The Dream Traveller

Dark Rising

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
544 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Dream Traveller: Dark Rising is a work of fiction in the dark fantasy, adventure, and action genres. Penned by author John Nassari, the plot follows Girvyn, a young man unaware of his unique ability to enter people's dreams as a Dream Traveller. His destiny takes a drastic turn when he becomes entangled with a forest tribe plagued by demons, led by the rogue Dream Traveller, Crane. As Girvyn navigates his newfound powers, he must confront the looming threat of Crane's plan to merge the nightmarish realm with the waking world, while allies and adversaries alike vie for his role in the impending battle between dreams and reality.

Author John Nassari crafts a thrilling journey into a world where the boundaries between dreams and reality blur beautifully. Nassari's intricate world-building is evident from the very first page. I was deeply invested in the atmospheric language and ethereal quality in the narration that always makes it feel like you’re walking a fine line between a pleasant dream and a sudden, dark nightmare. This rich storytelling also extends into the plot structure, which is packed with suspense to immerse readers in a realm where danger lurks at every turn of the page. The dynamic characters are authentically shaped by this world and there’s a lot of care put into their dialogue and attitudes to show the differences between them, especially our naïve young hero. The pace had me eagerly turning the pages to discover Girvyn's fate and the fate of the world beyond him. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend The Dream Traveller: Dark Rising to fans of dark fantasy adventures everywhere for their next thrilling read, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes us.


A fantastic novel for fans of everything from Game of Thrones to Star Wars, LotR to Inception.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 May 2024
What a fantastic first novel from the clearly very talented John Nassari! I bought on pre-order, and finished it in 3 days - a real 'unputdownable' story which had me gripped from the get-go. It jumps right into the action, and doesn't really let up until the end. The story comprises many different elements including battles and monsters, politics and double-crossing, forms of magic and even sci-fi.

I found all of the characters very believable, with great names (something often overlooked in fantasy in my opinion) which allowed me to easily get to grips with all the key players and extended cast. The world building was done effortlessly, with the aid of some great maps, meaning that there was no lengthy prelude to the actual story. Girvyn in particular is a very interesting and relatable main character, and his flaws and weaknesses make him both endearing and credible, despite the fantastical nature of his arc.

The ending of the book is a real shock to the system, and has left me avidly awaiting the release of the second in the series.

A heartfelt well done to the author, and I'm very excited to see where the rest of this series takes us... my expectation is that very big things are coming!

Dr O

As a massive science fiction and fantasy fan, this book hits all the right notes. It’s got action, it’s got adventure, it’s got philosophy. It travels quickly between the world of the waking and the world of dreams, in a beautifully intoxicating mix of Tolkienesque fantasy realms and the topsy-turvy dream-wake shifting of the likes of “Inception” and “The Matrix”.

I couldn’t put it down when I read it. John Nassari writes like an established artist. The world feels fully formed, breathing and alive. And I can’t wait to read the sequels!

Caroline G

I loved this book. It starts with action not an exposition dump, and this is not a spoiler as it was on the back cover, a tribe is massacred, leaving one survivor to tell the tale. What happens next was mind bending in that the main character witnesses what happens later in a dream. Not knowing he is a Dream Traveller, he learns about his power, while learning about himself. To some extent it's a coming of age story, but it's much more than that. We see a complex medieval setting, a GOT style political set of power struggles and disputes between kingdoms set against a group of people who can invent anything in dreams. The Dream Realm represented many things for me in today's society - almost Matrix like - but with an emphasis of ethics and responsibility on what they might create and why. Despite all this, it moves fast. The characters are distinct and believable, with some thrilling actions scenes and rich female characters - and even the baddies I liked, because they felt believable. We don't see too much of a back story of the main villain but I expect more is to come there. I enjoyed the world building, and was taken away into a magical place and story. The end was such a surprise. Really courageous writing. If you enjoy fantasy, I can't recommend it enough