#aww2018 Book review: “False Awakening” by Cassandra Page

Title: False Awakening
Author: Cassandra Page
Genre: urban fantasy
Dates read: 26/12/17 – 04/01/18
Rating: ★★★


I reviewed the prequel to this book almost exactly two years ago. I think this book suffered a little from me not remembering all the details of the previous book; however, the dreamscapes of Cassandra Page’s Oneiroi world do make for enjoyable reading.

Dream-therapist Melaina thought that her problems with nightmare spirits and dream blights was over with, but  that’s not the case. Other people around her are still being possessed, the Morpheus himself wants an audience with her, and her cousin has gone msising. All three things seem to be connected, but can Melaina save those she loves?

The dream sequences are definitely what I enjoyed best about this book. Page expands on the world-building she did in the first book, bringing in new Oneiroi characters, setting up more of their laws and customs. Once again the scenes where Melaina fights off the blights in other people’s dreams were also well done. There was a lot of action, and the rules of the magic system were well maintained.

The characters are well-written and I particularly like the contrast between Melaina and her wealthy relatives. I have to admit, though, that with the exception of the climax, I never really felt myself invested in the characters and what was going to happen to them.

also have to admit that I will always simultaneously love reading books set in my adopted city of Canberra and also find it a bit weird recognising all the locations. This is obviously not a criticism of the author; just an observation!

This review is part of my 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

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Cover Reveal: False Awakening by Cassandra Page #aww2017

Hey everyone! It’s been a bit of a while since I last did a cover reveal! I read Lucid Dreaming by Cassandra Page about twelve months or so ago (review here) so I was excited to read that there’s a follow-up due out in August this year, and I’m also pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal today! Read on to find out more.

False Awakening
Cassandra Page
(Lucid Dreaming #2)
Publication date: August 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Melaina, half-human dream therapist, just wants her life to return to normal. Yes, her Oneiroi father is in prison and, yes, the place she worked burned down, but she has a cute boyfriend and a new house. She beat the bad guy. She’s earned a break. Right?

Unfortunately for Melaina, people are still getting possessed by nightmare spirits; the police are investigating her past; and the bad guy’s brother, the Morpheus himself, is coming to town to demand answers. When a deranged ex-nurse checks himself out of hospital on the same day her cousin runs away from home, Melaina is dragged into a fight not just for her life but for her soul.

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Sequel to:

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Author Bio:

Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — despite being allergic to cats. She has loved to read since primary school, when the library was her refuge, and loves many genres — although urban fantasy is her favourite. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

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Book Review: Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page #aww2016

Title: Isla’s Inheritance
Author: Cassandra Page
Genre: YA/Urban fantasy
Date Read: 21/07/2016 – 22/07/2016
Rating: ★★★


This is the second book I’ve read by local author Cassandra Page, and I have to admit, I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to reading books set in Canberra (even if I do love recognising the locations).

At a seance on Halloween, Isla receives a strange message from a ouija board regarding her long-dead mother: “SHE IS NOT DEAD”. Soon after, she starts having strange dreams and develops a strange aversion to her father’s iron statues. Could her mother still be alive? And is she even human?

This book hosts a great cast of characters, from Isla and her dad, to the extended family who Isla lives with when she’s attending school (her father lives on a farm some distance away). There’s also Dominic, her new boyfriend, and Jack, a friend/mentor character who helps Isla come to terms with her newly-discovered identity.

The romance between Isla and Dominic happened quite quickly, but I did appreciate the fact that there was no typical mooning over the crush, like there is in so much YA. There is a bit of a Dominic/Isla/Jack love triangle in upcoming books. I’d like to hope the story doesn’t go down that route, but both some things that characters said and did are giving me that distinct impression.

The book is very easy to read, though it was one of those books were I flew through it, only to realise that not a whole lot had happened. The stakes never feel especially high, but having said, it moves along at a good pace and as you can see from the dates above, I finished it in under 24 hours. Judging by the ending, which was a little bit abrupt, the second book probably has more going on, and this one was really doing the setting up.

Overall, I can’t really say that I feel compelled to continue with the series, but I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time reading thsi one.

(This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016. Click here for more information).

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Book Review: Lucid Dreaming by Cassandra Page #aww2016

Title: Lucid Dreaming
Author: Cassandra Page
Genre: Urban fantasy
Date Read: 06/01/2016 – 07/01/2016
Rating: ★★★★


luciddreamingcover(Thanks to Cassandra Page and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

So, I have to get a confession out of the way first. Even though I knew that Cassandra Page lives in Canberra like I do, for some reason, I was totally taken by surprise over the fact that this book is also set here. Every time I recognised a location, I kind of stopped and squeed a bit. I’m sure people who live in New York or London are totally used to this, but no one ever sets books in Canberra, so that added a whole extra level of fun.

Lucid Dreaming centres on Melaina, a half-Oneiroi, or dream spirit, who works as a “dream therapist” to pay the bills. But when she treats a client whose dreams are inhabited by a nightmare creature, it draws the attention of the creatures’ master, who isn’t happy. When investigating leads to near-death experiences and her friends and family being in danger, the chase is on for Melaina to figure out what exactly is going on before her own, and others’, nightmares come to get them.

I really enjoyed reading an urban fantasy with supernatural creatures we don’t often see. As well as the Oneiroi (we meet a couple of full-blooded ones throughout the course of the book), we also experience their opposite, the Mara, and some other nightmare creatures.

I really appreciated the characters in the book, too. I’m all for a feisty character with snappy dialogue, but sometimes it wears a bit thin when every single event or comment from someone is responded to with a witty retort. The dialogue in Lucid Dreaming flows well and strikes a good balance in this regard. Dialogue also serves as a world-building device and as such it never got too info-dumpy.

There is an explicit sex scene about three quarters of the way through, which isn’t really my cup of tea. I think that’s the only thing for which some readers might require a heads-up. Apart from that, I recommend this as an entertaining, original piece of urban fantasy.

(This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016. Click here for more information).