Although Inuzaka Keno has found freedom and love in the Dreamlands with oni Samojirou Aboshi, the war is still raging between The Trust's battle-hardened recruits and the demons of his new home. While cloaked in shadows and magic, powerful people are using Keno, Aboshi, and their Lord Tamazusa as pawns in a deadly plan to rule both worlds.They're not alone: soldiers Mason,Although Inuzaka Keno has found freedom and love in the Dreamlands with oni Samojirou Aboshi, the war is still raging between The Trust's battle-hardened recruits and the demons of his new home. While cloaked in shadows and magic, powerful people are using Keno, Aboshi, and their Lord Tamazusa as pawns in a deadly plan to rule both worlds.They're not alone: soldiers Mason, Wolf, and McGann—Keno's friends from The Trust—also find themselves embroiled in the battle spreading through the Dreamlands, involving its other lands and cultures. If they're to have any chance to survive, Aboshi will have to leave his love to protect him, and Keno will have to find the power within himself to live on without his heart....
|Title||:||Back to the Dream|
|Number of Pages||:||314 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Back to the Dream Reviews
One thing I love about this series is the world building. At times it's confusing and a bit overwhelming but to me, who's a fantasy lover, it's amazing. Some things aren't quite as explained as I'd like them to be but I'm still in love with the world.This one takes place roughly a year after Dreamlands and shows Keno and Samo as a couple in love. It's easy to see the love, desire and trust between the two and how much living in the Dreamlands is good for Keno. Keno is like a whole new man, he's healthy, confident (at least when he's dressed like Sakura) and lives a life where he doesn't feel fear every single day. He's still his cute and adorable self but much better now. Samo has grown, too. He's much more likable now since he's happy he has his Keno back. I loved the story, I really did. It was great seeing Keno and Samo again. There were, however, some things I had a problem with. While the beginning was interesting, it dragged for a little while, would pick up again, and then drag for a bit only for the story to pick up again. I think that had more to do with certain POVs than it did with the story.Speaking of POVs, I felt the story didn't revolve around Keno and Samo anymore. Sure, they were still in it and we still got their POVs but the story seemed more about Tama (who's a woman) and Mason than anyone else. So at times I felt like I was reading a m/f romance instead of a m/m romance and while I like Tama and Mason just fine, I really wanted this to be more about Keno and Samo and figuring out how their relationship would work with Keno's family and the trouble of the war. Instead, I got a lot of Tama's and Mason's thoughts and the overabundance of sexual tension between them plus a lot of flirting. I didn't really like it. Yes, the war and the conflict was an interesting one but I think it would have been more interesting seeing it from Keno and Samo's POVs than from Tama and Mason's. That's just my opinion. Aside from feeling like the MCs were Tama and Mason, I was a bit disappointed when it came to a few scenes. I wanted them to be explained and shown because it would have helped understanding who Keno is and what powers he holds but those scenes were just glossed over. (view spoiler)[For example, Tama stated Keno was the one who saved them from drowning and brought them to the village where Mason, Wolf and McGann were but how did he do it? When they escaped the village, there was this whole fuss about how the barrier would be extremely difficult to pass through and how they needed a shaman to cross. Multiple characters started how hard it is to cross but then Tama gets this idea how to cross, which I think involved Keno, but then the whole thing is glossed over so (1) you have no idea how they crossed and (2) you have no idea how it involved Keno or his magic. It was disappointing. I wanted a book about Keno and Samo to see Keno grow into his powers but instead I got a whole shit load of Tama and Mason flirting instead. Yeah, she needed to get her kuni back but we could have easily known everything about that from either Keno or Samo's POV by having other characters explain things to them if they didn't already know it. (hide spoiler)]. Then there's the ending that just leaves me with more questions about Keno and his powers. Overall, while I did enjoy the story, it wasn't as good as the first in the series. I don't much mind the alternating first person but I mind it when it's no longer about the 'supposed' main characters and pushes me believe the blurb is a bit misleading. With that said, I do recommend this book only because I do love the series, just this one was not my favorite and I'm desperately hoping the next book in the series is actually about Keno and Samo and exploring Keno's powers.
