream Realm was so vivid that I felt like I could almost touch it, and I was fascinated by her decision to use the Sandman as one of her main characters. However, as the story progressed, my initial excitement disappeared. I felt like there was little gro "The universe always kept the balance. For every light there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare." Introduction: I had the opportunity to read a sneak peak of The Dream Keeper and was immediately intrigued. Duell's depiction of the Dream Realm was so vivid that I felt like I could almost touch it, and I was fascinated by her decision to use the Sandman as one of her main characters. However, as the story progressed, my initial excitement disappeared. I felt like there was little growth in our two main characters, Nora and the Sandman, and that they were constantly making unwise decisions. Plot Overview: The first chapter begins from the perspective of the Sandman as he is inspecting and strengthening the dome that encases the Dream Realm. This barrier protects the Day World (the world where our characters live out their lives) and all of its Dreamers from the Nightmare Realm that is ruled by the Weaver and his creations.At some point long ago, the Sandman bound the Weaver to his realm in order to protect the Day World from the nightmares he wanted to unleash. This decision is discussed briefly, although the specifics are still a mystery. One thing, however, is certain–Nora is the Dream Keeper and hidden inside of her mind is the knowledge of how the Weaver had been bound. "Nora...would be hunted for the dream I’d placed inside her five years ago—the exact contents unknown even to me. She held the end of an invisible leash keeping the nightmares in the Night World, and the Weaver wouldn’t hesitate to regain control of it." The Sandman's inspection is interrupted abruptly as Baku, a chimera, warns him that something is going on in the Weaver's Realm. The Sandman sends Baku to find the Weaver as he in turn goes to answer a plea from Nora that he help her sleep–something for which she has not asked in years. For Nora, the Sandman is her anchor. Everyone had told her that he was not real, and the psychiatrists she was forced to see ranged from those considering a diagnosis to others proposing that she was using the Sandman as a way to process her parent's divorce. In the end, she learned to stop insisting he was real, and now lives a life worried if she is going crazy. "My sanity was a double-edged sword, and I was fighting to maintain balance on the tip." The days that follow are filled with her struggle to understand her world as, unknown to her, the Weaver begins to break free of his binding. Her sister is haunted by nightmares, gruesome murders slowly add up, and a hauntingly familiar boy with violet eyes and blue and white tattoos enters her life. Specific Things I Did Not Like: Although the Sandman is very sweet and adores Nora, I felt like their relationship progressed too fast. I honestly did not feel like I knew them that well as individuals, or, (view spoiler)[ especially in Nora's case, that they were in love with one another. They said that they were, but I did not feel the intimacy and understanding that I would expect between them. And I also did not like that they were already considering having sex, although the Sandman encouraged them to wait. I believe that sex should be saved for people who make a long-lasting commitment to one another–such as marriage or something similar (hide spoiler)]Additionally, it made me uncomfortable that Nora took so many pills to keep herself asleep. Yes, I know that she wanted to keep herself from waking up so that she could remain in the Dream Realm, but that could be potentially dangerous.(On a side note, one of my pet peeves is when someone listens to an absolute stranger in order to make a huge decision instead of someone they trust. This almost always backfires, and I saw the twist coming a mile away.) Conclusion: For me, this was a book that had potential but ultimately fell short. At times, Duell's writing was beautiful, and she wove together a story with intriguing concepts, but overall it lacked depth–especially in the characters and their interactions with one another. Moreover, she only briefly mentioned powerful themes, such as self-trust, that could have added more intricacy to the story.Note: An E-ARC of this book was provided by Parliament House Press in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Sonja
    January 1, 1970
    I'm more ashamed at myself that it took me over a week to finish this book, but I just could not get into it as much as I was hoping too. In fact, more times than not, when I had time to read I chose to read a different book that I've read numerous times already. Honestly though, it wasn't actually bad. I thought that the world created here was interesting and the nightmare realm especially fantastic and descriptive. It simply lacked something to truly hook me.My absolute favorite character here I'm more ashamed at myself that it took me over a week to finish this book, but I just could not get into it as much as I was hoping too. In fact, more times than not, when I had time to read I chose to read a different book that I've read numerous times already. Honestly though, it wasn't actually bad. I thought that the world created here was interesting and the nightmare realm especially fantastic and descriptive. It simply lacked something to truly hook me.My absolute favorite character here was Kail. We got very little of him, and all towards the end, but I just loved him. He's part of the