Review: Tortured Dreams by Hadena James

Tortured Dreams by Hadena JamesI got this book for free in exchange for a review. I have to say, I was intrigued by the summary of Tortured Dreams by Hadena James, and the story pulled me along nicely. I found myself liking the main character, in spite of the type of person she really was (in real life, I’d probably dislike her a lot if I ever met her). Despite a couple times when the story dragged a bit, I wanted to keep reading.

Here’s the synopsis off of Goodreads:

When the US Marshals Serial Crimes Tracking Unit comes knocking at Aislinn Cain’s door, she is given a chance to use her past to save other people’s futures. She has survived attacks by two different serial killers and devoted her life to studying the darker side of human history.

A new killer is using medieval torture methods to slay his victims. She can give them a glimpse into his twisted world, but not without a cost. If she opens herself, she risks falling into the depths of her own darkness. Can she afford to help, knowing that the cost could be her own humanity?

Aislinn Cain’s life is a horror story.

I’m not sure if the book is set in the future or in a kind of alternate reality, but it plays off the increasing number of serial killers in our society. In my opinion, serial killers were always around. It just wasn’t as easy to track them down in the past centuries, and there wasn’t the news coverage to publicize it as easily. However, the theme in this book is it’s an increasing number, a kind of de-evolvement of the species, and it’s an interesting theory.

There was a lot of talking and I didn’t always find the dialogue believable, but considering the personality types in this book, I won’t say it really takes away from the book. I wasn’t always sure who was speaking, since a lot of times there were conversations in a group and they went back and forth quickly without a “she said” or “he said” to help me figure it out. I found myself having to go back and reread more than a few times in order to try and figure it out.

I do have this major criticism: the book needs a good proofread by a copy editor. I can forgive some grammar things, since it’s written in the first person point of view. I also know that people don’t speak with perfect grammar, so I’m not counting everything in the dialogue. However, there were lots of times when I wanted to take a red pen to the pages (which would have been very difficult considering I was reading an e-book).

Worth picking up, but I still say it needs a little more work before it’s great.

Find this book on: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Other posts about Tortured Dreams:

“Inciting the initial incident,” written by Hadena James on The Story Mavens

I'm a lover of writing and books. I graduated from South Dakota State with a master's degree in communications in 2011, the same year I was first published. I'm a wife and mom, and I work in content and digital marketing in South Dakota.

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Posted in Book review, Good
6 comments on “Review: Tortured Dreams by Hadena James
  1. Hadena James says:

    Brittany –

    I did notice the review on Goodreads and had a second copy editor go through it. You were right, there were still some serious mistakes.

    Thank you for the honest review. I’m glad you enjoyed it (at least some, even though it still had some problems).


    • You’re very welcome. I know that reviews are the things we live and die by as authors. I will admit to being a bit of a grammar nut (it comes with my profession) but in all honesty, the story and the meat of a novel matters most, and yours was a good story.

      • Hadena James says:

        Thanks. I do apologize for the first comment. I don’t know if I had a moment or what, but it was a little rude. I really do appreciate your review and pointing out the errors.

      • Oh I didn’t think it was rude! I’m sorry if you got that impression from my reply. I appreciate your thanks, and I totally agree with you that all reviews should be treated with respect. I also know that writers pour their heart and souls into their writing, so I try to be as respectful in my reviews as I can as well, and only mean what I say as a critique. I really do look forward to reading more from you.

      • Hadena James says:

        I want to apologize for my original comment, it was a bit rude. I really do appreciate you taking the time to read and review Tortured Dreams…reviews really our life’s breath sometimes as writers and all reviews should (especially when someone takes the time to blog about it) should be treated with respect. Also, I appreciated the constructive criticism on the grammar and what not. You can never have too many editors!

      • Hadena James says:

        It was not your response, but the rereading of my initial comment that made feel it was rude.

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