Saturday, January 2, 2021

Retro Horror Vol 6 - The Devil's Dreamer


So Stormi and I finished our yearly Retro Horror reads project/challenge and guess what, we had so much fun, we're continuing into 2021!  I wish I could say I picked a great one this month but read on to see what really happened.  I think Stormi had better luck so head over to her blog next at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and see what she read.

TITLE: The Devil's Dreamer 
AUTHOR: Alice Brennan
PUBLISHER: Prestige Books
PAGES: 253 (too many)
SOURCE: Personal Library

FROM GOODREADS: Can You Die In A Dream? 
This was impossible — this room, this place. Where was she, and how had she come to be here? Carsa caught her breath on a sob of relief, for it was morning, and daylight was filtering through the drawn shades. 
Then she saw that the light, which was very bright and had a strange bluish cast, came from only one spot. It seemed to come from a woman who stood in a large circle. Long hair, pale and silky, flowed over her shoulders and blue eyes burned bright with golden light. There was something horrifyingly familiar about the face, and Carsa struggled with a memory that was just out of reach. Then the woman spoke. 
“This is a dream. Everything that happens to you, everyone you meet, is part of the dream. When you awaken, it will be an awakening to death…”  

I thought I was being really smart this month and grabbing a book that was already on my own personal shelf. I don't remember how I obtained it but I wish I did because I would travel back in time and change that decision! I REALLY disliked this book. So much in fact that I am sort of convinced I may have already read my worst book of 2021. And it's only January 1st!

So Carsa Winters is in her early 20s and lives with her good friend Liz in New York City. She works for a publishing company and has a very promising future. She usually sleeps soundly at night and never dreams but one night that changes. She has a dream, set in the 1800's, so real and so vivid that she's convinced it's real. She is fearful of her dream husband, who is cruel and withholding their new baby, Esmeth, from her. She even believes she has met the people in her dream before, except that they were actually other people. Carsa begins to fear sleep which leads her to staying up all the time, not eating, and making stupid decisions. She questions everything... and I mean EVERYTHING. She finally starts wondering which is real - her dream or what she perceives to be reality. She treats everyone trying to help her like crap and drinks lots and lots of coffee. Wish I could tell you more but I can't.

I am pretty sure I discovered the first major unreliable narrator in book history (not really but it sounds good right)? I sort of liked Carsa's roommate Liz who may have actually been Liz or who might have actually been her baby/non-existent baby's nursemaid. Are you confused yet?

This book should not have been categorized as Gothic Horror. I can sort of see why it was tagged as Gothic but it was a horrific read, not one filled with horror. I will be honest and admit from about page 180 on I skimmed and then read the last chapter and was disappointed once again. My only hope for this book was that Carsa/Mincy died. And SPOILER ALERT - she didn't. Yep, sometimes I can be that kind of person who wishes for dreadful things to happen to dreadful people. If you are thinking about picking this book up, DON'T. I feel that's the best advice I can offer.



  1. Ha ha I don't think I've ever seen a one star review on your blog. I'll definitely stay away from this one!

    1. I don't have them often. I think almost EVERYONE should stay away from this one and I RARELY say that.

  2. Hopefully February will be kinder to you when we do this again! This sounds awful!

    1. I am hoping so as well and yes, it was pure torture.

  3. That cover is so spooky. But seesh!! Thanks for the heads up about this one!

  4. Unreliable narrators are generally not for me!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. You know Anne, they rarely work for me either. I find myself wanting to smack them (not really...well...)

  5. If it is your worst book you got it out of the way. Ha ha! 😁

    Happy New Year! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  6. Ugh that character sounds like a whiny nightmare! I'd have been hoping she died too! I can't be bothered with MCs who annoy me in my books!

  7. Oh no! The first book being the worst. I had a bit of a disappointing first read but it wasn't that bad. This is a really cool project. I'm trying to discover what I like in horror but I'm more into the newer indie books because I can just buy them on kindle. I feel like it's harder to find retro horror. I look forward to seeing what you read in the future!