Finally, Finally, FINALLY!!! After 16 days, I finally finished this book. I was really excited about getting to read more of Keno and Samojirou, but all they ever did was have sex. Almost every time they were in a scene together. No romance, no sexual tension, just sex sex sex!! All the sexual tension was left up to Mason and Tamazusa. Yes, you read that right. I was really hoping for this gay book to turn into a het book. I really enjoyed the banter between Mason and Tama. Mason kept calling her his "Hot Mama" even though he was scared that she would turn him into Jell-O at any minute. They were cute together!The POV shifts were confusing the hell out of me. It had 4 POVs: Mason's, Tamazusa's, Keno's, and Samojirou's. Tamazusa and Keno's voices sounded exactly the same, so I kept getting them confused. And surprisingly, Mason ended up being my favorite character and POV. Too many questions not answered in this book. There was this really important scene somewhere around the middle of the book where Keno is supposed to use his "powers" to get through this barrier, and the entire scene was "fade to black" and never explained!!!! And what is going on with Wolf and McGann??? Not much explained there either!! So very frustrating!! I don't think I will be reading the next book in this series.
Reviewed for The Novel Approach. I absolutely adored the first book in this series, Dreamlands, when I read it, and I had high hopes for the sequel. I wanted to know more about Keno and Samojirou, as well as the humans Mason and Wolf. I got more of that in this book, but the pacing was slow in the first quarter of the book, and in many parts the story dragged on, and I had to stop. After that first quarter, however, things definitely picked up, and I couldn’t read fast enough. Once again, Ivey has blended urban fantasy with a more traditional fantasy/mythology. New cultures are introduced and explored, which adds new elements to the novel not seen in the first.Keno is growing as a character. In the first book, while he slowly falls for Samojirou, he is afraid of anything sexual with him because of his abuse on Earth. Understandable. In this book, however, he has gotten past that, and it seems that every time they are on the page together, Keno is exploring his newfound confidence. Readers will also see him grow once he travels with Tamazusa and is reunited with Mason, Wolf, and the others.The intrigue of the Game in the Dreamlands is developing more. There are new characters, and the tension rises as Tamazusa plays the Game, putting herself in possible danger. Samojirou doesn’t like this, but it enables Keno to take on a new role. Of course, this new role is yet again as a woman, like his alter-ego Sakura. For being the avatar of a vicious warrior, he certainly dresses as a woman more frequently than not. But I guess that could be explained due to the interesting history of his ancestor and how he’s missing from the Dreamlands. It’s almost like two extremes of one person. However, he does shed this role once they reach the Northlands.Mason is just as crass and protective of McGann as in the last book, and his relationship is growing with Tamazusa, which is fascinating, given her history and distrust of all men except Samojirou, Keno, and her samurai. And then there’s the other new, complex characters from the Trust as well as the Dreamlands, particularly the newly introduced Northlands.For new readers, it is sometimes tricky because so many characters tell their story from first person perspective. Sometimes the events overlap, other times they skip ahead a bit. Others happen simultaneously in different areas of the Dreamlands. But each character brings something unique to the story.If you are new and want to check this out, you absolutely must read the first book. While Ivey does a good job of covering the basics, there is just too much that would be missed. Characters that are not present in this novel are discussed, and they are crucial to the development of some events in this book. Plus, the first book is just so awesome, why would you want to skip it anyway?I look forward to reading book three and finding out more about the Dreamlands and what the Trust is going to try next.
