Dream Waters

Book One of The Dream Waters Series (Volume 1)

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
440 Pages
Reviewed on 04/19/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Erin Jensen is a part-time pharmacist and a full-time creator of imaginary worlds. She lives in upstate New York with her ridiculously supportive husband, two teenage sons (who are both taller than her), and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he's the family bodyguard.

Erin is a sucker for any book that draws you into its world, makes you feel for its characters, and keeps you thinking about the story long after you've turned the last page. After finishing a particularly gripping series several years back, she decided to create a fictional world of her own. Now, nothing thrills her more than hearing from a reader who loves her characters as much as she does.

Early on in her writing career, Erin vowed to get a dragon tattoo to celebrate when she reached a milestone number of reviews. She no longer shares that number, for fear that she might actually reach her goal and have to go through with it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gail Kamer for Readers' Favorite

Wow! I loved Dream Waters: Book One of The Dream Waters Series by Erin A. Jensen. Patients Charlie, Bob, Nellie, and Frank's everyday life changes when a new patient, Emma, arrives. Charlie sees people "differently", while Bob just wants to see the TV. Nellie wants to rock her invisible child, and Frank yells that demons are coming. Emma seems normal, however. Even the psychiatrist believes Emma is different from the other patients. Emma's husband, David, is a key to Charlie's issues and this isn't shared until the end of the book. I kept trying to figure out the mystery behind each patient's presence in Charlie's dream world, and how the dream world and the real world connected. Charlie blends characters in both worlds to help them in the real world.

Dream Waters by Erin A. Jensen is set in a mental institution and provides a hook that keeps the reader coming back for more. I honestly could not put the book down. I felt like I actually knew the characters on a personal level because their lives were so well shared throughout the book. Erin A. Jensen is brilliant in mixing a dream world of one character to include connections to their real world of most of the other characters. I fully expect to see Dream Waters listed on a best seller list. It is that good. It's also the first in a series and I expect to read the others. I highly recommend Dream Waters to anyone who is fascinated by magic in a contemporary setting. Grab it now!

Manhattan Book Review

Dream Waters will draw you in, and swirl you around in a whirlpool of desire, fantastical beasts, and forever friendships. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. It really is one of those books that you do not want to put down, and once you have finished it, you want to restart it. This is not a book for young readers, due to some adult content, but everyone else should certainly give this book a read. - Manhattan Book Review

San Francisco Book Review

Dream Waters is a breath of fresh air in the urban fantasy genre. It artfully blends reality and dreams into a waking daydream, one that lulls readers in. Like the Waters used to travel between the worlds, Dream Waters carries readers to strange realms but remains grounded in harsh reality. Delightful and tense, this is a fantastic start to a new series. - San Francisco Book Review

Mary Landy (Amazon customer review)

Couldn't put it down. Great characters that immediately draw you in. Can't wait for the next book.

Kate K. (Amazon customer review)

I really enjoyed this book, once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. Dream Waters has an interesting storyline and like able characters. I recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy.

Amazon customer

Great book from start to finish. I couldn't wait to finish it to see how it ended.

Amazon customer

This was a very interesting fantasy. A fascinating cast of characters.
Once I started reading it I could not put it down. Can't wait for book 2!!

Amazon customer

Let me say this is not the type of book I would normally pick myself to read ...the reviews really made the book appealing and once I started it, I literally could not put it down. From the beginning you are thrust into a different world where you get to know every day characters ( or are they?) and the strange and sad ways that they have come to be in each other's lives. Just when you think you know what makes them tick...and why they are the way they are...you find out about the dream world. You'll never look at people the same way again! I felt this book ended a bit abruptly....it felt "finished" and answered some questions but also left me wanting to know what was next in store for these characters. It sets up well for a sequel ..or perhaps a series.. I do hope that is the case ....

Amazon customer

Just reading the first page I was hooked! I literally could not put this book down. Erin has a way of pulling you in, anxious to find out what's going to happen next. The characters pull you into their world and their life stories and the bond they make is heartwarming. Absolutely can not wait for book 2!!!!