Weaver's blood army, though his motives are questionable. Aside from him, the Sandman was probably the next best character. Especially when he was serious about something and when he was fighting the nightmares. An angry Sandman is awesome. My problem was something that has been getting to me more and more lately with these YA books. I'm starting to get really annoyed when these characters that are thousands of years old act like friggin teenagers. At this point in their existence that should simply be impossible, but every goddamn time they're around the girl they love they act like an awkward teen. I get it, the girl is a teenager and that's who the books are directed to. Still. It's getting really old because it makes no sense.As for Nora, I started out liking her a lot more than I ended up. I thought that she was mature for her age and tried hard to be normal. Considering her past and her questioning her own sanity, it's not always easy. But she made a good go of it. It wasn't until later that she started to irk me with her decisions and I began wanting to smack some sense into her.So basically what happens here is that five years ago the Sandman bound the Weaver because he was releasing his nightmares into the day world and that was unacceptable. To protect everybody, the Sandman then hid how he did it in Nora's mind as a dream. Making her the Dream Keeper. Unfortunately the Weaver's binds are weakening and he's determined to get that dream from Nora and free himself. He has no issue with killing those she is closest to in order to get her to submit. The Sandman does what he can to protect her, but his power too is weakened and limited. After so many years of questioning her own sanity, Nora is relieved to find out that the Sandman is real. But along with that truth comes other truths harder to accept. When her sister is taken captive by the Weaver, she vows to save her and to kill the Weaver for all he's done. But to do that she must enter his nightmare realm. Things go from bad, to good, to worse rather quickly and now Nora is faced with deciding if her vengeance is worth losing the trust and love of the Sandman. In the end she makes her choice, and nothing will be the same again. Not even her relationship with the Sandman that she loves so much.I have to say, the ending was rather predictable. And honestly, I have no idea if I want to see what happens next.ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    DNFed at 64%I tried. I tried so hard to get through this book. I received an egalley of it from YA Bound Book Tours in return for posting a review of it on my blog, however, I just could not get into this book. If it hadn't been for the blog tour, I would have most definitely put it down a lot sooner. I feel absolutely no connection to the characters or story and this was causing me to not want to read period. Not even other books I was reading at the same time. I think from the start it was jus DNFed at 64%I tried. I tried so hard to get through this book. I received an egalley of it from YA Bound Book Tours in return for posting a review of it on my blog, however, I just could not get into this book. If it hadn't been for the blog tour, I would have most definitely put it down a lot sooner. I feel absolutely no connection to the characters or story and this was causing me to not want to read period. Not even other books I was reading at the same time. I think from the start it was just...bland. The world building was so uninteresting and vague, leaving me confused about the magic system and not really getting much of an image for what the dream and nightmare realms are like. Other than "beach" and "vague monster shapes." And the history and lore building was just slow and not all that informative or full of enough intrigue to get me to really want to know more.The characters were especially uninteresting. None of them seem to really have much depth to them. The Weaver is supposed to be evil, but other than being power-hungry, I feel no real emotions or sympathy towards him. The Sandman's biggest issues are falling in love with the girl he chose to carry the literal key to the Weaver's prison and being the one to imprison his former BFF in the first place. Then there is Nora who is honestly just kind of boring and uninteresting. She spends a lot of time fixated on her emotions and there is a lot of descriptions about how she feels them physically in her body, but I never actually feel her relationships with other people, save for her issues with her mother. And then the plot itself is like a lesson in being over-dramatic and over-angsty. Every other chapter is something worse happening. Oh, it's not enough that people are murdered right in front of Nora's face? Let's add a missing sister on top of that! And how about we round it off with some suspicious police detectives as well. It just got to be too much, too fast, and I think I spent more time groaning in annoyance than anything else.I just couldn't push through on this. I did not connect to any part of the story at all. The world-building was bland, the characters uninteresting, and the plot full of overdramatics and poor lore-building. I don't know what I will do about the blog tour, but I will see when it comes to it.I normally don't rate books I DNF, but since I made it past the halfway point I think I will on this one. 1.5 starsCONTENT WARNING: detailed descriptions of bodily harm (murder and self-harm that is controlled by a magical entity so I'm not sure if it counts entirely as self-harm but could still be a trigger for some in how it is described). Also, lots of blood.
