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The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review of The Waking Dreamer by J.E. Alexander

The Waking Dreamer by J.E. Alexander


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal


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 always the same. Emmett will soon save her. Then the supposed hero awakens to his unremarkable life, awaiting the next night and the same maddeningly familiar dream.

Seventeen-year-old orphan Emmett Brennan remembers nothing of his past—not the boiler room in which his needle-ravaged mother gave birth to him, nor the Druids who tenderly delivered him. He can’t remember the cabal-summoned Revenant that clawed itself from shadow to hunt him, or why his mystical midwives hid him from the necromantic creature. Approaching adulthood, he is unaware of the dark forces that still search for him or the mysterious sentinels who secretly protect him, but on the eve of his eighteenth birthday that will change. The Revenants will find him. Only the young woman from his dreams can help him confront all he was once made to forget. Together, they will brave the nightmarish landscape Emmett’s waking world will soon become.


Reading this book was a bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of how I felt about it. 

It's not every day you come across a story that has Druids and Bards in it, and develop it beyond the stereotypical pagan tree-worshippers. I can say that the characters in The Waking Dreamer are developped the limited stereotype, but it was still a huge dissapointment.

It started out with a bang and hooked me right in. Then it sort of fizzles out. It continues like this throughout the novel.

There was something about Emmett after the first couple chapters that bothered me, though I couldn't quite place my finger on what it was. I realized what it was about half way through. Emmett never asks any questions, even when he should. He doesn't seem to accept the burdern of people dying for him, takes no responsibility for it. It is not a well written, strong lead character. He is a character who I find it impossible to relate to.

On the subject of deaths, there is so much death. I feel like the author is trying to make a point of how scary and badass he is but it is just excessive and pointless. 

One of the very few redeeming qualities of this book is Amalah, who is a strong female character who takes no crap from anyone. She is a badass fighter and very intelligent. However she is not present for most of the book, which is dissapointing. 

I never found the explaination of what exactly the Waking Dreamer is very satisfying. The ending was cliche. Blah.

Purchase: Amazon | Goodreads

Other Books By This Author:  The Waking Dreamer is currently J.E. Alexander's only book, but is the first in a series of 5 novels. The second one is planned to be released in Summer 2014.

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