Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell | Dark, Engaging, Predictable

Posted December 26, 2018 by Sophia

Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell | Dark, Engaging, Predictable

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Content and Trigger Warning: This book contains content that may be triggering to some, which we will try our best provide below the synopsis.
Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell | Dark, Engaging, PredictableDream Keeper by Amber R. Duell
The Dark Dreamer #1
Published by Parliament House Press on January 29, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: 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.

A copy of the book was provided for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore does not affect the opinion or content of the 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.

Sophia started blogging in February 2012 for the hell of it and is surprisingly still around. She has a GIF for nearly everything, probably listens to too much K-Pop and is generally in an existential crisis of sorts (she's trying her best). In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications and minor in Women's Studies. More of her bookish reviews and K-pop Roundups can be found at The Arts STL.

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20 responses to “Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell | Dark, Engaging, Predictable

  1. It sounded so fresh until you mentioned her relationship with the Sandman. I mean…does every girl in books/TV series need to fall in (mutual) love with an alien/otherworldly ageless being? *sighs* Also, if it’s predictable…It’s a pity though, because I dig dark stuff.

    • *sighs with you* I KNOW RIGHT. They could have been platonic friends and I would have been rooting all the way for those #friendshipgoals. But nooooooo.

  2. Uma

    That’s a really pretty cover! Shame about the romance and predictability though! It seems to be a problem in many of the books I’ve been reading!

    • It is! I love the cover, but also same with most books I’m reading these days. It’s either predictable too much or the romance just feels off… I’m not bothered by predictability as much since I’m good at it. Being bothered by it would ruin the fun out of reading.

  3. This does sound interesting and yes the cover rocks! I like the sound of the dreams/ nightmare conflict, and it sounds nice and dark, but sorry to hear the relationship wasn’t super convincing. I hope the sequel is even better!

  4. Sorry that this one was such a disappointment. I always find it interesting when I feel underwhelmed, but still desire to read the sequel. It happens rarely for me. I hope the sequel gives you more of what you are looking for and makes up for the rough start.

    • Thanks, Sarah, I hope so as well. Like you, it happens rarely for me, and frequently I find myself saying that I will check out the sequel but don’t actually do so until a million years later… if ever.

  5. I was totally feeling this until the dreaded relationship. Having said that, I don’t mind a forbidden love as long as it’s well written but not so much when it’s forced. Perhaps a friendship might have worked within the narrative. I love the premise though, the Sandman entering your dreams and that cover is absolutely stunning! Brilliant review Sophia, so glad you enjoyed it for the most part ♥♥

  6. oof, I have a love hate relationship with predictable books. A time indeed you had here. At least you want to continue the series! Great review Soph!