Don’t fall asleep! A Review of Dream Alchemist by Joanna Chambers

Title: Dream Alchemist (Somnus #1)
Author: Joanna Chambers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy, m/m romance
Rating: 5 stars
Source: copy provided by NetGalley
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Keep an eye out for an interview with Joanna Chambers about Dream Alchemist later this week!

When the sun goes down, their passion awakens…and so do their nightmares.

Centuries ago, a man with Bryn Llewelyn’s dreamwalking ability would have been a shaman or a priest. In this time, he’s merely exhausted, strung out on too much caffeine and too little sleep.

Sleep means descent into Somnus—an alternate reality constructed of the combined dreaming consciousness of ordinary humans. A place he’d rather avoid. Trouble is, his powers don’t include the ability to go without sleep indefinitely. At some point his eyes close…and his nightmare begins.

As a teen, the treatment that cured Laszlo Grimm’s sleep disorder stole his dreams—and his ability to feel emotion. Petrified of needing more “treatment”, he clings to familiar rituals and habits. But lately his nightly terror has returned, and when he meets Bryn in the real world, the man seems hauntingly familiar. Not only that, Bryn awakens feelings in Laszlo for the first time in years…

Slowly Bryn and Laszlo realize they are both unknowing pawns in a plan of unspeakable evil. And that their powerful attraction could release the destinies locked within them—or be the instrument of their doom.

Review: Be ready to be drawn into a fantastically woven dreamworld, a mystery, a romance and adventures. The author starts this series with quite the bang.

Dream Alchemist is the first in a new series that involves dreams and dreamwalkers. The first book focusses on Bryn and Laszlo. Bryn really doesn’t like to sleep. When he sleeps he is drawn into Somnus – the dream world – where a lot is possible. Not all to Bryn’s liking. He’s become very adept into trying to go without sleep for extended periods of time.

It’s in Somnus where he is drawn to a hidden place and he encounters Laszlo. Or rather, the dream zombie version of Laszlo. Suddenly Bryn’s life becomes a whole lot more interesting. The question remains, can Bryn and Laszlo survive long enough to get to know each other?

I do so love an Urban Fantasy story where the characters are not your typical paranormal creatures. With Somnus, the author creates an original and refreshing paranormal world with a whole new game plan. There is quite a lot of worldbuilding in Dream Alchemist, but it’s woven expertly into the story, so that it doesn’t overwhelm or give pages upon pages of description. Bryn is our narrator, but he doesn’t know all that is going on, so we find out along with him.

Bryn is an interesting character. He tries to be tough and streetwise, but in truth he is just a lost boy.
Laszlo is the rich gorgeous playboy, who is tormented by his dreams. So much so that in the past he sought out therapy. It’s his fear for his dreams that stops him from seeing his true purpose in Somnus. He’s all tough and arrogant and quite the playboy, but he’s also strong.

The romance between Bryn and Laszlo is fast. Not exactly instant, but there is that definite pull between the two that means they are meant to be. I would have liked for it to be a bit slower. However, the focus of the story is not all on the romance between Bryn and Laszlo, so taken all together, it’s in balance with the rest of the story.

There are several supporting characters that are part of the story, not just fillers. It also shows that they have a role to play in future books and I can’t wait to see them again!

The writing for Dream Alchemist is strong, flowing and balanced. While the author is not one to mince words, she does create a nice flowing story where the reader is part of the story and the story is not told. There are several unexplained angles in the story, but they leave the door open for the next books.

Overall, Dream Alchemist is a promising first start of a new series. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Why you should read it: Dream Alchemist is a thrilling new start of an Urban Fantasy story with romance, action and adventure.

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