Author: Felicitas Ivey
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages/Word Count: 290 Pages
At a Glance: Fantasy and urban fantasy collide in the most epic way possible
Blurb: The Trust and its battle-hardened recruits are fighting a horrific war, a war between the humans of this world and the demons of the Dreamlands. In this shadowy battle, Keno Inuzaka is merely a pawn: first an innocent bystander imprisoned and abused by the Trust, then a captive of a demononi when taken to the Dreamlands.
But oni SamojirouAboshi treats the human with unexpected care and respect, and the demon only just earns Keno’s trust when a team from the Trust arrives to exploit the Dreamlands’ magic.
As the war spreads across both worlds, Keno is torn between them. If he survives, he faces a decision: go home and carve out a new life under the Trust’s thumb… or stay in the Dreamlands and find freedom in love.
Review: Oh my God, this book. I stayed up way too late reading it when I had to work the next morning, and after I had been sick for days, but it doesn’t matter; it was so worth it.
Felicitas Ivey has created an imaginative, beautiful world where mythology lives on, and an alternate, urban fantasy world for us where sometimes those demons from the Dreamlands cross over into ours. The creatures are fantastic and vivid, the characters are engaging, and the situations are explosive.
The story is told through the perspectives of three very different characters: Samojirou, and oni from the Dreamlands; Keno, a young man kidnapped by the Trust, abused by them, and then kidnapped by the “demons”; and Mason, a TC from the Trust who is starting to question everything that happens. Each voice is unique because of the different ways they interact with the world. There are secondary characters that are just as strong, who you either love or loathe and want to die in the most vicious way possible.
I should warn readers that the story does not start off pleasant. Both the world of the Trust and the world of the Dreamlands can be brutal. Ironically (or maybe not), it’s our world that seems to be worse even though the Dreamlands are filled with monsters and demons. When reading this, the line between monster and human starts to blur and you start to question, what makes a monster? As I said, the story does not start off in a lovely happy place. There is violence, gore, and rape. The rape is not shown on the page, though, but is mentioned several times as it drives some of the characters throughout the novel.
While there is a romance element to Dreamlands, it is not the focus, so if you’re looking for straight up romance, or fantasy with a heavy romance element, this is not the book for you. But I think you should give it a chance anyway, because the book is that awesome. And while this is the first in a series (and what looks like it could be a very long one!), if you don’t want to get invested in a lengthy series no worries; the novel ends in a place where this could stand alone. While I want to read more—and believe me, I most definitely will read more—I am completely satisfied with the ending. I want more of the characters, but all of the threads were closed up by the end of the book and I wasn’t left hanging. It was such a relief to read a book like that!
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I look forward to seeing more of the characters in this series and watching Samojirou and Keno’s relationship progress even more.
You can buy Dreamlands here: