Russell James “Dreamwalker” Review

Posted: February 16, 2015 in Reviews, Uncategorized
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Length: 274 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Review copy provided as part of blog tour in exchange for an honest review

Dreamwalker follows college student Pete Holm as he struggles with a unique set of powers. Pete has very vivid dreams that seem to be almost real and unlike most people who experience multiple dreams and storylines, Pete often times has dreams that continue right where they left off the previous night. He is also always aware of what is happening in his dreams. The one constant of his dreams is a mysterious girl who appears in every single dream of his. Pete dubs her Dream Girl and never can figure out why she is the only constant in his dreams. He has a connection with her that eludes him when it comes to the other people that he encounters in his dreams. Although there is normally danger, Pete always escapes unharmed and they only occur in certain types of dreams. However, one night when Pete is in his mansion, he encounters a terrifying snakelike creature that almost swallows him alive.

Pete also has Visual Processing Disorder, which scrambles what he sees on his way to his brain and creates anxiety. Though Pete was able to get a handle on his disorder through tutoring and therapy, the concepts he encounters in his business classes at Ithaca overwhelm him and send him into a tailspin. Lately, Pete’s VPD has been getting worse. Instead of just causing confusion, he begins seeing words that jump out to him often focusing on a singular theme such as the sea and cards. Pete finally reaches his breaking point and decides to leave everything he has ever known deciding he needs a break from the stress. Pete finally discovers that the recent patterns in his VPD are telling him something and sets off for Atlantic City.

When Pete arrives, he realizes that he is stranded and an outsider. The glitz of the casinos and the boardwalk clash with the gritty side of the of the city and Pete realizes that he needs a plan in order to survive. Pete picks up a part-time job and apartment through a chance meeting with the owner of DiStephano’s restaurant. Pete’s dreams continue while in Atlantic City, although now they seem to come with more purpose. These are not seemingly random dreams, but ones that seem to be telling him something.

The other story thread focuses on Prosperidad, a fortune-teller who picks up on Pete’s presence. Her client, Jean St. Croix, is infuriated when she tells him a dreamwalker has arrived in the city and may place his plans in jeopardy. Jean St. Croix is a vicious crime lord who plans to control the city through the drug trade and utilizes extreme brutality to set his domination underway. Prosperidad asked the Antelope Spirit to send someone who could stop St. Croix and it seems Pete may just be the key to achieving that goal.

As Pete begins to realize the frightening truth behind his dreams, he finds himself in a fight for his life. In the real world, Pete is on the run from St. Croix and his crew of henchmen while in the dream world he is hunted by the evil petra loa spirit Cauquemere and his legion of blood-thirsty undead soldiers. Armed with his new-found abilities and some help from Dream Girl aka Rayna and Prosperidad, Pete attempts to end the terror in both worlds.

One of the most impressive things about James’ novel is the world building that takes place, particularly his creation of Twin Moon City. The city seems normal at first complete brownstone buildings and a street lined with streetlights, but quickly takes on a darker appearance. Everything is in ruins with smashed out windows, holes littering the walls of the building, debris littering the streets and the stench of death hanging heavy in the air. James’s descriptive prose helps breathe life into this apocalyptic city. I also liked how even though there are elements of interacting with dreams, parallel worlds and evil spirits, the story still feels realistic because of the dangers Pete faces in the real world.

Dreamwalker is the first Russell James novel that I have had the pleasure to read and it was an absolute blast! I am definitely looking forward to exploring his previous and upcoming works. There is something for everyone in this novel – action, horror, fantasy and a hint of romance. Highly recommended!

Rating: 4.5/5


Russell James’ Official Website

Samhain Horror Official Website

Purchase Dreamwalker on Amazon

  1. hookofabook says:

    Thank you so much for a wonderrful review, Rich. I am so happy to have you on the Hook of a Book tours!

  2. I am so glad that you enjoyed Dreamwalker. Thank you for the kind review!

  3. Dreamwalker is a great, compulsive, scary and fascinating read. I loved it too! Congratulations, Russell

  4. […] Russell James “Dreamwalker” Review […]

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