Gmr's Reviews > Death's Dream Kingdom

Death's Dream Kingdom by Jessica Penot
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Oct 13, 2011

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Read from October 13 to 15, 2011

A rather heavy story ...filled with life and death (and the in-between), gods and goddesses, demons and myths. Everything from the light to the darkest dark comes to life as the Fates weave their tapestry. It had me pondering whether or not I may have bitten off more than I could chew.


Cera, our leading lady, begins life in a most ordinary way, but it’s ended very suddenly leaving her in spirit form to continue on her journey…and although she doesn’t know it, carry out a prophesized upheaval within Death’s Dream Kingdom. It’s a task she’s not prepared for but one that in time will come as naturally to her as breathing albeit much harder thanks to events yet to unfold. One of those events is her meeting the “ruler” of this purgatory-type kingdom, Dismis. Let’s just say this is one fellow (or whatever he was/is) that you DO NOT want to tangle with. Second meeting to note is her introduction to Adewyn. Though she doesn’t know it (yet), he’s the love of her life and the connection fostered between them is irrepressible…the stuff legends are made of.

Another character whose name will cause you a curious grin…Sin. Sin’s character is hard to puzzle out as her allegiances are murky at best. One moment she seems friend, next your instincts are screaming foe….the truth is uncovered over the course of the story though, leading to a fitting end and a well of respect for the hardships endured. One of my favorite appearances was the presence of the Fates as I’ve always found their lore most intriguing…complex and a bit scary, yes…but intriguing nonetheless. To summarize, the characters are a mix of myth, legend, and religion all blended together to make one heck of a brew.


A brief "warning" or two just to touch on quickly. First up, language. The few sensual scenes are chaste enough, but the language? Oye, my head! It’s no ‘Trespass’ and most of it is sporadic…during the first half. The second half, to put it somewhat bluntly, just because one is talking with a demon or happens to be one, does not mean you have to call someone vulgar names multiple times in ONE conversation.

Second item on the table for discussion is sentence structure. A large portion of the text had me wincing to some degree because of the continual use of short sentences. It’s a bit too step by step and breaks up the flow of the story for the reader. Again, purely my opinion, and obviously neither “point” was so strong that I had to stop reading.

Last but not least, something that either gets too much discussion or not enough…the cover image; beautiful is it not? At first glance, I merely saw the young woman at the top looking up (back?) to the heavens for what…I wasn’t certain….and the predominantly red cover. As with most books, there was careful planning when this particular combination was decided upon and after completing my journey through the story, I can now see how they fit together. Did you catch the graveyard in the back image there? How about the expansive river? Each is a piece of the overall puzzle that when finally revealed, brings things to a natural order.

All in all, though I began the book perplexed as to how much I would enjoy the story, in the end…I felt satisfied with the journey taken. It’s a beautiful world that author Jessica Penot has created, though not always in the conventional sense of the word. The paths she’s given her characters are riddled with choices and believe you me, there is a right option and a wrong option even if it’s not always clear. A picture perfect masterpiece? Depends on your point of view….but from where I’m sitting, it’s certainly a book worth your notice.
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Reading Progress

10/13/2011 page 13
5.73% "So far, the story is interesting and Cera's reaction to her own passing is quite understandable...BUT....the uber abundance of short sentences? That's kinda getting to me... *-* ... *keeping open mind*"
10/13/2011 page 15
6.61% "Wow...the tree of life sounds amazing!"
10/13/2011 page 15
6.61% "Sin's character is unusual to say the least...very black and white. Overall, I'm anxious to see the depth of the characters grow...right now we're still very 2D. Early on though, so hopes still high. ^_^"
10/13/2011 page 33
14.54% "Okay so let me get this straight...*scratches head*....nope, never mind. A bit confused as to who is who and why they're doing what they're doing.....though the reaper bit is cool."
10/13/2011 page 55
24.23% "The Tree of Life sounds great...but the Tree of Death? not so much...O-O"
10/15/2011
100.0% "Done! This was a hard one to put into words, so pardon the lack of progress updates. The story is rather heavy and there's a lot to wrap your mind around....but the ending is well worth the journey. Review to come..."

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