The world building in Ms. Ivey’s Dreamlands is breathtaking. Constructed partly around a version of our own modern world, (for the Trust) partly around feudal Japan, (for Nippon in the Dreamlands) and partly out of the author’s fertile imagination, this is a vibrant, living, breathing world, one that leaps off the page and shakes the reader by the scruff. The attention to detail, from clothing to language, from food to weaponry to transport, fleshes out a world that feels not only complete but also compelling in its beauty and peril. This is not a traditional romance story arc. Our lovers are already together and committed. Our narrators are several, not merely our lovers. But there is enough danger, angst, and separation for the lovers that the emotional arc follows the same path for the reader. With varied and complex characters and plenty of intrigue, the plot generally gallops along at a good clip. There were a few odd issues of pacing and plausibility here and there. Not many, for the length of the work, but at some crucial moments. Tamazusa’s decision to go with Iida on his boat was difficult to swallow, especially for someone with centuries of successful intrigue behind her. The crossing of the barrier had quite a build up – and then the reader wasn’t allowed to see it happen and missed any plausible explanation of why it had worked. The ending battle as well, when motives were revealed or not quite revealed, had an odd, confused quality, as if the villain’s motives hadn’t quite gelled or as if the reader might be missing pieces. Since the end of the book was not a true ending, with too many loose ends left lying about, the second is possible. Despite one or two unfathomable actions, the characters otherwise are consistent and have the breadth and depth to learn and grow. They draw on unexpected reserves of strength. They surprise themselves, especially Keno, who finds moments of courage and ferocity where he thought there would always only be fear. There will be more written in this series and this reader, at least, is eager to return. Questions still need to be answered, truths need to be faced, and those darn Trustees need to learn their lesson. All too often, fantasy romance skimps on the creation of a believable world. There is no skimping in the Dreamlands. All the best ingredients are here, lush and rich, full of exotic flavors and heady aromatics for the mind. I would never wish to rush such a careful creative effort, but I do hope we are allowed to go back soon. originally posted at http://whippedcream2.blogspot.com/201...
I wondered how well I would be able to follow along with this continuation since it's been a while (since its release) since I read the first book, Dreamlands. However, between the player summary at the beginning (which probably helped me more at the beginning of this story than it would have for the previous one, but then again, I do read yaoi and could keep up with the players the first time), and the contextual reminders during the story, I remembered enough to be fine. I don't remember the specifics of the curse on the Hakkenshi, but it's not really necessary to this story anyway - she tells you enough to follow along.All in all, this one felt more like The Empire Strikes Back: not exactly finished because there's obviously more that will occur, but complete enough for now. I expect a third book in the series now, whereas after the first story, it could have stood alone forever, and this time it can't. So, it feels mostly complete, but yet incomplete too. (Hence the SW:ESB reference.)I was a bit disappointed about the lead up to crossing the barrier and the big deal it was, only to have it skipped entirely at a chapter break, but otherwise, I was very well pleased with the story and can't wait to read the eventual end.
This is a second book in Dreamlands series. I'm pretty sure there will be a 3rd one. But I hope there will be more action, really. The first one got me interested. I like the way the narration turns from one character to another, so we can see what's happening from different points of view. The 2nd book was a bit slow in my opinion and boring, because the same thing was thought and discussed over and over again with little action. So I think there wasn't a big step forward in this book. Also there were several characters whose presence I could not justify (but maybe I will be proved wrong in the 3rd book). I expected more development from the main characters (i.e. Samojirou and Keno). And I sometimes got a headache from Mason narration. Other than that, it is an interesting story.
i finally got around to reading this book and all i have to say is wt? the end of a book kind of killed it sometimes. with the switching btw 4 characters it get bit much trying to remember who you're reading. i have more Qs than As so please tell me a 3rd is on its way PLEASE. sucks big if that's how it ends
It's always a little weird when you start an m/m book and end it wishing it had been an m/f. I was dying to find out more about Mason and Tamazusa, but I didn't get that and I didn't get anything more about Samojirou and Keno...I didn't even get anything bout Wolf and McGann! After the 5 star (for me) Dreamlands, this was very disappointing.
The cover for book 1 was so dark and epic and awesome, I'm a little disappointed in this one. Kinda cheesy. Also sounds like reviewers aren't as fond of this one. Good sexual tension between Mason and Tama, but too much time focused on them instead of Keno and Samo.