Before I Wake
Kathryn Smith
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Buy *Before I Wake: The Nightmare Chronicles* by Kathryn Smith online

Before I Wake: The Nightmare Chronicles
Kathryn Smith
384 pages
July 2008
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Dawn is a Nightmare - not a bad dream, but someone who enters people's dreams to help them use them to deal with problems. Uniquely, she's also half human, doing in the human world a similar job: a sleep therapist who uses psychotherapy to help people who are having problems with the dreams. She's noticed Noah Clarke, of course, not only because he's a rather unusual Lucid Dreamer but also because he's very hot.

When Dawn finds a night Terror attacking her own sleep, she realizes that she should have learned more about her Nightmare side rather than rejecting it. When she discovers that the same Terror of her dream is attacking Noah Clarke, she knows that there is something more significant going on. Her father, Morpheus, might be able to give her instruction in defending herself from this Terror, Karatos, but she's left it awfully late to start learning. With Noah and Dawn getting closer but Noah still keeping much of himself hidden, Dawn has to use all her resources to try to find out how to defeat Karatos and how, as the unique half-human, half-Dreamkin, to not cause a problem within politics in the dreamworld.

This very enjoyable book by Kathryn Smith features some interesting characters, a story that is by no means predictable, and a central romance believable rocky moments and arguments. With effective pacing, the book reaches a satisfactory conclusion (although there are still many unanswered questions). My interest wavered a little in a couple of sections where it felt repetitive to follow Noah and Dawn going to find Karatos and failing to triumph, but overall it's good to read a book that's different and stars a rather unusual heroine.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2008

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