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The Waking Dreamer (The Waking Dreamer #1)

3.2  ·  Rating details ·  69 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Emmett’s dream is always the same. Tingling with half-forgotten memories, he stands in an unknown room surrounded by mirrors, curio cabinets, and nesting dolls. A painting, Belshazzar’s Feast, hangs on the wall, its disembodied hand numbering the King’s final days. Then comes the stranger, the serpent-wielding young woman with the glittering amber eyes. Her words are alway ...more
Paperback, 343 pages
Published September 22nd 2013 by Mechanical Owl Media
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Experiment BL626
Good news and bad news. The good news is that the prose wasn’t purple and the plot wasn’t a sea of surrealist drecks as the book description led me to believe. The bad news is that the hero was TSTL and the romance was insta-love. In short: it was a stereotypical YA fiction. Well, the writing is a few notches higher than average, not that it helps.

+ the hero

The story started off with a chapter that really should have been a prologue and not the first chapter. The second chapter was where the sto
Sigh. This book should have been named The Traveller's Guide to the Dark, Eerie and Pointless Mythical Creatures Inhabiting USA because it is essentially one long, fictional guidebook. There is nothing resembling a plot in here; only a paranormal documentary. The readers are just thrown from location to location and given a bunch of increasingly convoluted facts about the mythology. The MC inspires no feelings whatsoever, save one of mild annoyance at his helplessness. There is horror but ther ...more
Liz* Fashionably Late
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Liz* Fashionably Late by: A beautiful cover
I'll admit it, I read this book because of the cover. It's gorgeous and really stands out, so let's just blame it. As for The Walking Dreamer's first chapters,I think they were pretty cool. The eerie vibe, the badass woman and the charming guy were captivating and the little girl in training with snakes around her neck was all it took for me to decide I wanted to give it a try. I'm not sure where it all went wrong but near the end it was really hard for me to finish this book.

This is a mystical
So here’s the deal
I am game for any type of fantasy world.


And whatever the fuck is going on in this book. (Which is kinda a mix of all 4).

To my understanding, it is of the magical sort. The Druids and the Bards. (I had the craving to play Skyrim the whole time)! And although I loved all of that, there was just so much to this story, that I got weighed down trying to sort it all out.

So much happens in such a short time, and it is certainly action packed. Th
Ian Wood
This is the complete review as it appears on my blog. There may be links in the blog reviews which are not reproduced here, nor will updates and modifications to the blog be replicated here.

I rated 50% of this novel warty. The other 50% I skipped because of aforementioned nauseating wartiness.

Warning: spoilers!

Alexander has deftly secreted his prologue away in chapter one. Finally! An author who gets it! I very much appreciated that. It is, however, still a prologue and by definition completely
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
Also on my book blog

Emmett Brennan is a seventeen year old orphan that has the same surreal dream over and over. There is always the painting of Belshazzar’s Feast, marred with words scribbled overhead, and there is always the amber-eyed woman with the serpents around her neck. She tells Emmett that he will one day save her. But when the woman in these dreams turns up in real life, Emmett is hurled into a startling reality of the dangerous forces that are after him.

Initially after reading the s
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Firstly, thank you to Net Galley and the publishers for letting me read this in exchange of an honest review. The opening of this book was really good. I was instantly pulled into the pages and curious about the world. Then the book fast forwards, and we learn more about the magical realism that is quite unique. Yet at one point, I think beginning with the action scene when the Grove is attacked, I found the story hard to follow from then on. There was an over abundance of words that told me wha ...more
Cassie Hawkings
Reviewed for Netgalley

The Waking Dreamer is the debut of author J.E. Alexander. Released in September 2013, the book is the story of Emmett. I really wanted to like this book but I found it really disjointed. I didn't get very far into it unfortunately. I got 32% through it and had to stop. I dunno if I would have gotten it as an physical novel.

As much as I like the character of Emmett I found his journey much like a road trip that goes horribly wrong. I found that there was just too many cha
When insomnia sets in I feel that you have two book options: a horribly boring one that will put you to sleep, or an wonderful one that you has you saying fuck it! I can’t sleep anyway, might as well enjoy it! Well when insomnia hit me last night I was very pleased I had this ARC. It was a perfect fit; it bit right into me and didn’t let me go until I finished it at 2:30am!

All I can say is that if you are looking for a really well done Urban Fantasy you will want to give this a try.