Amazon customer

This book is a page turner. Such interesting and unusual characters! It has a mystery, friendship, romance and mystical intrigue. Can't wait until the next book comes out.

Amy M. Conner

I loved Dream Waters! Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. The characters were engaging and funny and the story is unique and intriguing. I can't wait to read Book 2!

Amazon Customer

I loved this book! I do not usually read fantasy but this was so based in reality and so suspenseful, I could not put it down. I immediately loved the characters and I can't wait for the second book to find out what happens next!

LAC (Amazon customer review)

I really enjoyed this book! I liked how each chapter was a different character's view. I really enjoyed the storyline, I enjoy each character, and want to know more about each of their lives. I feel like this was a taste of more interesting things to come, and I can't wait to read more.

Amazon customer review

This book is a page turner! I couldn't put it down! I love how developed the characters are and how smart the storyline is- so many twists! I'm not into fantasy style novels but this really was more than fantasy- i felt the drama/love story and a bit of mystery also! The thing I disliked most was when it ended! Can't wait for the next in the series!!!

Marsha (Amazon customer review)

Excellent book, I could no put it down! Very captivating and mysterious. Love the way the author brings it all together!

Amazon customer review

This book was really good! I couldn't put it down! Can't wait for the next one!

C. Barrett - Amazon customer review

Unique, captivating, addictive...can't wait for the sequel...
Dream Waters was chosen as a book club selection for my group this month. It is written by new author Erin Jensen. I was a bit skeptical about the subject matter but liked the concept of the book at the onset. Erin Jensen has a very vivid imagination and managed to take me places I was not sure I wanted to go but went anyway because I was drawn in page by page. A great read...looking forward to the next book in the series.

Amazon customer review

Dream Waters has a little something for everyone! Love, fantasy, suspense and fear. This book will draw you in from page one and keep you captivated throughout! I can't wait for book #2

Amazon customer review

Just read it already!
This is not my normal type of book to read, but I did read it and once I started I couldn't put it down. I had to finish it. The ending was such a surprise and like a good book, leaves you drooling for the next book to come out so you can find out more.

Kathleen L. (Amazon customer review)

A great read!
Dream Waters immediately engages the reader, introducing an array of characters who must deal with unexpected events and revelations about their own realities. Jensen's well-developed characters and unpredictable plot make her novel a difficult book to put down. Dream Waters is an utterly enjoyable read that leaves the reader eager to delve into Book 2!

becky (Amazon customer review)

A magical story that beautifully blends reality and fantasy.
What an incredible story. So original. It was unlike anything I've ever read. Beautiful world, well written story, and characters I instantly fell for. I really can't say enough good stuff. I won this book through Goodreads. I'm so happy I did. This is definitely a book I want to see more people reading. I can't wait for the next on. I loved the ending too. A truly one of a kind book that's so different from anything else out there. A must read.:)

Roger (Amazon customer)

Great read.
It was a good read. I don't usually read fantasy books but this book kept my interest. Can't wait for the next one.

M. Denniston (Amazon customer review)

It was very good book. Makes you think about the people in mental institutes and what it might go on in their heads. Wished the ending was different.

Hannah Gressinger

This was a fascinating read! I couldn't put it down!!
I heard about this book at work and was sceptical of reading it.. But I am so glad I did! The romance and action of the plot pulled me in and didn't release me until I completely finished the book!! I recommend this to anyone who is up for a fun, thrilling read!

Amazon customer review

I can honestly cay I could not stop reading this book once I started it! I love the characters and how each and everyone has their own complex story and background. The author cleverly reveals bit by bit as the book progresses, but with every piece gained she just leaves us wanting to know more and more. I can't wait for book two to come out!

Kim Robinson - Amazon customer review

I am so lucky to live in this authors home town! I think I critiqued the book even more because of that but this was a fantastic read! I could not put it down! I most definitely cannot wait for October 31 to purchase book 2 in this series!

