Saturday, February 8, 2014

"Dreamwalker" by S. L. Seay

by S. L. Seay

I came across Dreamwalker as a member of the Goodreads Lovers of Paranormal Read to Review Group.

What would you do for your family, your best friends? Would you die for them?
Jordan Lewis always knew she was a little different from her friends Lauren and Audrey, but she never would guess just how much. As Jordan's seventeenth birthday draws closer her dreams become more vivid, almost real. Until she finds herself in her own dreams, or is it really a dream? Jordan and her friends embark on a journey to find the truth about their past. While finding old loved ones and maybe new ones too.
But at what cost? What price will have to be paid? A life for a life? Where there is death there will always be death ...

My Favorite Lines
"Softball is all I'm really good at, except for books. I love to read, I could sit on the front porch swing and read all day if my mamma would let me."
"I felt like I was in one of my books. Except in my books nobody dies and everyone lives happily ever after."
"I was getting whiplash from her mood swings."
"She was like a volcano, beautiful to look at but under the right pressure she would sure blow."

Jordan Lewis is sixteen going on seventeen. She has vivid dreams that are starting to get more and more real. When Jordan and her best friends, Lauren and Audrey, suddenly end up in the town of Jordan's dreams, they discover that all is not as it seems. Why does the old hunchback woman keep calling her "dream walker"? Why does Jordan feel like she knows the charismatic Duke after only just having met him? What mystery lies behind the disappearance of Lauren's mother and little brother two years ago? How will the girls get back home? And what will happen when they do? Jordan has a decision to make before her seventeenth birthday in two weeks' time. And it will be the hardest decision of her life.
Let me get this out of the way, so that I have something good to say at the end. I was appalled at the amount of mistakes this book contained, but I didn't want to give the book an unfair rating if the version I read was a draft. When I found out the book had been edited and re-published by Bar Publishing, I asked for and received a copy of the edited version. Upon re-reading, I discovered that only about 10% of the errors have been corrected. It looks like they can't even decide if it should be "dreamwalker" or "dream walker"; the edited version has switched to "dream walker" everywhere except on the cover! Speaking of the cover, although I didn't like the original cover,

the Bar Publishing version is even worse.
The mistakes continue even before the first page, with "Acknoglegments" instead of "Acknowledgments". The narrative mixes past and present tenses, the sentences run on, there is a lack of punctuation (apostrophes, commas, full stops, italics, quotation marks, capital letters), and innumerable compound words are written as separate words. Another personal bugbear: the book ends on a cliff-hanger. It even has the words "The End", but then it goes straight into another segment entitled "Audrey". Is this the beginning of the sequel? Please explain!
When I initially noticed this was going to be bad, I started cataloging the incorrect word usage errors (these numbers are from the original version but, as stated previously, only about 10% of the errors have been corrected in the revised version). Take note: this proves "spell-check" is not good enough, as all of these are all actual words, just incorrectly used:
accord for occurred,
along for alone,
are for our,
bald for balled,
barley for barely,
bourdon for burden (I actually learned a new word here),
breathes for breaths,
bulling for bullying,
Canine for Cayman,
chocking for choking,
city's for cities,
clicks for cliques,
collogue for collage (another new word for me),
complement for compliment,
conceder for consider,
concisely for consciously,
creped for creeped,
defiantly for definitely,
do for due (2 times),
doted for dotted,
effecting for affecting,
families for family's,
gas for grass,
hoped for hopped,
imaging for imagining,
lead for led,
lightening for lightning,
morn for mourn,
past for passed (7),
pens for pins,
pined for pinned,
planed for planned,
quite for quiet (3),
remolded for remodeled (2),
resent for recent,
resolute for resolved,
ruff for rough,
sent for scent (2),
shoeing for shooing,
since for sense,
there for their (4),
there for they're,
threw for through (2),
through for threw,
tired for tried,
to for too (15),
too for to (9),
too for two (2),
use to for used to (16),
waste for waist,
weather for whether,
were ever for wherever (2),
were for where (5),
where for were (2),
whipped for wiped (2),
whipping for wiping,
whose for who's,
why for way,
women for woman, and
your for you're (17). 
Despite all of this, I actually loved the story. While I found it to be quite original, it did have elements that reminded me of James DiBenedetto's Dream Student, Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere, Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, and even Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. The narrator has a great voice. Even the run-on sentences and bad grammar can be excused as the way a teenager would actually speak. But it's still hard to get over the appalling lack of editing, even to the point of using some words I've never heard of before (bourdon and collogue) instead of the correct words (burden and collage). I would give this book a higher rating if it were properly edited. If you can get past these issues, you'll enjoy the story.

From the Author
I live in South Alabama where I grew up! I have three beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband that keep me busy when I'm not working full time or writing! I have loved to read and write since I was in school. I never thought I would ever be able to say that I am an author but here I am and so happy to be doing what I do! I hope to bring everyone into the world of fantasy with me!!