This book was a hot mess. I hate to be so unkind, but it’s just the truth. The premise sounded great. Hell, there’s a dragon on the cover. I love dragons. But it was just a disaster. Here’s the blurb:
Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.
And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…
OK. The book started out as advertised. We’re even introduced to a sexy potential love interest. Not only does Vivian recognize Zee from her dreams, the enigmatic bookstore owner recognizes her the same way. In fact, he’s been painting her image for years. There’s a mysterious, villainous woman who is trying to steal objects that are part of Vivian’s birthright. All this, as Vivian begins to get clues to the mysteries of her past and her family heritage.
But it all starts to go really wonky when Vivian starts passing between worlds. There is a dreaming world, a waking world and a between (which apparently is where all the bad stuff happens.) In addition, there are two versions of multiple people –a dream version and an awake version, I guess. This all got so confusing. We follow Vivian as she passes between worlds and meets other versions of Zee and her smarmy ex-boyfriend Jared. Zee is still named Zee, but Jared is named Gareth. Why, I don’t know. Both men have dreamed of her. But if you dream in the dream world, are your dreams the awake world? Is there another version of Vivian? Or is she the same Vivian when she dreams? Are the two Zee’s different versions of the same man? What about Jared/ Gareth?
How real is the between? There is this ongoing thing about Vivian knowing whether she was awake or asleep by seeing if she is wearing her necklace. But it really didn’t help me understand. People are injured and killed in the real world by what happens in the between. Vivian is worn out by her exertions there, but that makes me question –if you are made exhausted by your sleep, how do you rest? Are we back to dreaming in the dream world? It makes my head hurt.
And then, there’s the rape. I honestly don’t know if that happened in the dream world or the between. If it was “real” or not. But the physical trauma followed Vivian out of the “dream.” So who raped her? Was it Jared? A dream Jared? One different from Gareth? Is he responsible? All of this just sort of gets swept away, and barely acknowledged. But the main character was raped. Wasn’t she? It doesn’t seem like a small question.
None of this even touches on the larger story surrounding the Queen and her endgame. She was so one dimensional in her evil plan. And the ending? No romantic HEA, though I don’t entirely understand why. It seems like the door is open for more story, but no way am I going to touch a book two.
*ARC Provided by Ace
Betweenby Kery SchaferRelease Date: January 28, 2013Publisher: Ace