Caroly O. (Amazon customer review)

Very different, a story of great imagination
Albeit at moments a bit confusing, was also compelling enough to read in one sitting. I have often seen people "differently" but this gives insight a whole new meaning. Genuinely intriguing and falling "asleep" and dreaming may never be the same.

Books, Vertigo and Tea book blog review

Dream Waters is definitely a fantasy novel, make no mistakes. But it has also managed to be so much more. It is a story full of magic, love, adventure and mystery all wrapped into one beautifully presented package.

Our main character Charlie is anything but ordinary. And it is this very fact that has kept him locked away in institution after institution his entire life. Cursed (or blessed?) with the ability to see the Dream Form of others, he is misunderstood to be delusional and schizophrenic. Faces and people change before his very eyes. But it is all real as he happens to be connected to a Dream World that really does exist. Now, abandoned by a mother who could not understand, he spends his days alone, wandering the halls of a psychiatric ward living with this “gift”.

Then one day everything changes as the young, frightened and beautiful Emma is admitted. They quickly become friends as he vows to protect her. But will she be able to accept the truth about Charlie? And why has she been placed in psychiatric care? As their friendship develops, secrets are revealed. Charlie soon discovers more than he imagines and the real adventure that ties them both to the Dream World begins to unfold.

Charlie is by all means, a wonderful main character. He demonstrates that he is caring and protective through the love he quickly develops for Emma. He is also somewhat snarky and defensive as he has spent years being shuffled through the system and alone. While I was unable to fully fall “in love” with him, I grew fond of him very easily. There is a certain amount of sympathy established when we realize he lives with this ability that has altered his entire existence. I also found his need to defend Emma, charming. For me, I adored Charlie the way one might a younger child. He is simple at times, exposing his more sheltered and needful side. But in the end he wants to be the good guy, and he is.

Emma was a bit of a challenge for me. Charlie adored her, therefore I felt obligated to do the same. However, I was struggling to even like her in the beginning. She was almost too helpless and fragile for me. It was not until more of her story was revealed that I was able to establish a small connection. I realized that she was damaged and hurt. Her suffering made her character slowly come to life as her credibility was established.

One of my favorite aspects of Dream Waters was the constant element of surprise. While there was a lot of mystery built around learning Emma’s story, the biggest enjoyment was the true revelations of the supporting characters. Keep your eye on them. The author has beautifully placed and created each with real purpose.

If the title does not speak to you enough, the world building is imaginative and refreshing. We are shifted between what we have always perceived as the only reality and the truth Charlie has lived with, the Dream World. While awake in one, you sleep in the other. The author has assured that these worlds coincide perfectly by avoiding any unnecessary frivolities. She exposes the readers to a concept that is fascinating but never “too much”. Each plane is constructed exquisitely through alternating narration that is presented chapter by chapter in a clean and precise manner.

Avoiding any unwarranted confusion, the writing is fluid and elegant. We are introduced to a truly distinct idea that is presented in the most engaging manner. While there is a lot happening within Dream Waters there is never a moment where it begins to feel overwhelming or drawn out.

The final result was a captivating read that left me satisfied yet excited for the next installment with an unexpected twist at the end. I am trying to keep this review on the lighter side because Dream Waters is a journey of discovery. If I had to use one word to sum up Dream Waters, it would be stunning.

alwaysbooking book blog review

Amazing book!!
This book was amazing!!! It is definitely adult Urban Fantasy Adult I would not list it as YA or NA. I don’t know why some people who complain about it are saying it’s YA it is not. There is some very mature content in this book, I would not be comfortable recommending it to anyone ages 15-18. Onto the review!!

This book is told by multiple POV’s, but you start out by following my favorite character Charlie. He is in a mental institution due to seeing things that no one else can see. Charlie can see peoples dream form and their real world form. Sometimes these dream forms are a little bit frightening and cause him to scream without thinking, which in turn causes people to think that he is crazy. I really enjoyed the fact that Charlie from the get go was a really like-able character. He is a sassy, smart-ass but you can tell deep down that is just his defense mechanism for living almost his whole life in mental facilities. Then Emma enters his world and he has someone else to think about besides himself. Charlie takes it upon himself to protect Emma at any cost, and along the way he learns more than he bargained for about the Dream World.

