Book Review – Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows #1) by C. Robert Cargill

Posted December 6, 2013 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 / 13 Comments

Book Review – Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows #1) by C. Robert CargillDreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill
Series: Dreams and Shadows #1
Published by Harper Voyager on February 26th 2013
Pages: 448
Genres: Horror, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Also by this author: Queen of the Dark Things, We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories, Sea of Rust


A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill—part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs—that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods

There is another world than our own—one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares—where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.

Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.

Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.

‘If you remember one thing, even above remembering me, remember that there is not a monster dreamt that hasn’t walked withing the soul of man.’

Dreams and Shadows tells the tale of two young boys: Ewan, who was stolen from his family by fairies when he was a baby, and Colby, who befriended a djinn that granted wishes which changed his life forever. The fates of both become entwined the second they meet and a battle between magical forces ensues.

This could have honestly been a disastrous affair what with the strange mixture of fairies and changelings, angels and the Devil, sorcerers and genies, and the list goes on. But it’s far from a disaster. This was an absolute delight and the exact type of fantasy that I yearn for. I have to make note that despite the inclusion of angels and the Devil this is far from religious and never digs in deep to that aspect; they were just supporting characters of a sort. The characters were fictitious and fanciful but managed to be extremely well-crafted and developed. The male characters were at the very least. It didn’t occur to me until later that the female characters all seemed to be incredibly weak and only described in terms of their looks with the one exception to that statement being Ewan’s scary-as-hell mother. All in all, it’s easy to overlook because of the thrilling plot.

My least favorite aspect of the book ended up being my favorite. In addition to the story being told from three separate points of view, there are excerpts from a book titled ‘A Chronicle of the Dreamfolk’ by a Dr. Thaddeus Ray, Ph.D. They are surprisingly informative pieces on the factual aspects of this fantasy world but it’s initially unclear as to why they’re included. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle that becomes clear late in the novel so don’t skip these sections.

Dreams and Shadows is a story full of magic and mystery and outlandish horror. I so enjoyed the rawness and twisted darkness of this tale and the unique and unusual world-building that fortunately isn’t lacking in detail. Dreams and Shadows possessed a plot with room to grow and is one instance where I’m thankful for it being a series. Queen of the Dark Things is the next installment which is due out in mid-2014. I cannot wait.

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13 responses to “Book Review – Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows #1) by C. Robert Cargill

  1. I’m so glad you loved this one, too! 🙂 The beginning totally gave me nightmares and then the fantasy story was fantastic. Queen of the Dark Things is definitely one of my most anticipated future releases.

  2. I just grabbed this one and then I got the sequel on Edelweiss. I am totally looking for something that is a blend with a whole range of characters. I need a recharge in my reading. Too bad the females aren’t as well developed, but I think it sounds fantastic!
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  3. From reading the blurb I would actually be really intrigued in giving this book a go, but then I would be worried at the same time that everything that the author decides to bring to this book would be too much for me. But I’m glad to see that this wasn’t the case at all for you Bonnie, when I’m in the right mood for it, I may eventually end up giving this book a try. Wonderful review!
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  4. Yeah there is a lot of paranormal things in this, eh? It sounds like the author pulled it off though. I hadn’t heard of this one before and I was immediately attracted to this cover! So perty! That’s cool about the excerpts. I wasn’t a huge fan of the excerpts in Fangirl which I ended up skipping but they weren’t very important to the plot it was just t point out the parallels in the romance, but this one sounds like it has more reason to be there. I’ll def keep an eye out for this one! Great review, Bonnie!
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