Customer Reviews: Dreams of Gray (The Marked Clan Series Book 1)
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on January 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.
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on December 17, 2011
This is a paranormal novella written in the first person with 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.

Note: A Free Review copy was provided by the author.
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on September 6, 2012
This was not bad, but the book was too short. I was just getting used to the characters and then the book was over. It was written from a woman's point of view and I was surprised to find out the author was a man because I did not pay attention to the cover. Good about drawing you in and would have gotten 4 stars if it were longer, did not end as abruptly and was a little longer. Overall, a good read if you have a little time to kill.
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on July 2, 2013
My full review can be read on my blog, here: [...]

I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed to be honest. Like I will give him his props for giving werewolves a different twist, but I just wasn't that into it. I will also give him major credit on the layout of the plot. It had enough twists and turns to keep my attention. And I love the cover. God, you guys know how I love a great cover story.

It was interesting enough to hold my attention but not interesting enough to make me go, "WOW!" I think the biggest problem I had with was the characters. I did like Dree but I didn't identify with her. I understood her, liked her in some parts, but I didn't like bond with her as the main character. I think if he spent a little more time on her and less time on her sex life, it could have been a lot better.

But let's break this down.

Characters: I don't absolutely, positively love the characters. I like them and can relate to them. I like Dree well enough. But I do not like PJ at all. Something about her bothers me so much. Needless to say, in real life, she would definitely not be my friend.

She's a slob, she is constantly cussing like a sailor for no reason. She came into a bathroom cussing about how she had to go. To me, that is just so classless. She is always calling Dree a ho.

Which granted, she may be one, but why bring your friend down like that? I just can't stand derogatory name calling. I expect an enemy to call her a ho, not her friend. Maybe it's a culture difference, since I know girlfriends may call each other b-words and such, but I just can't identify with someone like that.

I also didn't like Slate but I liked her character development. She just came across to me like a stalker gone wrong. I just wish there could have been a different angle the author could have gone off from. I can see the layers that he built in her. I can see all of the time he spent developing her character, but I just couldn't like her either.

I think the only character I kinda liked more than Dree was Alan. But to me, he's a punk. He's a nice guy, he's a loyal guy. I liked his character a lot. I could also identify with him. He would be the guy you would bring home to your mother and be proud of. But I can't stand his, "We can make it through any problems you have baby!" attitude. Like that, to me, is a slight indication of desperation. You want to be in a relationship so bad, you are willing to go through practically Hades and back for a girl who treats you like crap.

That's a punk.

**SPOIL ALERT** If you don't want to know about the love interest and how it ends, turn away NOW!

Like I understand this isn't a paranormal romance (which is clearly identified in the beginning as such), but why introduce a guy who could really have Dree's back then tear him away? I understand that there's a lot going on. I understand that he adds nothing to plot line. However, I'm a hopeless romantic. If a guy is great guy in all aspects (which Dree admits), then why not develop a romantic interest there? It's like she used him like a condom. And I can't really stand that about her character. I know there are people like her all over the world and probably have their own show (Keeping Up With the Kardashians rings a bell), but still.

The author really annoyed me with the love interest. That's all.

**SPOIL ALERT OVER** You may now look at the rest of the review without me spoiling it for you. :)

Plot: I can't argue with this: He developed the plot well. The only problem I had was pacing. Some bits were too fast and some were too slow. But that's me being a bit picky. He could have done it on purpose but I still felt in some places the pacing was a bit off.

I also didn't like the fact that every chapter had some sort of sex in it. To me, that doesn't add to the plot. I get it, sex is part of it, but I still think it could have been left out. Like I'm a bit old school with romance. I get where he was going with it, and the changes. But at the same time, I think it could have been done a bit better. And with less graphic stuff in it. I just wasn't into it.

Granted, she's an adult. She's single. However, did he have to make it so focused on sex? I don't think so. Besides, I think some of the sex-fueled stuff could have been shown in other ways. I would go into it, but I'm trying not to ruin the story for you.

Setting: I didn't even know we were in the south, much less Houston. I didn't hear a y'all, any southern sayings or anything. And y'all know I'm from the south. I was so excited, then the author didn't use any terms that were from that place. I was slightly disappointed. We could have been anywhere.

Additionally, we didn't get any other mention of the weather or anything. I wish he could have delved deeper into the culture down there instead of doing a drive-by style: The setting is in Houston and now we're going to keep moving with the plot.

Now, I could be wrong about the sayings not being there, but for me, there wasn't any. Maybe the author could point them out to me. That would be great, then I will retract my comment.

