Pros: Fascinating world; hooked me
Cons: Moderately stand-alone
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
When I received Danielle Monsch’s The Dream Crafter (Entwined Realms Book 5) as a review book, I didn’t know it was a book from that far along in a series. I found it pretty easy to follow along, although it was obvious that I was missing a lot of context for many of the characters. Also there was one section I couldn’t get a handle on, and I presume that’s because it relates to the earlier books. Not a bad volume to step in on, but not a good one either.
The Dream Crafter is an urban fantasy mixed with some erotic romance and a bit of a thriller. Amana can walk through dreams, but she doesn’t know the half of what she’s capable of. Someone else, however, has figured it out. They’re promising to see Amana’s brother Nakoa released from jail and returned to her–the only thing she wants right now–if she uses her powers steal a ‘spellbook’ from a mercenary called simply ‘Merc’. Naturally it isn’t as simple as all that. Everyone seems to be after either the book or Amana herself. It turns out Merc has no choice but to get the book back and deliver it intact, so even when he starts falling for Amana, he can’t just turn over the book to her.
The book contains a plethora of secondary characters, most of which I expect show up in earlier books, but they were handled deeply enough that I didn’t have much of a problem with that. There are some coincidences that struck me as a bit much. It won’t give anything away to mention that Amana’s early dream-walks with a sexy man of course turn out to have been with Merc, before she was ever asked to get anything from him; the timing felt highly unlikely. I also sometimes felt like Amana should have figured out more that she could do with her powers once she and Merc are on the run and being hunted.
Once things really picked up I got pulled in and really enjoyed the story. While the initial bit of heat between Merc and Amana seemed a little contrived, it picked up into a pleasing erotic romance. There’s plenty of action and tension later on, and thankfully the book everyone wants becomes more than just a MacGuffin. The plot is simple but tense.
Ultimately I enjoyed The Dream Crafter, but it only moderately made me want to read more of the series.
NOTE: Book provided free for review by publisher