Dreams of Gray

Rated 3.71/5 based on 7 reviews
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?
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Price: Free! USD

Published by Red Iris Books
Words: 34,740
Language: English
ISBN: 9781937733063
About Maurice Lawless

Maurice Lawless is a novelist from Houston, Texas. Found in Blood, his 2011 debut novel, has been hailed as "a classic detective story" that's "brilliant and scary." When he isn't busy conjuring more books of demons and werewolves, Maurice volunteers for National Novel Writing Month and speaks on writing at local libraries. He likes his steaks rare, and his fiction raw.

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Review by: Brandi on April 24, 2012 :
I have hopes for a sequel.

This book fit right into the genre I typically read, but didn't leave me feeling what I usually feel halfway through a novel (seen it before). I love the descriptions the author used not only for the scenery, but for the feelings, thoughts and emotions of the main character.

Though the author is a male, he writes the female characters in this novel with great insight. I think he only underestimates a woman's ability to suffer not to reveal something when Dree doesn't want to reveal her tattoo to her friend, but ends up taking off her jacket because she was hot. On the same token, any woman I know would have been dialing up her best friend to tell her all about the horrible thing that happened to her instead of trying to hide it in the first place.

Lawless does a fantastic job of making his novella steamy yet not trashy, and focusing on the storyline with just enough side story to leave room for a sequel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Andrea on Jan. 10, 2012 :
I received this ebook for free through LibraryThing member giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

This was a quick read-took me a few hours to get through it. This is the story of Dreama-Dree for short. She wakes up in the woods naked with a tattoo that she doesn't remember getting. Eventually she is approached by a lady named Slate and finds out that she is a werewolf (as is Slate). Dree and Slate go on a hunt to find the man who made them into werewolves and gave them the tattoo mark.

I thought this was a good read as I usually like any books that are paranormal. There was some sexual content. The characters were believable and somewhat gritty. I thought the author could have been a bit more descriptive about the characters as I could not picture any of them while I was reading. It did end rather abruptly and has definitely left room for a sequel.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Doskoi Panda on Jan. 08, 2012 :
Dreams of Gray isn't exactly a horror tale, though it incorporates elements of Celtic folklore and brings them forward into modern times and is graphic in some of the descriptions of transformations, it lacks the feeling of suspense or dread that a horror novel imparts. The novel is told in the first person, from the point of view of Dreama "Dree", who wakes up naked in the woods, with a Celtic tattoo on her back and no memory of the night before. The tattoo seems to have effected some changes in her - she's warmer all the time, and the tattoo feels like it burns during times of stress. A visit to her friend's uncle, a tattooist specialising in Celtic artwork, rapidly brings her to the conclusion that there is something deeply wrong with the tattoo. Meanwhile, her body undergoes additional changes, making life ever more embarrassing and complicated.

While the story begins with an interesting use of Celtic folklore, this isn't really developed in a meaningful way. Secondary characters feel ...flat, and not fully fleshed out enough to be believable (both PJ and the boyfriend are involved in Dree's life, but you could remove them from the story and not feel much an absence.) In a lot of ways this felt like an excuse to animalise a woman, write sex scenes, and then have the main character be dominated. In most of the scenes where Dree showed strength, there would be a sense of shame/guilt or she wouldn't have any clear memory of it, as if the only time she has strength is when she is out of control. So I was sort of weirded out by the author's treatment of his main character. Some of the explanations offered are flawed - the forgetting and the remembering in particular felt shaky, as well as some of the animalistic thinking. The story also felt pulled in five directions, leaving a number of things unresolved. Put together with a sequel or conclusion, I'd rate this higher - despite the flaws the story is good, and keeps you reading - but I'd be a happier reader with some fine tuning.