Ending: I liked the ending a lot. It was a nice ending, I just wish it ended differently. The author stated the reasons why he ended like that, but for me, it could have been better.

Overall: Would I recommend this book?

Probably not, even though it is a free book.

Especially if you are picky, like me, about some of the issues I had.

I know you guys are looking at me and asking, "What?! It's a FREE book, why are you complaining?"

Because I've had better free books. I've had free books that have made me cry and tell the whole world how great this book is. And just because it's free, doesn't mean the quality should be lower. My expectations are still there. Granted, they may be a bit more forgiving, but still my expectations are still up there.

I hold the same standards for indie or traditionally published. Free or not free book. Of course, I'll be a bit more critical of the paid book (since I had to pay for it), but still. I expect the same overall.

And before y'all criticize me, yes, I know my views are slanted. I totally know I root for the underdog. The indie authors. However, my standards are the same: Make great characters and plot, and I will love you forever. And I will wait for your wonderful books to come out. Just keep the quality the same. That is literally all I ask. Keep the quality up and I will not whip you like you stole something from me.

Bonus points for great sarcasm and wit. Bonus points if the main character is a minority. Double bonus points if you incorporate both.

Anyway, that's what I thought of this book. If you had a different experience with this book, please let me know! I would love to talk about it more in depth.

And please, never stop reading!
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on August 16, 2012
I found myself really enjoying the way the author writes and the little humour that made me smile at some parts.

It begins with Dreama, Dre for short, and she wakes up dazed, confused, in the woods, covered in dirt and naked. She has no idea how that happened and can't remember a thing from the night before. She then notices a massive intricate tattoo on her back that she didn't even remember getting either. And since she hates needles she couldn't have imagined going through that. Her friend takes her to the hospital to do a rape kit and that is when things get really strange. She goes to work the next day like and acts like nothing happened, but a phone call goes wrong - her anger rises, her hands become claws and then the rest of her body starts to change into a wolf. This happens again during a heated session of rough sex. Slate, an Alpha werewolf, finds Dre and wants to start a pack with her and help her become and guide her through her change. They both try to find the one who made them the way they were and kill him.

I don't want to ruin anything but there were a few touchy moments in this story. I found myself reading nonstop and wanting to find out how it was all going to end. I definitely recommend this book for a quick sexy werewolf read. There were a few unanswered questions at the end, but that was alright.
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on January 5, 2014
It was a gallant effort for the first try at the series. It had a thick layer of mentioning of the theme of grey and silver laced in the book. Both good and bad. Good because it depicted the scenes but often it wasn't needed at all. The story felt rushed and slow making it inconsistent. It could've been made longer to create better connections to the characters. It wasn't horrible but maybe with more back background history of what the main character went through would help.
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on August 29, 2012
I wasn't sure what to expect in this novel based off the synopsis alone. Was she going to be a shape-shifter, werewolf, a witch, etc.? I thought to myself, this is just going to follow the same ol' story lines of all paranormal novels, but I was WRONG!

This book had plentiful original ideas. The story of her "tattoo," or marking, was unique. The writing-style was easy to read. The language was a bit excessive, but it made the characters believable in their gritty lifestyles.

I love it that the author does not describe the characters too much. It really allowed me to make Dreama and Slate look the way I wanted them to in my head. Some readers may prefer everything in detail, but I still like to utilize my imagination and in this sense, I can co-share this story with the author. It creates a bond with the story in my opinion.

I recommend this to anyone who likes monsters, minimum wage characters, and a twisting story line.
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on October 2, 2012
Strange - Sassy - Interesting,but it began better than it ended. Dreama is a bored employee of a Charter TV like telecommunications company. She unwinds by bar hopping with her best friend, PJ, and having random one-night stands.

One morning she wakes up naked in the woods, with no memory of what happened. When she finally meets a man worthy of a relationship, Dreama begins to realize that she is a werewolf. From there, the book goes downhill as she seeks out the one who transformed her.

The ending seemed rushed and not well thought out. The characters were not especially appealing, so I found it hard to care about them. Just not one of my better recent reads.
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on July 1, 2013
On whether I really like this or not and will possibly reread to make sure. The reason why I'm sure is due to the really disconnected way the story was brought together and the weakness of the main characters. All this buildup to the climax that didn't really happen and the side nutso character made me blink more than once. And like others have said the ending left more to be desired. Maybe it was to short or maybe the characters just didn't pull me in.
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on May 26, 2014
'Dreams of Gray', for me, is an ok read. Although fast paced, it told a different story about werewolves. The story line was interesting. I liked how Dreama dealt with her curse. The characters were good. Overall, this novella is not a bad read.
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