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  • Luxe
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts in any way.MY THOUGHTSDreams have always given me a certain kind of fascination. I don’t think I’ve read much books about dreams except for Dreamology which is a contemporary. But this… This is exactly what I’ve wanted! When I first heard of Dream Keeper, I was—to put it midly— interested. And when I saw this available for request on NetGalley, I was very excited. So I I received a copy of this book from Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts in any way.MY THOUGHTSDreams have always given me a certain kind of fascination. I don’t think I’ve read much books about dreams except for Dreamology which is a contemporary. But this… This is exactly what I’ve wanted! When I first heard of Dream Keeper, I was—to put it midly— interested. And when I saw this available for request on NetGalley, I was very excited. So I guess you can imagine my (joyous) outburst when I got approved for it!This is nothing like I’ve read before. Dream Keeper is told in two perspectives, Nora and The Sandman, and it follows both their journey in saving the people they love (for Nora, her sister, and for The Sandman, well, Nora) and the whole world along with it.The Dream Realm and the Nightmare Realm, a whole other world once everyone falls asleep, were really amusing to read about. Written very well, I especially loved the spooky vibe that the Nightmare Realm gave and the ghastly things inside it.The death scenes mentioned in the synopsis really were horrid so fair warning if you’re not comfortable with that, maybe skip those particular parts? But I’m not really bothered by that kind of thing so those scenes combined with the vivid description of each and every nightmare, added much more to the eerie reading experience.Nora, our main character, can be a bit immature at times and although I don’t agree with some of her decisions, I still very much like her strong personality. Despite her overwhelming fear, and even though there’s nobody she can turn to except for The Sandman, she maintains headstrong to save her family and the whole world along with it. I mean, who wouldn’t admire that? Her mother thinks she’s crazy, people around her are dying and she’s considered the main suspect. If I were in her shoes, I would have broken down in a heartbeat.A very interesting and unique plot? Check. Amazing world building? Check. A strong female main character? Check. Fantastic writing? Check. I highly recommend you include this book in your TBR—or, much better, read it immediately!
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  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to get a copy of Dream Keeper off NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I know it's early in the year but I've already got one of my favorite books for the year. I started at 8am this morning, had work and then read again until I finished this at 9pm. Dream Keeper follows the story of Nora and the Sandman (yep the one from stories who gives you dreams). I hadn't read anything like it before and though I was initially intrigued by the plot I was skeptical because I felt i I was lucky enough to get a copy of Dream Keeper off NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I know it's early in the year but I've already got one of my favorite books for the year. I started at 8am this morning, had work and then read again until I finished this at 9pm. Dream Keeper follows the story of Nora and the Sandman (yep the one from stories who gives you dreams). I hadn't read anything like it before and though I was initially intrigued by the plot I was skeptical because I felt it could be either brilliant or horrible. Turns out it was well written, fast paced but with enough world and character building to connect your with the story and just an overall enjoyable book. The plot is solid and progresses at a quick pace from early on but does give you a couple of twists and cliffhangers that will leave you wanting more. Nora is incredibly likeable. Unlike a lot of fantasy Nora actually questions her sanity and has had to face the contemporary ramifications of claiming you are friends with the Sandman (think psychologists, therapy, hospitalisation). As someone with anxiety and PTSD it is brilliant to see a strong, independent, desirable character that you can relate to and has felt it thought things you have too. The dynamics between Nora and the Sandman are genuine and sweet. Things make sense romantically and it's not insta-love, not love to hate and not an excessively slow burn either. A stranger to friendship, to confidante to crush, to love.The ending is satisfying in that it wraps up the main plot line but also leaves us on a cliffhanger making way for a sequel (which I will definitely be reading and can't wait to do so!)
