Title: DREAM KEEPER
Author: Amber R. Duell
Pub. Date: January 29, 2019
Publisher: The Parliament House
Formats: Paperback, eBook
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.
Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.
She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.
When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.
“A rendering of worlds. A distortion of nature. A binding of power.”
Dream Keeper is a wonderfully unique and enchanting tale that will charm you from the first line and leave you wishing there was more. The world is fascinating and the whole idea is wildly original. Nora, the Sandman, and the Weaver are characters that you know belong in this world. They are characters many will be able to relate to, all in different ways, as these characters have some differences from each other.
Nora is that type of protagonist that you root for from the first chapter. Though her life takes a drastic turn for the worst, she never gives up and stays strong. She doesn’t let the horrors defeat her, even when they hit home. The Sandman is just like her in that sense. He’s strong and will do anything to protect Nora and the secret Dream she holds in her mind. The Sandman is portrayed so well, and I loved his character. Duell did an incredible job with the characters, so trust me when I say that this book is not just all about the world building.
“You’ll soon find out there are worse things than death.”
Oh, lord, the Weaver is one of those villains you know is evil to the core, but someone you secretly like. That’s the case for me. He may be deadly and, you know, kill people, but he has a way with words, and I really liked that about the Weaver. He’s creepy and dangerous and interesting, but there’s this vibe with him. I was looking forward to a lot of his scenes, especially his interactions with Nora and the Sandman. He’s a well-drawn villain; he himself is a living nightmare, and it was really neat to see his story.
“For every light there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare.”
If you think the cover is beautiful, you need to read Duell’s world building. The world building in Dream Keeper is fresh and so unlike anything I’ve read. There’s the Day (real) world, the Dream Realm, and the Nightmare Realm. The drastic differences between the three is so distinctive and well-depicted. And how Duell brings all three together…wow. She does it so smoothly and it blends so well with the story. What also makes this story unique is how the nightmares are portrayed. There are regular nightmares, of horrors that are fiction and not real. And then there are nightmares that are real and haunt the host that could potentially lead to death. I know: scary, right? The nightmare creatures are intriguing and hauntingly creepy; they’re definitely not a creature I would want to come face-to-face with. Overall, the world building is a breath of fresh air.
If you haven’t read anything by Amber Duell yet, I highly recommend starting with Dream Keeper. That’s the case for me, and I plan on reading more of Duell’s work. I was delightfully surprised by this tale and I cannot wait for next installment! Dream Keeper comes out January 29, 2019, but you can pre-order now!
Thank you to the author for sending an advanced e-copy for me to read and write an honest review! All quotes are from the advanced e-copy and may not appear in the final novel.
Enter the Dream Keeper Giveaway!
1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.
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Thank you, Rockstar Book Tours and Amber R. Duell, for this wonderful blog tour!