I don’t have
Debbie Narh
Sep 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately, I didn't finish this novel because I had a hard time connecting with it. The characters are quite flat and I hated the insta-love! Emmett's dreams of this mysterious girl are very exhausting so very typical. I felt bored after the first few chapters and nothing held my interest for very long.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-urban
English Review:

I plunged into the prologue nearly speechless in enthusiasm. I mean, wow! Imagine the atmosphere as a mix of Matrix and Harry Potter and combine this with ultra-cool heroes and mysterious-fantastically enemies. My hair stood on end, I missed my train stop and was totally bowled over! But with the first chapter the disillusion followed. J.E. Alexander writes his actual plot in a style, that has nothing in common with the rousing brilliant introduction. Readers who are only interest
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
(This review also appeared at The Court Street Literary Collective, LTD)

Emmett Brennan is a young man looking for his way in the world. When we first meet him, he's left his home in Houston, Texas, headed for Florida. That's the literal truth, by the way: He's in his car, fighting traffic, fielding frantic calls from his friend/foster parent who wants him to return home, but he's having none of it.

For years, Emmett has felt dissatisfied, longing to go somewhere, anywhere, to start a real life. H
Claire Walker
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crap
More reviews can be found over on my blog the rabid bookworm

I want to start off by saying I really, really wanted to like this book. It started off very promisingly – we had two adults and a child, walking through the crime riddled streets of Chicago, seeking something, yet not being approached by any of the street gangs or criminals in the area. Word has already reached these thugs that these people are not to be messed with and serious harm will come to any who try. A point that is swiftly dem
Jed Dews
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I like to read. I always have. I’ll admit that I am not a book blogger or literary critic of any kind, and I honestly wouldn’t even claim to have the most discriminating palette for novels. I enjoy a good story and characters I can care about. When the story is finished, I move on; the book is returned to the library or stored away in the electronic shelves of my Kindle. I forget it, and that’s OK because it served its purpose. The Waking Dreamer by J. E. Alexander—it’s not like that. It will no ...more
AIA  Reviewers
Oct 28, 2013 rated it liked it
The Waking Dreamer is a mystical fantasy about Druids who hold their power in wisdoms in the form of animals, (similar to a Witch's familiar) and Bards who fight with the power of their song. But more importantly, it's a classical coming of age tale of a man finding his place in the world, and in this case, a magical and frightening world he had never known existed.

The book begins with the powerful story of Emmett's birth and the portent of doom in the form of an evil grinning mouth clothed in
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at The Solitary Bookworm

What captivated me in requesting this ARC was the cover. I was so drawn to the cover that I immediately clicked without reading what the story was about. The cover was just striking and I wished for the best when I started reading it. I know that it’s not a good idea but we all do it once in a while. Anyway, enough about that. Here’s what I got to say regarding The Waking Dreamer.

The Waking Dreamer is first in series so its crucial for this book to be ex
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: High school reading clubs
First of all I'd like to mention that I got a free copy from NetGalley
So, let's be honest, the cover is definitely a promising one, the sort that catches your eye, the description is even more promising!
But then you read the first chapter which is sort of a prologue, while the real story begins in the second chapter, you see the story through Emmet's eyes, and that's nothing bad, but I think for this specific story an omniscient narrator would be better, because there's so much to know about
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, ebooks
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book through

The Waking Dreamer caught my eye due to the lyrical nature of the title and cover. This is a coming of age/coming into being story about Emmet, who's "adopted" and trying to find his place in the world. We first meet him as he's making his way out of Houston, heading into Florida. The story quickly veers off into urban fantasy when Emmet runs into a Druidic group called "The Children," who work in tandem with Druids (seemingly the
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: diversity
I feel really bad having to say this. The premise of this book is awesome...but the writing fails the story. Badly. There's an overabundance of action scenes at the cost of world building and character development. And probably plot too - I honestly didn't know what was happening most of the time. Although disclaimer, once I hit the 35% mark and I was really not liking it, I skimmed the rest of the book. So if I missed an understanding of what was going on, it's likely that's entirely my own fau ...more
Nov 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Actual rating of 2.5. Check out my full review at: SleepsOnTables

I'm not exactly sure how to summarize The Waking Dreamer besides how it is in the synopsis. I will say that it's a legitimate fantasy book. So if you are not a big fan of those or find them hard to get through I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to you. There are Druids and Bards and evil forces that I hadn't read about before so it was a little overwhelming. It was interesting though following on such an insane journey.