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  • McKenzie Allyshia
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as I read the synopsis for Dream Keeper I knew I had to read it. The story is very unique and, honestly, really interesting. I love that the story is set between two worlds and also in two different points of views. The entire time while reading I was incredibly engaged in the story. In fact, I had one heck of a time putting the book down. Thankfully while I was at work, I was upstairs answering calls and could read between calls. The world building was very unique and I had an easy time As soon as I read the synopsis for Dream Keeper I knew I had to read it. The story is very unique and, honestly, really interesting. I love that the story is set between two worlds and also in two different points of views. The entire time while reading I was incredibly engaged in the story. In fact, I had one heck of a time putting the book down. Thankfully while I was at work, I was upstairs answering calls and could read between calls. The world building was very unique and I had an easy time painting a picture of the worlds and characters in my mind. I especially loved the Sandman and the Weaver as characters. Nora was great, too but she didn't stand out quite as much as the other two. I do really hope that we get a little more background on the Sandman in the next book. I have so many questions! All in all, Amber R. Duell is a great writer. In regards to the story line, it was great. The book was hard to put down and I couldn't help but NEED to know what happened next. There was a bit of gruesome content, but I loved the realness of it. Not to mention, all of the nightmare creatures were very interesting and unique! Lastly, that ending had me on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait to find out what happens next. *I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is just 3.5, or maybe just shy of 4 stars for me, as there were some parts that kind of dragged, especially the romance parts. I loved the "creepier" parts, and especially the way the nightmares and deaths were described. The plot though! I love this idea of a dream world and nightmare world with Sandman and Weaver keeping a balance! Have you ever had nightmares that felt so real and were so horrible that when you woke it stayed with you?? Can you imagine if there was something like I think this is just 3.5, or maybe just shy of 4 stars for me, as there were some parts that kind of dragged, especially the romance parts. I loved the "creepier" parts, and especially the way the nightmares and deaths were described. The plot though! I love this idea of a dream world and nightmare world with Sandman and Weaver keeping a balance! Have you ever had nightmares that felt so real and were so horrible that when you woke it stayed with you?? Can you imagine if there was something like the Weaver to put those in your head?! Pretty great storyline that I would love to see expanded on! My main issue with this book though, is despite having so much going on with our main characters, it felt like there was never any actual depth to them. I just couldn't find anything about them that fully grabbed my attention. The ideas are there, and like I said the plot itself is fantastic! But I couldn't really connect with any characters, they just felt so flat to me. I'm curious to see where Amber Duell takes this trilogy, because there is so much potential here! Especially with that ending!
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  • Amber Hodges
    January 1, 1970
    I found myself struggling with the beginning of this book, not because it was bad, it definitely wasn't. I was just in a book slump but decided to keep going and man am I glad I did. I found myself eventually not able to pull myself away and devoured the rest of the book.The sandman was breathtaking and I loved following his POVs. You can't help but swoon and want to jump in and help him out. He goes through so much but he holds his heart the whole way. It is so sweet it makes you want to cry as I found myself struggling with the beginning of this book, not because it was bad, it definitely wasn't. I was just in a book slump but decided to keep going and man am I glad I did. I found myself eventually not able to pull myself away and devoured the rest of the book.The sandman was breathtaking and I loved following his POVs. You can't help but swoon and want to jump in and help him out. He goes through so much but he holds his heart the whole way. It is so sweet it makes you want to cry as you keep reading.Nora was a strong character even with her faults. I enjoyed reading her POV and knowing what all is going through her head. She battles a lot mentally throughout the pages but she always finds a way. I love when characters don't give up even when the impossible happens. The whole plot of this book sucked me in. I couldn't help but needing to know what happens next. This is a story that I haven't read anything like and I loved every page. I found myself biting my nails to know what is going to happen. I know with that cliffhanger that I will be impatiently waiting for the next one to come out!
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