The Dream Alchemist (Somnus #1)

     Author: Joanna Chambers

     Publisher: Samhain Publishing

     Rating: 4 stars

     Buy Links: Samhain and Amazon

     Type: Standalone Novel

     Received from Publisher


Blurb: When the sun goes down, their passion awakens…and so do their nightmares.

Somnus, Book 1

Centuries ago, a man with Bryn Llewelyn’s dreamwalking ability would have been a shaman or a priest. In this time, he’s merely exhausted, strung out on too much caffeine and too little sleep.

Sleep means descent into Somnus—an alternate reality constructed of the combined dreaming consciousness of ordinary humans. A place he’d rather avoid. Trouble is, his powers don’t include the ability to go without sleep indefinitely. At some point his eyes close…and his nightmare begins.

As a teen, the treatment that cured Laszlo Grimm’s sleep disorder stole his dreams—and his ability to feel emotion. Petrified of needing more “treatment”, he clings to familiar rituals and habits. But lately his nightly terror has returned, and when he meets Bryn in the real world, the man seems hauntingly familiar. Not only that, Bryn awakens feelings in Laszlo for the first time in years…

Slowly Bryn and Laszlo realize they are both unknowing pawns in a plan of unspeakable evil. And that their powerful attraction could release the destinies locked within them—or be the instrument of their doom.

Warning: Contains the stuff of your lustiest dreams—and most frightening nightmares. You may want to read with a candle at the ready…just in case the lights go out.


Review: Bryn Llewelyn is a dreamwalker. As he’s dreaming he’s coherent and can manipulate his surroundings to some extent. Human dreams take place in Somnus. People who are not coherent while dreaming are drones. Bryn has been trying to stay awake lately, as every time he falls asleep he feels himself inexorably drawn to a specific location. It’s not a good location. While there, he’s attacked by a drone. Bryn begins to wonder if this guy maybe isn’t a drone, but he’s certainly not acting like a dreamwalker. As he’s being attacked Bryn just happens to notice the guy is gorgeous. They sort of almost make out a little.

Lazlo Grimm woke up suddenly when his alarm went off. He felt as though he had been dreaming. Except he doesn’t dream. Lazlo does all he can to ensure he does not dream, as he never again wants to have to go through therapy to suppress his dreams. That he may have been dreaming isn’t a good sign. Lazlo does all he can to continue to ignore the signs he may be starting to dream again and avoid his doctor, Professor Wolffe. When Lazlo unexpectedly meets a stunning waiter at a charity auction he’s happy to follow him to a back room for a quick tryst. Unfortunately, the conversation that comes after isn’t what Lazlo wants to hear.

Bryn has to convince an angry and resisting Lazlo that something is wrong with what is happening in his dreams. It begins to look like Professor Wolffe has something to do with what is wrong. Bryn also has to do this while dealing with his own attraction to Lazlo and his own understanding of his powers in Somnus. To compound matters, Bryn and Lazlo aren’t exactly sure who they can and can’t trust.

I have said numerous times I’m a sucker for a well built world. Somnus drew me in instantly. A person’s power in Somnus had little to do with their power in their daily life. Bryn Llewelyn was a disaster of a person. A significant part of this had to do with his presence in Somnus. Bryn’s powers manifested at an incredibly early age and his nighttime escapades began to take over his life. Conversely, Lazlo had his powers suppressed and he was able to devote his energies to his education and business. Other dreamwalkers were able to balance work and Somnus better. Despite being wealthy and powerful it was Lazlo who needed rescue. It was the scruffy guy with a modest flat he inherited from his mentor who saved the businessman.

At the end of the book the story is still partially unresolved. Dylan and Finn have things they need to do. Tristan is obviously going to be used by Dylan. Wyatt’s comments have to pertain to something, I don’t believe they were thrown in as filler. The story of Laslo and Bryn is very much completed with an HEA, though, and no one appears to be in immediate danger. In some ways, this left me feeling that the story wrapped up incredibly quickly. The overall story arc was laid out then boom! This installment was over. It has certainly made me eager for the next book, which I’m hoping is about Dylan and Finn.


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