Zakk reviews “Dreamwalker” by Russell James. 274 pages published by Samhain Horror (Samhain Publishing Ltd.)
Overall Score: 5/5
Purchase, Borrow, or Pass: “Dreamwalker” is a solid purchase.
(Full Disclosure: Intentionally sought out and received an “Advanced Review Copy” of “Dreamwalker”, these are my honest thoughts about the novel.)
“The decaying buildings wore their faded paint like shabby coats and lined each street like the homeless at a soup kitchen.”
Dreamwalker Synopsis –
Two realities. One hope.
What if you lived in two worlds, and could die in either? Pete Holm can. He is a dreamwalker, able to travel to the realm of dreams, including the devastated world of Twin Moon City, where an evil voodoo spirit holds living souls in terror with his army of the walking dead.
In the waking world, drug lord Jean St. Croix knows only the power of the dreamwalker can stop him, so St. Croix vows Pete must die.
Pete is the only hope to rescue the lost souls in Twin Moon City…unless St. Croix kills him first. Can anyone survive when two realities collide?
Dreamwalker is the sixth novel that Russell James has published with Samhain Horror under legendary horror editor Don D’Auria!
“Memories fade without mementos. With no measure of time in this world, no sleep to set a rhythm of existence, all events blended into one seamless, murky stream.”
“Dreamwalker” marks my first read from Russell James and it’s a hell of a good time. In this youthful adventure. Now, I’m not saying that this is novel aimed at a younger audience, what I am saying is that I felt a nearly constant sense of youthful energy and wonder while gallivanting around with Pete. The world is in his hands, and vicariously in my hands. And we’re carried by a lofty dreamlike sense that anything can and may happen in an adventure with boundless opportunities. Which makes the story’s turns to darkness a bit unexpected and more striking in contrast.
Mr. James conjures a fun and intriguing protagonist in Pete Holm, a bright soul, a young man unaware, at first, of the power he can wield in his controlled dreamscapes. He is the perfect yin to the pitch black antagonist’s yang, Jean St. Croix. St. Croix is also a Dreamwalker with roots in Haitian voodoo, his true persona and absolute power in control as the shell of Jean sleeps. These two lead a solid cast of memorable characters, many of whom I found myself emotionally invested in, and I’m really hoping that this isn’t the last time we run into some of them.
There is great imagery throughout, and more so as Pete begins to loose his grasp on his dreams and St. Croix’s power of influence starts to take hold, poisoning Pete’s sanctuaries. The run-down, nearly apocalyptic dreamscape of Twin Moon City is a nice more-metaphor-than-mirror-image companion to the “real world” of Atlantic City, and is inhabited with its own fair share of lost souls. These lost souls are under the thumb of St. Croix and can be/ are used to achieve his endgame as henchmen or as collateral damage. This holds true in Twin Moon City as well as in the real world.
Although my favorite moment in “Dreamwalker” is that of a young, as yet uncorrupted Jean St. Croix sneakily learning voodoo practices and his mishandling of the applications, there are numerous scenes to savor and enjoy.
Thank you for the ride, Mr. James.
“’What you see must come to pass. Try to re-channel the currents of destiny and they will only sweep you downstream.’
‘Even if it meant that small boys died in fires?’
Her grandmother’s lined face grew sad. She cupped Prosperidad’s chin in her hand. ‘Yes, even if small boys die.'”
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
Praise for Russell R. James
“James has a talent for combining action-packed vignettes into a powerful, fast-paced whole.”
—Library Journal on Black Magic
(Five Stars, A Night Owl Top Pick) “I loved the story so much that I’m eagerly waiting to read more from him. He carefully and very intricately wove his storyline to have elements of mystery and suspense throughout. I now have a new favorite book I’ll read over and over again.”
—Night Owl Reviews on Dark Inspiration
“The book had me at the edge of my seat. The writing is so vivid I even jumped a few times. If you’re a fan of the genre, love ghosts and are drawn to the supernatural, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book!”
—Long and Short Reviews on Dark Inspiration
Russell R. James, Biography
Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.
After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, and Dreamwalker. He has two horror short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness. His next novel, Q Island, releases in 2015.
His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.”
Visit his website at www.russellrjames.com and read some free short stories.
He and his wife share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.
To find out more about Russell R. James, please visit his Website or follow him on Facebook! Join him on Twitter, @RRJames14. Also, feel free to drop him at a line at email@example.com.
Barnes and Noble:
- Open reviewer giveaway: Anyone who reviews Dreamwalker on Amazon and one other site like GoodReads, etc. and sends Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, their links to firstname.lastname@example.org will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card. This contest ends on Feb. 28, 2015.
- Rafflecoper giveaway for two copies of Russell’s previous books. Two winners will each win one of two books, Black Magic and Dark Inspiration. US only, no international shipping. Must use a valid email that you can be reached by. By entering the giveaway, you consent to allow Russell to have your email for very infrequent newsletter updates. Contest ends Feb. 28, 2015. Other contest questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, Hook of a Book Media at email@example.com.
#DreamwalkerTour #Dreamwalker #HookofaBook #voodoo