Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Spotlight and Review for Elysium Dreams by Hadena James

Elysium Dreams
By Hadena James
Dreams & Realities, Book 2

Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Release Date: July 8, 2013

Buy Link:  Amazon

Book Description:

He skins his victims alive - How many women will he claim as trophies before he goes head to head with the sociopathic Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit?

In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.

Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Unit head for the north to find this brutal and cruel killer. The climate is harsh, the locals are hostile, and each day the unsub moves closer to claiming his next trophy - Aislinn.

Character Profiles

I was fortunate enough to become involved in an online discussion with Ms. James and I asked her about who she would like to see act out the parts of her characters if any of the books featuring Aislinn Cain were made into a movie or t.v. show.  Here are Ms. James choices:

Milla Jovovich as Aislinn Caine 

or Alexa Davalos as Aislinn Cain

Chris Hemworth (a little more beefed up and older) as Lucas McMichaels

Adrian Brody as Xavier Reece  

Max Martini as Gabriel Hendricks

Mary Louise Parker as Nyleena McClachan

And Eric Balfour as Malachi Blake

My Review

A twisted serial killer and a sociopath turned US Marshall, along with her team of misfits, all take center stage in Elysium Dreams, the second book in the Dreams & Reality series by author Hadena James.  Continuing the world building she began in Tortured Dreams, Ms. James gives us further insight into Aislinn and the US Marshalls Serial Crimes Unit as they continue to bond and capture the worst offenders known to man – serial killers.  Giving us insight into both Aislinn’s and the killer’s point of view, Ms. James ramped up the psychological and physical action in this installment in her series.

Barely home two days from the last case assigned to the Serial Crimes Unit, Aislinn Cain and the rest of her team, find themselves headed to Alaska to capture a serial killer skinning his victims.  Not a fan of the cold, she’s already suffered from hypothermia once, and a little tired and cranky, Aislinn is annoyed to discover the only reason they’ve even been summoned to help with the investigation is due to a nosy reporter more interested in catching “a big break” than in helping to the catch a killer.  While she may be a sociopath, Aislinn values all living things and has little to no tolerance for “monsters”.

As Aislinn and her team begin their investigation, it soon becomes apparent their serial killer has a working knowledge of police investigative techniques and forensics.  As the team works together to solve the case, we get to know Aislinn’s sidekicks even better.  While Dr. Lukas McMichael is still a big part of the team, and still keeps a very keen eye on Aislinn and what she’s going through, this book focuses more on Dr. Xavier Reece, his peculiarities and his growing relationship with Aislinn.  While they are not romantically linked in any way, they do tease each other a lot and we discover that Dr. Reece is in love with Aislinn’s cousin and best friend, Nyleena Clachan, who we do see some of in this book. 

Ms. James also lets us see former FBI Liaison Gabriel Hendricks in his new role as the supervisor of the Serial Crimes Unit.  I’m really beginning to like him as a character on his own and the interactions between him and Aislinn provided some of the comic relief this story needed.  Though to be frank, Aislinn does that for me on her own, she really makes me laugh and if she was real, I’d definitely want to be a part of her posse.

Will Aislinn and the team catch the serial killer before his body count hits triple digits?  Will Aislinn manage to come out of this case alive and unharmed?  You’ll have to read Elysium Dreams to find out.  I loved it, have already re-read it several times, and I’m already jonesing for Mercurial Dreams, the next book in the series.  As an added tease, Ms. James does provide the first couple of pages of Mercurial Dreams at the end of Elysium Dreams.  If you haven’t started reading this series yet – I really don’t know what you’re waiting for.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I did not receive any additional compensation for my opinion of the reading material provided.