Jan 17, 2014

Insomnia (The Night Walkers #1), by J. R. Johansson

Disclaimer: All reviews are the result of my personal opinion from a Christian stand-point. These reviews are provided for those who share my beliefs and morals, to help guide what fiction a reader may wish to pick up. For those who do not share these beliefs, please refrain from hateful comments. It is due to rude commenting that I must now include this note prior to all reviews. For more information, visit my purpose behind this blog. Thank you for your understanding.


Intended Age-Group: 12+
Issues of Violence: dark dream sequences involving murder, fire, threats, stalking. Mention of rape attempts.
Intimacy Level: minor kisses
Language: Not enough to stand out.
Other: Sexual harassment from an older man on underage teenagers.
Recommendation: 4 out of 5 stars. Fascinating, but a little dark for my tastes.

All books regarding dreams catch my eye right away for many reasons.
1. I've had a fantasy series involving dreams in my head for over 10 years and still haven't been able to write it.
2. I've also had vivid dreams my entire life.

Insomnia, by J. R. Johnasson was such a unique concept I couldn't help but purchase it. Here's the back cover blurb:

Back Cover Blurb
Her eyes saved his life. Her dreams released his darkness.

After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can't take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he's made eye contact with. If he doesn't sleep soon, Parker will die. 

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that's utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker's furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he'd go. And when someone begins terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker's memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

Initial Reaction: *****

The plot is intense. Let's just start with that. it's a lot darker than I'd expected and at one point, when I was reading it at night, I had to put it down for a few days until I could finish it during the daytime. The author captures the "horror" aspect of what is happening in Parker's life perfectly. Maybe it hits home more with me because of having a long life of dreams. Whatever the fact, it was captivating in a somewhat terrifying type of way.

Plot: *****

The plot continued to twist and turn and surprise me. I love that about a good plot. However, the ending of the book left me with a shrug. Finding out the answer to the mystery villain was a little less impressive than the rest of the story, but that's okay. It didn't weaken the book, it just kept the book from being...phenomenal. In my opinion. Problem is, I'm not sure how it should have ended.

Overall Recommendation: (3.5 stars)
Overall, this plot was delivered in the best possible way for the storyline. I don't really fancy dark reads like this, but for those who do, this one's right up your alley. There are also many mature themes, I leave it to your discretion.

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, released September 2014 from Enclave Publishing. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at http://nadinebrandes.com.

I used Grammarly's online proofreader because originality will always wear it best. 

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