Emma as a character was hard for me to connect to. Everyone knows I love strong female characters and Emma seems to be a super weak character. While she had her moments, I didn’t enjoy her very much until towards the end. I’m not sure what her whole story is yet, as the author didn’t reveal it in this book. I am intrigued to see how her character develops throughout book two. She seemed to rely on the men in her life, whether it was Charlie or not. I’m not sure if more will be told about that in later books or not.

This book as a whole was fantastic, I enjoyed the multiple POV’s. It was such a crazy cast of characters and I don’t just mean that because they are in a mental institution. It was interesting to see how their dream form coincided with their real world form. I’m not even sure how the author thought this out, her imagination must be unbelievably vivid. The plot was amazing, I really enjoyed how the plot played out, it wasn’t to heavy in the beginning but by the end I was not prepared for that!! It’s like she set up all these clues throughout the whole book that I totally missed which never happens but when I look back now I totally see it. This book just flowed for me, I didn’t want to put it down.

I am so excited for the second book I can’t wait to get my hands on it!! I would definitely suggest this one to anyone into urban fantasy.

Amazon customer review

This was not the typical type of book I normally read. It was fantasy, the language was a little off-colored in places. Despite that, it intrigued me. Well written, and like the author told me when she signed my book, " A cross between Harry Potter and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." It was a story of Emma, a patient in a mental institution, her friend Charlie, her husband David, and another world which is scary and soothing. That world is somehow compelling. I am really looking forward to the second and third books in the series.

I. Fraser (Amazon customer review)

I not only got the pleasure of meeting Erin Jensen in person, and talking with her for nearly an hour, but she gave me the book close to Mothers Day, and I could not put it down!! It took me about a week to read, as I am a busy mother of 3, but I must say, you won't regret picking this up! You will be immersed into a world that is unlike any other, and the chapters are written so uniquely, you will not want to put this book down!

I got to have the pleasure of talking with Erin, who so graciously gave me a signed copy and invited me to enjoy her dream world!! What an amazing and talented writer! Not only that, she is about as kind as writers come! Thank you Erin! I look forward to reading more of your work!

Fern - Amazon customer

I have never written a review before but this book is so intriguing that I had to write something. In this story, the main character can sense two separate worlds. Dream World and Reality World. Both worlds become more and more "real" as you read on. This book is very different from anything I've ever read. It is fascinating!

jh (Amazon customer review)

Great fantasy book
I really enjoyed this 1st book by a new author. Ms. Jensen had a fantastic imagination and a great way of letting the reader get to know the main characters. I liked this book enough to immediately buy and read the 2nd in the series. Am looking forward to the 3rd!

Margaret Cohen - Amazon customer

Totally unexpected and exciting!
Even though I have not finished this, I am totally enjoying it! It is very well written and is quick moving -- I only wish I had time to just sit and read it!

LR Mac (Amazon customer review)

Love this series! A great mix of fantasy world, friendships and romance! Look forward to the second book!

Amazon customer review

Sometimes it was hard to get through the sexual graphics but I’m well into finishing Book 2 already. Love the descriptions of the characters .

Wendy (Amazon customer)

Couldn't put the book down! A definite read for anybody that likes to be entertained!

AEM - Amazon customer review

One of the things I loved the most about this book was the fact that I was equally intrigued about both of the worlds presented. I couldn’t wait to find out more about each one, and it kept me in a never ending excited loop. And of course the ending was a good combination of having some things resolved and leaving the door open about others. I’m hand over mouth about the rest, and I must end this before I blurt.

Kevin E. (Amazon customer review)

So real you will question reality
Jensen dreams up a world that makes you forget your own reality. Not only does she create a storyline that is captivating, entertaining, and emotional... but she manages to create such a strong case for each character that you will feel your own heart connecting with theirs. I found myself laughing and crying along with so many of the wonderful personalities! My favorite thing about this book is the balance between fantasy and mystery drama. It somehow manages to maintain my creative fascination while sparking my mind to race over scandal and what could really be...

