From the Dream Walker Trilogy series , Vol. 1

A dark and exciting paranormal adventure that will keep patient genre fans up late.

Joshlyn is expert at entering and resolving others’ nightmares, but there’s a new and forceful evil plaguing the Dream world that even she can’t beat.

Dream walkers can die within others’ nightmares, but without their intervention, the balance between the Dream and the World will be disrupted with disastrous consequences. Josh comes from a long line of dream walkers, but she carries with her the responsibility of her boyfriend’s death. So when she’s assigned an apprentice, Will, on her 17th birthday, she balks at the responsibility and intimacy. Will proves to be a worthy partner, however, when a pair of evil, trench-coated men with completely black eyes and carrying gas masks invades the Dream universe, rendering dreamers comatose in both realms. As the plot deepens, Will and Josh barely have time to pay attention to their growing fondness for each other. It becomes increasingly clear that Josh’s role in the battle is her ultimate destiny as these black-eyed creatures cross the veil into the waking World. Alloway explores the complexities of dream-walking politics in detail, with the result that worldbuilding feels laborious rather than organic. Between this and a plethora of characters, the plot drags, but the nightmare vignettes are rivetingly chilling.

A dark and exciting paranormal adventure that will keep patient genre fans up late. (Paranormal romance. 13-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-06366-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014


A fresh, generous, wide-ranging compendium of frights.

Spooky stories covering multiple subgenres, plus some added attractions.

Few horrific tropes or creepy conventions are overlooked in Duplessie’s debut. The stories are arranged into six sections: “Short Frights for Dark Nights,” “Anatomical Anomalies,” “Five Minutes in the Future,” “Be Careful Who You Trust,” “The Dark Web,” and “The Unearthly, the Ghoulish, and the Downright Monstrous.” Some of the best entries are grounded in familiar setups, but Duplessie is careful to avoid repetition. The stories’ relatively short lengths and the crisp, direct writing style make this volume inviting for even reluctant readers, but it doesn’t shy away from the truly terrifying and grotesque. That said, the grisliest events are often described with poetic elegance rather than gratuitous violence: “His face collapsed like an empty paper bag.” The stories frequently conclude with the suggestion of frights to come rather than graphic depictions. One ends with an overly curious girl getting sealed up in a brick wall. Another foreshadows the murderous power of a cellphone. Highlights include the eerie “The Reaping,” in which the prick of a rose’s thorn triggers a spate of bloodlust, and “Chamber of Horrors,” which features a murderous iron maiden. Each story ends with a bonus in the form of a QR code and instructions to “scan the code for a scare”—if readers dare. Short, eerie poems are peppered throughout; there are even a handful of riddles. Most characters read white; names cue some ethnic diversity.

A fresh, generous, wide-ranging compendium of frights. (Horror. 13-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2023

ISBN: 9780063266483

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Clarion/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023


A story to sink one’s teeth into.

In this vampire thriller set in Mahurin’s Serpent and Dove series, the darkness a young woman fears most is hungry for her blood.

Six months ago, Célie Tremblay helped kill a terrorizing sorceress after enduring unspeakable horrors at her hands. Scarred but not broken, she took the Chasseurs’ sacred vow to protect her world from evil magic. She is hell-bent on proving herself, but even bronze-skinned Jean Luc, her captain and fiance, acts like she’s fragile, and she cannot abide being treated like a doll. Striking off on her own, pale, green-eyed Célie is plunged into a world she thought only existed in fairy tales and nightmares. With unlikely allies by her side, she must confront an evil so strong that it’s sickening even the realms beyond life. Mahurin crafts a heady, convoluted tale that could have been several hundred pages shorter. The story walks a thin line between serious gothic horror and spoof. Though the plot leans heavily into its clichés, it delivers some genuinely shocking twists, and it’s all too easy to become invested in Célie’s plight. She is a willful, headstrong, and eminently relatable narrator whose emotional outbursts, impulsivity, and keen wit frustrate and delight in equal measure. The romance elements feel neither forced nor entirely natural, but regardless, they make for compelling drama. A colorful cast of supporting characters does much to enliven the richly vivid setting.

A story to sink one’s teeth into. (Paranormal. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780063258754

Page Count: 640

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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