July 1, 2013

Dreams of Gray by Maurice Lawless

Dreams of Gray (The Marked Clan, #1)

Dreama Cargill is in trouble. She woke up naked, cold, and sporting a back mural. Where did it come from? Tattoos aren’t her usual scene. Then again, neither is blood and a strange attraction to the woods at night. Something is changing her, and not for the better. Can she unravel the mystery before the moon calls her to kill?

My Thoughts

Overall, I wasn't too impressed to be honest. Like I will give him his props for giving werewolves a different twist, but I just wasn't that into it. I will also give him major credit on the layout of the plot. It had enough twists and turns to keep my attention. And I love the cover. God, you guys know how I love a great cover story. 

 It was interesting enough to hold my attention but not interesting enough to make me go, "WOW!" I think the biggest problem I had with was the characters. I did like Dree but I didn't identify with her. I understood her, liked her in some parts, but I didn't like bond with her as the main character. I think if he spent a little more time on her and less time on her sex life, it could have been a lot better. 

But let's break this down.

Characters: I don't absolutely, positively love the characters. I like them and can relate to them. I like Dree well enough. But I do not like PJ at all. Something about her bothers me so much. Needless to say, in real life, she would definitely not be my friend. 

She's a slob, she is constantly cussing like a sailor for no reason. She came into a bathroom cussing about how she had to go. To me, that is just so classless. She is always calling Dree a ho.

Which granted, she may be one, but why bring your friend down like that? I just can't stand derogatory name calling. I expect an enemy to call her a ho, not her friend. Maybe it's a culture difference, since I know girlfriends may call each other b-words and such, but I just can't identify with someone like that. 

I also didn't like Slate but I liked her character development. She just came across to me like a stalker gone wrong. I just wish there could have been a different angle the author could have gone off from. I can see the layers that he built in her. I can see all of the time he spent developing her character, but I just couldn't like her either.

I think the only character I kinda liked more than Dree was Alan. But to me, he's a punk. He's a nice guy, he's a loyal guy. I liked his character a lot. I could also identify with him. He would be the guy you would bring home to your mother and be proud of. But I can't stand his, "We can make it through any problems you have baby!" attitude. Like that, to me, is a slight indication of desperation. You want to be in a relationship so bad, you are willing to go through practically Hades and back for a girl who treats you like crap.

That's a punk.

**SPOIL ALERT** If you don't want to know about the love interest and how it ends, turn away NOW!

 Like I understand this isn't a paranormal romance (which is clearly identified in the beginning as such), but why introduce a guy who could really have Dree's back then tear him away? I understand that there's a lot going on. I understand that he adds nothing to plot line. However, I'm a hopeless romantic. If a guy is great guy in all aspects (which Dree admits), then why not develop a romantic interest there? It's like she used him like a condom. And I can't really stand that about her character. I know there are people like her all over the world and probably have their own show (Keeping Up With the Kardashians rings a bell), but still. 

The author really annoyed me with the love interest. That's all.

**SPOIL ALERT OVER** You may now look at the rest of the review without me spoiling it for you. :)

Plot: I can't argue with this: He developed the plot well. The only problem I had was pacing. Some bits were too fast and some were too slow. But that's me being a bit picky. He could have done it on purpose but I still felt in some places the pacing was a bit off.

I also didn't like the fact that every chapter had some sort of sex in it. To me, that doesn't add to the plot. I get it, sex is part of it, but I still think it could have been left out. Like I'm a bit old school with romance. I get where he was going with it, and the changes. But at the same time, I think it could have been done a bit better. And with less graphic stuff in it. I just wasn't into it.

Granted, she's an adult. She's single. However, did he have to make it so focused on sex? I don't think so. Besides, I think some of the sex-fueled stuff could have been shown in other ways. I would go into it, but I'm trying not to ruin the story for you.

Setting: I didn't even know we were in the south, much less Houston. I didn't hear a y'all, any southern sayings or anything. And y'all know I'm from the south. I was so excited, then the author didn't use any terms that were from that place. I was slightly disappointed. We could have been anywhere.

Additionally, we didn't get any other mention of the weather or anything. I wish he could have delved deeper into the culture down there instead of doing a drive-by style: The setting is in Houston and now we're going to keep moving with the plot.

Now, I could be wrong about the sayings not being there, but for me, there wasn't any. Maybe the author could point them out to me. That would be great, then I will retract my comment.

Ending: I liked the ending a lot. It was a nice ending, I just wish it ended differently. The author stated the reasons why he ended like that, but for me, it could have been better.

Overall: Would I recommend this book?

Probably not, even though it is a free book. 

Especially if you are picky, like me, about some of the issues I had. 

I know you guys are looking at me and asking, "What?! It's a FREE book, why are you complaining?"

Because I've had better free books. I've had free books that have made me cry and tell the whole world how great this book is. And just because it's free, doesn't mean the quality should be lower. My expectations are still there. Granted, they may be a bit more forgiving, but still my expectations are still up there.

I hold the same standards for indie or traditionally published. Free or not free book. Of course, I'll be a bit more critical of the paid book (since I had to pay for it), but still. I expect the same overall.

And before y'all criticize me, yes, I know my views are slanted. I totally know I root for the underdog. The indie authors. However, my standards are the same: Make great characters and plot, and I will love you forever. And I will wait for your wonderful books to come out. Just keep the quality the same. That is literally all I ask. Keep the quality up and I will not whip you like you stole something from me. 

Bonus points for great sarcasm and wit. Bonus points if the main character is a minority. Double bonus points  if you incorporate both.

Anyway, that's what I thought of this book. If you had a different experience with this book, please let me know! I would love to talk about it more in depth. 

And please, never stop reading!

1 comment:

  1. I'm the author, and I appreciate the honest review. I'll admit - this wasn't my best work. Not to excuse it, but it was also my first. I haven't entirely discounted the idea of releasing an updated/revised version, especially with a sequel out now (RED). I do hope you'll consider reading one of my other works. I have review copies of all of them and I'd be glad to pass one along.