Kimber (Amazon customer review)

Get swept away by Dream Waters!
“If anyone had told me that my life was about to change forever when I woke up that morning, I’d have said they were crazy and – considering the fact that I woke up in a psych ward –odds are, I would’ve been right.” Dream waters

The story opens with Charlie, a patient in Parker-Banks mental health facility and a host of exciting characters in a group therapy session. We discover a little about our new friend as he watches the developing storm among other patients, and it's here that our first glimpse into what makes Charlie different from everyone else is revealed. He sees things others do not; people have more than one form to our dear hero; their human one and another, somewhat sinister, alternate being. He routinely enjoys seeing the group meetings unravel into complete chaos, but on one such occasion, an intoxicating scent stops him in his tracks.
Enter Emma: Sweeping into the facility like a tidal wave she changes everything Charlie ever thought he knew. She is the most gorgeous woman he’s ever laid eyes on, and her sad, secretive manner only heightens the attraction. A fierce protective vibe propels him to befriend Emma. They are fast friends, but their bond stirs other patients in the facility in unexpected ways, and for the first time in his life, young Charlie discovers his ‘sight’ may not be as rare as he’d previously thought.
As the story develops, fellow inmates at the facility, Bob and Nellie, become an integral part of Charlie and Emma’s story, and we learn that not all imaginary things are quite so imaginary.
At the risk of giving away any spoilers, I will end by saying that this is not your usual fantasy story. From the first page, it is a fascinating tale that captures the imagination. Dream Waters deals with adult situations and is intended for a mature audience.

Chris (Amazon customer review)

Best books i have read in a while. I highly recommended reading this series of books wonderful. Waiting patiently for the fourth book to be published.

oldmum13 (Amazon uk customer review)

Unbelievably imaginative and compelling
Well, I've just made myself physically ill by reading the two books available in these series back to back over the last 24 hours--and that is the highest praise I can give the series. I love it. I'm no fantasy fan, but I became interested in this book after seeing it advertised on Twitter, so I decided to give it a go. To say I was hooked is a vast understatement. Calling the genre fantasy doesn't really do it justice, because it's so much more than that--these are real people, with real feelings and fears. The characters are complex, compelling, and nuanced. The story is wildly imaginative. The writing is good. I would say more, but I'm terrified of ruining the plot. And let me be clear: I don't know the author. This is no favour I'm doing for her, and I am an incredibly fussy reader. But I love this book, and I loved the second one, too. I don't know what I'm going to do until the third one comes out!

Kevin - Amazon uk customer review

Enchanting and evocative.
Charlie, a patient in a psychiatric ward is tolerating another grim day at the Parker-Banks Health Facilty when his head is turned by a new arrival; the full-lipped blonde bombshell who goes by the name of Emma.
But Emma has sadness in her eyes and secrets in her soul that she isn’t keen to share with anyone.
Erin Jensen’s fantastical story engages from the outset: how is it that Charlie is imbued with the supernatural gift of ‘dream sight’, and what is it about Emma that initially draws him in, but then begins to terrifies him?
Jensen sure knows how to develop her storyline and skilfully draws the reader into her dreamworld of portals, dragons and shapeshifters. Wonderfully-realised are the supporting characters, namely Bob and Nellie, who almost steal the show, and a smug-yet sinister doctor who Is hell-bent on drugging his patients into acquiescence.
The Dreamworld sequences were enchanting and evocative (I’m already a fan of speculative fiction that is set in our real world).
Be warned, though, that the author doesn’t shy away from adult content and social taboos (if you want wholesome, plump for Neil Gaiman). But I enjoyed the story from the get-go and especially loved Bob’s phlegmatic-yet humorous outbursts!
Overall, a fascinating read, and one which has whetted my appetite for the next instalment...

Siobhan (Amazon uk customer review)

Gripping read.
Dream Waters is such a surprising read, one that pulled me in so much more than I’d initially anticipated.

