Thursday, October 7, 2021

Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Perfect for readers of The Hazel Wood and The Night Circus, this lush and layered story about magic and the captivating power of dreams is delivered with acclaimed author Rebecca Ross’s signature exquisite style.

A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams.

Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise. Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Dreams Lie Beneath
is one of the best books I've read in ages. The narrator was a synthetic voice for the purpose of listening to and reviewing an early version of the audiobook, so I can only imagine how good the finished and final version will be. It says a lot about story when you can lose yourself completely in what's happening despite a slightly robotic voice doing all of the reading. There's no inflection or change in cadence, yet I still thoroughly enjoyed the story Rebecca Ross created.

Clementine is a wonderful character that is driven (initially) by revenge and anger. She holds on to her wounded pride and uses her feelings to get even with those that have wronged her. She chose to avenge herself - and her father - instead of sulking away and reinventing her life somewhere new. Clem goes to extreme lengths to see her plan fulfilled, and I'm not sure I would have had the same gumption had I been in her shoes. 

As the reader, we don't know what's really happening throughout the story until Clem learns or discovers something. We know what she knows, and I thought the pacing was really well done and kept me engaged the entire time. I loved the history of the nightmares and wardens; the eerie card game and secrets kept locked away. The magic, the world-building and the characters made Dreams Lie Beneath a truly evocative experience that I didn't want to end.  

I also really enjoyed the enemies-to-lovers romance that changed and evolved over the course of the book. Phelan was giving off major Mr. Darcy vibes, especially when Clem takes down his hair. ๐Ÿ˜ณ A slow-burn romance at its best. Would I have liked a little more romance? Always. However, I did think their relationship was well written and realistic. I really hope there's a second book that features them and what their lives look like a few years later. 

My one small complaint would be Clem's family. I wish they had played a more prominent role in the story, but I can also understand why the author kept them at a distance. This was Clementine's book - and she definitely stole the show - but she also needed autonomy and space to see her plan come to fruition. I normally dislike when the bulk of a story is based on secrets and lies, but the deceptions were what made this book so interesting. I didn't always know who to trust, and that made me question and second-guess everyone Clem encountered.

Fighting nightmares on the new moon, enacting revenge for yourself and your family, falling for someone unexpectedly, and all of the magic and history made Dreams Lie Beneath a book you definitely want to look for. 


  1. I've been wondering why I couldn't get on your blog. Lol I had the wrong URL.

    1. Totally my fault! I took the hyphen out my URL to make it easier to find. :)


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