Title: Dream Keeper
Author: Amber R. Duell
Publisher: The Parliament House
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Page Count: 288
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
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.)
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.
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About the author:
Amber R. Duell is a native of Central New York but currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two sons. She survives on caffeine and baked goods. When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, staying up way too late to research genealogy, and discovering real-life adventures.