3.5 stars
Review copy received from the author a part of Librarything's Member Giveaway Program.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Robin Bishop on Dec. 30, 2011 :
This book was great.I like the characters, the plot and the scene. It always had me reading from start to finish I had trouble figuring when she got the tattoo and why she was chosen but then it came at the end why it happened,. loved the cover of the book and the tattoo. great description.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tracy James Jones on Dec. 28, 2011 :
This book had a very interesting storyline, but I just couldn't get a visual of what I was reading. It has the potential to be so much more. Still, there is more to be said in honor of the author's work. The issues I have with the story simply pertains to me. I will leave any further review up to the avid paranormal readers.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Chrystalla Thoma on Dec. 27, 2011 :
This paranormal novella, written in the first person, has as a protagonist a young woman turned into a werewolf. The voice of the narrator grabbed me from the start because it rang real and funny, and let’s face it, the voice is the first thing that captures a reader’s attention.

The language is plain and clear, the descriptions bare-bones but enough to visualize everything and true to the point of view and the heroine’s personality.

The main characters of the story were well developed and distinct. Dreama – Dree – the protagonist is a very dynamic young woman, likable and easy to relate to. I liked her both for her realistic but courageous reactions to the strange events around her, her way of taking things into her own hands and making decisions. This is no whiney, screaming female lead; she is a strong person, with opinions (such as on discrimination against women), self confidence but also consideration for the others.

PJ, her best friend, is a funny and strong character, there when Dree needs her but also of the more frivolous and partying type. She jumps off the page and adds a humorous note to the narrative. The alpha wolf who takes Dree under her wing is mysterious and quiet and also very real. I felt that I got to know these characters as people in real life.

Apart from the good voice and characterization, I really enjoyed the gritty portrayal of Dree’s reality as painted by the author. He doesn’t mince his words when it comes to the transformation of Dree into a werewolf – the blood, the pain, the fear, the loss of control, the regret. He is exceptionally good, in my opinion, in describing how her body changes each time she loses control of her feelings due to anger or excitement and the way he has the heroine deal with this problem ranges from funny to heart-breaking. I have rarely if ever seen such an honest portrayal of this transformation which is normally glossed over and made into something magical and beautiful. I really liked this aspect of the novella.

The book also contains several explicit sex scenes which play an important role in the story as they both help develop the relationship between Dree and a man she goes out with, and provide the ground for her transformations.

The character arc is good, with Dree's perception of the world shifting as her body changes, and as she begins to accept she cannot go back to what and who she was. The plot should have been predictable but it had me on the edge of my seat because I was so involved in the characters.

However, I admit that I found the last scene too open-ended, the ending too abrupt, so much so that at first I thought this had to be book one of a series. When I checked, though, I saw no reference to a series, therefore I must say this was an issue for me. Too much happens in the last chapters and very little is resolved to call the story finished.

I think this book fits well in the tradition of the Anita Blake series (in the sense of mystery, and shifters, humor, and female first person narrator).

In all, this was a fast and enjoyable read, gritty and funny, and I recommend it to fans of the paranormal.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Shanon Stidham on Dec. 23, 2011 :
First I would like to thank the author and Red Iris Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

Dreams of Gray is a short novel that isn't exactly what I'm used to reading, but it held my attention nonetheless. I usually just read young adult books, but the synopsis for this adult paranormal story caught my eye and I couldn't pass it up. There is a lot going on all throughout the story and there really doesn't ever seem to be a lull, which I liked. There are some sexual situations that take place along the way and while I don't think they necessarily add to the plot, they don't distract or take away from it either.

The book is from the perspective of Dreama, a.k.a. Dree. She's a clever and amusing character and I was instantly drawn into her story! The changes she goes through and her quest for the truth are both scary and fascinating, and I was extremely curious about how things were going to play out with her and her new-found abilities. She meets some interesting people along the way that she is now connected with and unlocks a pretty shocking truth regarding how she came to be the way she is.

The paranormal aspects of this book were pretty interesting and spun differently than what I would have expected, which is one of the things I liked about it. On one hand I feel the end of the book is too abrupt and leaves me wanting more answers, but then I realize that the author probably means to leave the reader wondering. All I know is that there's no going back for Dree!

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a short, but entertaining, paranormal read.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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