In this story so many things are crossed over, so many things pulled together, and I loved it. Dreams and reality collide. Fairy tales and history mix. Love and obsession can be seen. And those are simply the three main points written on the cover – I could easily name more.

Our story starts in a psychiatric unit, with our characters coming together for the first time. I’ll admit, at first, I felt as though things were quite slow. Our characters came together, their relationship seemed to appear out of nowhere, and yet the story wasn’t really giving us much. There was a lot of mystery, so many questions, and yet the focus was upon these two coming together and forming their friendship that seemed to be the prelude to something more.

Then the fantasy hit us. Not just the odd reference here and there, I mean it really came to life as it was explained to us. It was such a unique fantasy and I adored it. The Dream World exists in our sleeping state, everyone has access to it, but a select few can travel there of their own will without the aid of sleep. It seems really basic, but there is so much more to it than you can imagine. With our main male character being able to see the dream world, being able to travel between the two worlds, it quickly grows beyond what you would expect and you’re soon in love with both worlds and the way they interact. Still, you have many questions. Despite how much we find out, we still need many questions answered.

I’ll admit that I saw quite a few things coming from quite early on. Who and what characters were wasn’t quite the mystery it was intended to be, being slightly predictable. However, I was so focused upon these obvious aspects that I was taken completely by surprise when some of the twists came about. The end chapter in particular – wow. It has left me so ready for the next book. I’m curious about where things will go, hopeful for answers. There are so many potential directions for the next book and I’m not at all sure where it will go – all I know for sure is that the ending left me more than ready for it.

Honestly, I really did enjoy this one much more than the initial few chapters had me believing. Flickering between perspectives had me fearful that I wouldn’t get into the book, along with a few distracting editing issues, but once I wrapped my head around things I was pulled right in. This book pulls together so many different elements, leaving us with something both simple and complex. It really is a fun read.

As a final note, I’d like to thank the author for contacting me for a review. I cannot wait to see what the next book brings.

Ella (Amazon uk customer review)

Interesting and well written
Following the lives of some troubled characters living in a mental institute, this story deals with issues of sanity, reality, love and obsession. Charlie has been plodding along just fine in the institute, plagued by visions of other people’s ‘dream’ forms, but coping quite well considering. Until Emma arrives. A stunningly beautiful (ugh) girl with a mysterious past, who wants nothing more than to be reunited with her (obsessive and controlling) husband. Forming an unlikely bond, the two help each other through their problems, and Charlie takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of Emma’s mystery, despite the terrifying dragon that follows her and protects her.

The story is interesting and well-written. But there are many issues. Firstly – because of the cover and some of the reviews I’d seen – I thought this was going to be a YA book; it isn’t. That isn’t a criticism of the book itself, but I did struggle to get my head around that to begin with because I had to adjust all my expectations, so do bear that in mind. This book is not YA. Other than fantasy (and maybe a touch of romance), I’m not sure how else to categorise this book, but it is definitely more than just a fantasy novel. Secondly, all of the patients appear to have been committed fairly, and really do have psychiatric problems, so it’s hard to see how the series can progress. I have little desire for characters who seem to belong in a mental institute to be released, and these ones don’t have curable illnesses that they can recover from. Thirdly, Emma and David’s relationship is obsessive and borderline abusive. They are in love, which is nice, but it isn’t healthy and I struggled to watch Charlie be drawn into that. He was nothing but sweet and helpful, whereas Emma was selfish and cruel to use him and David is quite clearly a violent lunatic. I didn’t really enjoy reading about their relationship.

However, I did like Charlie, and I liked reading about Nellie and Bob. They were both sweet and likeable, and – in their strange ways – only wanted to help. I only wish Charlie had listened to them more. I did enjoy most of this book and it really is well-written, but it wasn’t quite my cup of tea and I probably won’t be continuing with the series.

Amazon Canada customer review

Fantastic book
I loved this book from start to end and found it hard to put it down. Wonderful story line wonderful intriguing characters.