Stories involving magic have always peaked my interest from childhood into adulthood. I am still drawn to them and with the new genre of Urban Fantasy, I gobble them up. Give me the fey, romanticized vampires (though I have issues with ones that sparkle), rugged lovable werewolves all wrapped up in a pretty bow with a sprinkle of fairy dust and a wave of a magic wand and I am a happy little goddess. I always joke with my fiance that they are my bubble gum books, not my meat and potato books. We all need light reading, especially those of us, like myself, who are ENG LIT majors. This book looked to fit the bill, and in most ways it did not disappoint, in fact there was more than fairy dust, the magic was true magic!
The biggest and most impressive aspect of Dreamwalker was the author’s grasp on Neo-Pagan practices, specifically Wicca. Not going to gander a guess at her religious beliefs, but she knows her stuff. As a Witch, not Wiccan but a Witch non the less, I was highly impressed with the inclusion. Sure she mixed it up a bit and threw in some things that are not part of general Wiccan beliefs, she did not stray far from the path and try to throw in a bunch of crap like some shows and movies do. When you mix a pagan belief system and write in rituals ect, you open yourself up to a criticism from the realm of magical practitioners, like myself. Practitioners who enjoy a nice little trip into someones magical story build, allowing their belief to be dispelled (giggles a bit) without feeling mocked would enjoy this read. Where I found some areas to be needing some polish, this was far from one of them. For this Witch it is the strongest aspect of the story and what held it together for me.
If you have read some of my reviews, you know I am not a lover of Romance novels. This is billed as Romantic Urban Fantasy and boy does it fit the bill, and for me, it is a perfect fit. I have no issues per-say with romance in a novel, I just like it with my read, not my read entirely. As I’ve mentioned in the past I suffer from Harlequin related PTSD *shuddering*. Many romance writers have a horrible habit of over salting their books with purple prose, to the point that if it was a piece of gum, it would be grape flavor, you know the Bubbalicious one you chew for five minutes and it leaves your tongue dark purple? It can be fun, for about five minutes, than all flavor is lost and the gum is stiff (could not resist). Andrea not only writes well rounded & believable steamy scenes she does so without any of the aforementioned purple prose. Just the right amount and balance making it an integral part of the story. It is part of Noel’s trials and tribulations, part of what she has to make choices about and come to terms with. The author really does a nice job with those scenes! The flavor really was long lasting *wink*
Similes aside; though not her first novel, I found the writing and some of the story devices of Dreamwalker in need a bit of polishing. It took me a bit to get “into it”. But as I continued to read it became more polished and the story started flowing better and pretty soon It grabbed me and took hold. Perhaps this is a story device itself? Hmmmm… a thought just occurred to me, the author just may have been sneaky. So. much like our protagonist Noel being completely clueless and struggling to keep up with the never-ending changes coming at her from all sides, we were too. There were times I wanted to hand the girl another gallon of ice cream and a fresh pair of comfy pajama pants because boy she having a bad day! Not sure I could handle it as well as she did! Something to ponder while you read it for yourself.
Without ruining the plot of ‘Dreamwalker” here is how her day starts off, over water (the jerk couldn’t even buy her a cup of coffee). Her long-term boyfriend dumps her, in a pure narcissistic and self-centered fashion, she has a mini-melt down, loses her job, finds out her best friend who is basically family is much more fantastical than she ever realized, the things of her imagination and fairy tales actually do exist and some of them are not very nice, in fact some of them are down right murderous. Not to mention there is a cabal of immortals who are hunting her and one of the people who claim to be there to protect her is working for them. Who can it be? Oh boy does that turn out to be a doozy, well sort of. Oh and she has a real sister! Life for Noel went from Shiny to cluttered chaos and the glamour happening was not something you needed your good lip-gloss for, unless you needed to put someone to sleep for a couple of hours.
I wasn’t sold all the time with this book, sometimes it was hard to dispel my belief, but over all it bedazzled me and had me smiling with all the knowledgeable magic as well as fantastical mayhem. It is a great read and for the price you can’t go wrong!