One thin
Wendy Hines
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
First, the cover of The Waking Dreamer totally captivated me. I instantly wanted to know him and his story. His name is Emmett and he has a recurring dream. Emmett is going to be a hero, if his dreams come true, that is. But first, just weeks before his eighteenth birthday, Emmett decides to find his birth mother, so he embarks on a road trip. I love road trip stories, so I was really excited about this premise of the story. What Emmett doesn't know though, is that once he left his caregiver, he ...more
Sasha Hibbs
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*I Received a copy of this novel from Netgalley*

Where has The Waking Dreamer been my entire life? It has been in my dreams and now it awakes! What a ride. The Waking Dreamer was immense, powerful, and thought provoking. I can honestly say I have never read anything quite like it. What an original concept. The evil in The Waking Dreamer sent chills up my spine. At every turn when I finally thought I had it figured out, a curveball whizzed by unraveling my presumptions of the novel.

Filled with cr
* I received the book from the author for a honest review

The book is counted as a Young-Adult and New Adult. My first thought before i started reading the book was ” I LOVE the cover” Seriously tho whoever did the cover art did such a amazing job on it. I love every part of the art work. The quotes in the beginning with William Blake and Alice in Wonderland was so spot on, fantastic way to start the book.

The beginning did confuse me just a little bit, i didn’t really get what was going on until
Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves)
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: action, fantasy
From the moment I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I wanted to read it immediately. I had already assumed I would absolutely love it. Emmett is the main character in this story, and he has reoccurring dreams that will make him a hero, presuming his dreams come true. Just weeks before he turns eighteen, he has made a big decision to find his birth mother, thus starting a road trip.

Along his journey he learns much about himself, while also putting himself in harms way multiple times. This i
Brianna C
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, netgalley
This was certainly one of the more unique books I've read recently and I did enjoy it. I am curious to know what else may happen, but it probably won't be high up on my radar for a sequel.

What I Liked:

I liked the concept. It was kind of cool bringing in druids and bards and what not from nature. It isn't something I've really read anything about so that was pretty cool.

I really liked Emmett and Keiran. They had a pretty funny dynamic with each other and you can tell they really grew to be close
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked the idea of this book. The concept was pretty cool, if not completely original. The first chapter was really more like an epilogue, but it was good at drawing me in to the story. The writing was pretty good, too. I will say that it could get a little long-winded for my liking. I found myself skimming a lot (not something I usually do). The author has a few words that he uses perhaps a few too many
Oct 13, 2013 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I do think this is going to be an awesome book but I can't find the strength to finish it. The synopsis was very interesting but I just can't get into the story no matter how hard I try to.

Maybe I'll pick it again some time in the future, but I have to abandon this FOR NOW.

[Read 11 out of 270 pages (epub version)]

PS. The great poem by William Blake
"Auguries of Innocence"

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to swe
I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the story of Emmmett Brennan, the seventeen year-old orphan. As he wanted to start s new life, he decided to travel to Florida. But on his way there, he is attacked by Revenants and Underdwellers who infect him with the Rot. Enter the woman of his dreams: Amala. He has always had the same dream of a 'serpent-wielding young woman' who along with a good-looking guy, Keiran, saves Emmett and takes him with them to
Shawnda Blake
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Emmett Brennan is an orphan, born under strange circumstances. He never knows where he really came from and eventually sets out on a journey across the country in an attempt to find his roots.

Unfortunately he does not make it very far before he comes face to face with a creature straight out of a nightmare. He is saved by a girl who has been pledged to keep him safe since he was born.

Soon after being rescued, Emmett begins having “waking dreams”. He will see visions while awake that are dark and
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the cover of this book and admit that was what made me consider reading it in the first place. I was lucky enough to be sent a copy by Netgalley in exchange for my review so here it is. The tale is essentially the life story of Emmatt Brennan, a seventeen year old orphan who sets out to find his future and becomes entangled in a world he had no idea existed beyond the films he has so much knowledge of. The Druids and Bards who save his life repeatedly have been present in his drea ...more
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Joshua Elijah Alexander loves veering off the main road in search of abandoned mines, dense bogs, and other ghost-infested settings for future stories. He is an ardent devotee of esotery, sarcastic fringeheads, and jam. Especially jam. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, with near-term plans for lunar relocation, weather permitting. He encourages fans to connect with him online where his attentio ...more
More about J.E. Alexander

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