Elysium Dreams by Hadena James

Elysium Dreams

By: Hadena James
Genres: Horror
Series: , #2
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Published on: July 10, 2013
Elysium Dreams by Hadena James

He skins his victims alive, taking pleasure from their pain.
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 Tracking Unit have just finished up another case when they get the call. Now they are packing their bags and heading for Alaska in March. The team must overcome the hostile locals and harsh climate to catch a killer before he steals the life of another woman.

Also by this author: Tortured Dreams, The Life & Dysfunction of Nadine Daniels
Find the Author: Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon


If you have not started the Dreams and Reality Series, you totally should.  This is the second book in the series and I recently reviewed the first “Tortured Dreams“.



So to catch you up to speed a bit. Aislinn Cain is part of the Serial Crimes Tracking unit. This is a subset of the US Marshals that is full of wonderful and mentally unhinged personalities. I guess if it is your job to see depravity every day you may need that edge. Or lack of edge depending on how you see it.



This book starts with Aislinn recovering from back to back cases that we catch short glimpses of. While this is the second book in the series, it does not pick right off after the first book ended.  That actually confused me for a bit. Then I realized what was going on and I was able to roll with it.



This case takes them to Alaska, where a man is flaying victims alive. When crimes happen in a small town, no one wants it to be someone from that town. So overlooking things sometimes happens. When the Serial Crimes tracking unit shows up, it is apparent that this is what has been happening. Small things that could possibly have found the killer went missing, either intentionally or accidentally. As the cases progress, it is clear that there is much more to the story than they originally thought.



Aislinn is put into a situation where she must decide how to proceed. Not just with her career, but her life. With her special abilities, it doesn’t take long for the serial killer to latch on to the fact that she is someone special. Just how special, they don’t even begin to realize. Thankfully her co-workers do know who and what she is, and that helps her.



I didn’t like this one as much as the first one. I think that part of the problem for me is that the first was on from Aislinn’s point of view.  This story is from both her and the killer’s point of view. That made it a bit disjointing in parts. Especially once you realize who the killer is, it makes really both sides not as important. By that I mean the story at that point pushes along, but there isn’t that excitement or anticipation about finding out who the killer is. You know who the killer is.



Overall this is a good story, and does push the overall Dreams and Reality series forward. It introduces new characters that I assume will play a part in future books. Will I read another one from this series? Yes, in fact I already have one queued up on my kindle. But do I have the same level of excitement that I had after the first book? No. So in a sense, I will have to be won back again.



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About Hadena James

Hadena James began writing at the age of eight. As a teenager, she had several short stories published in literary magazines. She completed writing her first novel at the age of 17.
Hadena graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in European History with minors in German and Russian studies. She has always wanted to be a writer so she also took several classes in creative writing.

Hadena’s primary literary genre is action/thriller. She currently writes two series, both use action/thriller. “The Brenna Strachan Series” uses fantasy and the “Dreams & Reality Series” uses murder mystery as its secondary genre. She continues to explore and expand her writing and hopes to soon produce a comedic action/thriller.

When she isn’t busy writing or running her business, Hadena enjoys playing in a steel-tip dart league. She also loves to travel throughout North America and Europe. Her favorite cities are Chicago, Illinois and Berlin, Germany. She is an avid reader, reading everything from the classics like Jane Austen to modern writers like Terry Pratchett. One of her all-time favorite books is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. She writes all of her books while listening to music and the bands tend to get “honorable mentions” within the pages.

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