*If you’re considering starting this series, you might want to check out my review of Book 1 since it covers certain things that I’m not going to repeat in this review.*
I actually ended up liking this book more the second time I read it. Somehow it seemed less confusing, and I think appreciated the non-paranormal aspects more.
See, Roman was just a really well-written character. He had so much depth and was constantly struggling with this inner darkness—and not the paranormal kind. He went through this major character arc in Book 2… or so I thought. Because this time he seemed to regress. I don’t mean that as a negative thing about the book though, it was a purposeful part of his character’s journey. And that was what made him so interesting to read about, that struggle between being that not-so-great person he used to be and sometimes still was and the good person he wanted to be. His relationship with his father was complicated and screwed up too because of how Roman kept acting, but, at the same time, it was also touching and a little bit heart-breaking. So I loved the chapters about Roman.
Bryn’s chapters, however, I didn’t love. The problem with this book, the reason for the lower rating, is that a lot of the paranormal stuff was inconsistent and unexplained and seemed random. And that’s just a pet peeve of mine, when the magic or paranormal stuff in books starts going haywire and changing from scene to scene with seemingly no set of rules about how it works and what’s possible. I understood generally what was going on, just not why or how it was possible.
I also didn’t like how the scope got even bigger and how, because of that, Bryn became less human and didn’t seem to care much about Roman anymore. I just felt distanced from her. Maybe I should be praising her for keeping her priorities straight rather than fawning over a boy while the world was at stake, but I just don’t find it realistic when characters become too removed from personal things and emotions. That being said, after reading Book 4, I realized she was written that way on purpose and it was part of her arc, so I’m not sure how to feel about it now.
Another thing to mention, the first time I read it, I found the writing really flowery and had a hard time understanding it, but for some reason I didn’t have that problem at all this time.
Lastly, I was bothered by the memory altering that happened in this book. I don’t like the idea of changing anyone’s memories at all. Even changing something small ranges anywhere from morally questionable to morally reprehensible, but I can excuse a small change in certain situations. But the extent to which memories were changed in this book made me uncomfortable, even though it was done with good intent.
So I was frustrated by the constantly changing paranormal stuff and the impersonal vibe I got from Bryn since those are particular pet peeves of mine, but this book was not poorly written, and Roman still had interesting character development.
Fans of Books 1 and 2 in Laekan Zea Kemp's The Girl in Between Series. Anyone who likes dark paranormal fantasy and character development and doesn't mind changing paranormal aspects and an open-for-interpretation ending. Anyone who wants to read an amazingly realistic portrayal of chronic illness (in Books 1 and 2).
More Books in the Series:
Growing up, Bryn’s nightmares and the debilitating sleep episodes that came with them were what made her weak. But now that she’s learned how to manipulate the dreams, they’re what make her strong. Strength she’ll need now that the shadows have finally trapped her in a nightmare too dark and deep for Roman to reach.
But his nightmares are just as dangerously real. Roman’s past has come back to haunt him, and miles away from Bryn, their both forced to fight for their lives. Alone. But they’re not the only ones whose fate hangs in the balance.
As the countdown to Bryn’s eighteenth birthday continues, a strange epidemic sweeps the globe, and children are falling into comas at an alarming rate. When Bryn finally comes face to face with the monster controlling the shadows, it’s clear that she isn’t the first Dreamer he’s captured, and unless she can find a way to wake back into her body and stop him from wreaking havoc in the real world, she won’t be the last.