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The Dream Slayer (Volume 1) by Jill Cooper
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The Dream Slayer (Volume 1)

by Jill Cooper

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This book is action packed and unique.

Some of the characters were difficult to connect with, but that didn't take away from the story. Natalie, the main character, is a high school student that is bulled because of her appearance. All that changes when her bully ends up dead. Her best friend, Tristan, is awesome. He's witty, sarcastic, and completely loyal to Natalie. He has always defended her, and doesn't understand why she puts up with everyone's crap. Natalie's "other" self was incredibly cocky, and not very likeable to me. She had little emotion. She was a total bad ass though when it came to slaying.

I think my favorite part of this book is the fact that Natalie begins to think of herself as more than just the pudgy nobody. She has worth and a purpose. I found it sad that she didn't think this way prior to realize her destiny.

There are quite a few funny parts. The demon master, Morach, is really funny, along with his idiot demon posse. His bantering with Natalie was reminiscent of Spike and Buffy.

I'm curious to see what happens next with Natalie and her friends. I'd also like to know why Meadow's Creek is such a powerful and magical place. ( )
  BookishThings | Mar 23, 2016 |
Natalie is a teenage girl who has low self-esteem, is overweight, has an abusive father, and is targeted by bullies. She has always dreamed of being someone else, never having realized what a special person she is. After being attacked on the school bus one morning, her best friend Tristan takes her to the nurse's office. Soon thereafter, Sarah, the girl who has been bullying her, ends up dying tragically. Natalie then begins to remember the dreams she has been having. Dreams where she is a "slayer" that fights against demons, vampires, and defends the city against all kinds of evil. Not only is she a kick-butt heroine, she has a hot boyfriend to. She discovers that the things that are happening in her dream world are also beginning to parallel and spill over into this world. Natalie finds out she is much more than she thought she was, a paladin, destined to truly defend her city against evil, but can she live up to the expectations that are placed upon her and rise up to the occasion before it's too late?

The Dream Slayer is not dull by any means, it starts off with action and just keeps on going. I felt bad for Natalie and what she was going through, and hated that she had such a low opinion of herself in most of the book, though she finally does manage to begin to get past that by the end, and actually turns out doing some pretty kick-butt stuff herself. I thought the love interest with Tristan was sweet, and was glad to see some of Natalie's relationships begin to mend with family and friends. This is one of those books you will need to pay attention to because it switches from Natalie the normal teenage girl, to Natalie the Slayer, her alter ego, though this is actually taking place in her dreams. Overall, this was a fun read, and though it dealt with killing demons and the like, to me it was not gruesome like your typical horror story. If you are into teenage fantasy, the paranormal, with a little bit of horror, and some sweet romance, then you would probably enjoy The Dream Slayer. ( )
  alwaysyaatheart | Jul 15, 2012 |
This review appears on my blog, Starting the Next Chapter.

When I first read the title for this book, I was intrigued. What context did the phrase "dream slayer" refer to? Was it a slayer of out of control dreams, or was there something else. Reading the description cleared that right up and my interest was fully piqued. The concept is an especially fun one. I knew it had the potential to be a really fun read. As it turns out, I was correct in my thinking. The Dream Slayer is a truly fun premise with loads of action and some very sweet moments.

I really liked the main character, Natalie... both of them! You see, the real Natalie is special. In her dreams, she is something other than herself that makes her more able to cope with the difficulties of her waking life. In real life, Natalie is overweight, bullied, and abused, but still has a truly sweet disposition that makes the things that are happening to her all the more horrible. When she escapes into her dreams, however, she is a more fit, confident version of herself that takes no crap from anyone. Did I mention that her dream self is a demon slayer? Oh, yeah. I thought that would get your attention. Seeing Natalie come out of her shell as she discovered a strength she didn't know she possessed was beautiful. As her confidence grows, she becomes an even more interesting character. I really enjoyed her.

The writing that makes up The Dream Slayer is very engaging, as is the world it is set in. The variety of demons that have to be dealt with are just disturbing enough to add a real sense of menace to the story. What is even more spectacular is the amount of humor that is injected into the characters you would least expect. There were several errors scattered throughout the book, but as I had the incomplete copy, I won't fault the story too much for it. I just hope that they have been corrected, as they can potentially distract readers from a fun story.

I was very pleased with this book and loved getting lost in this strange world that Natalie lives in. Most of the characters are enjoyable and the stakes are high. Fans of books featuring girls who can kick butt will definitely want to give this one a go. It is imaginative and easy to read. It left me wanting to know what would happen next, which is always the mark of a good story. ( )
  MarlaSTNC | Jul 10, 2012 |
Originally posted on Lovey Dovey Books

Action, adventure and surprisingly, romance, fills the pages of Jill Cooper's debut YA novel, The Dream Slayer. Its sarcastic and down-to-earth characters will keep readers entertained and begging for The Dream Slayer's sequel, Demon Royale to hit shelves immediately!

Natalie Johnson is in no way the average heroine. With the ability to dream an alternate dimension, in which she's a slayer of evil, 'dorky' Nat has much more to live for than she believes. In Nat's dream world she's confident and always says and acts the right way. In real life, though, she's bullied and abused with only one friend always on her side, Tristan Miller.

The story actually switches between parallel dimensions, but at first I couldn't recognize the transitions. Further along in the book the two Natalie's become more distinct in their actions and ways of speaking so that I was able to navigate the scenes more clearly. I didn't think I would like having to consider Natalie as two separate identities, but I enjoyed seeing the two sides of the young heroine because it showed the growth that the real Natalie endured. The dream slayer Natalie is feisty and determined, while on the other hand, the real Natalie is scared of her own shadow, clumsy, and plagued by low self-esteem.

Under all the fast-paced fighting scenes and humor, Jill Cooper manages to build strength in our heroine and ultimately, give readers a reason to put faith in Natalie Johnson. I don't know if I've written enough words to convey how addictive this world Jill Cooper has created is. The Dream Slayer is a read any young adult to adult readers will absolutely enjoy. ( )
  LoveyDoveyBooks | Jun 25, 2012 |
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