Sing Sweet Nightingale (The Dream War Saga #1) by Erica Cameron (2014)
YA Fiction | Paranormal Fantasy
“Mariella Teagen hasn’t spoken a word in four years.
She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.
Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.
Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.
Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella’s life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.”
pooled ink Review:
Talk about starting a book with a punch to the gut! Dang. That was cold.
Welcome to a paranormal dream world…a paradisiacal nightmare.
Sing Sweet Nightingale is a bucket of paranormal goodness. Seriously. There are a lot of paranormal fantasy books out there with many honing in on demons and wraiths or the like but Cameron has managed to unravel a story within this genre that isn’t silly like half of them nor a mess of ridiculous goop like most of them. I mean it’s totally insane…but it’s awesome. Definitely just a matter of opinion but yeah, in my opinion this is a paranormal book worth taking a second glance at before dismissing it with many of its fellows.
We’ve got an alternative POV book here everybody. This story is told through the eyes of both Hudson and Mariella. So what’s this book filled with? Teens? Warriors? Demons? Humans? Freaky happenings? Yep. Yep, all of that paranormal nonsense.
Hudson, a tough Jersey boy with good intentions despite his lethal taste for fighting, plays the roles of a human-demon cross over for fantasy, a dark mysterious handsome teenager for romance, and a boy with a legitimately rough life and broken family for realism and dimension. He’s interesting, decently multi-dimensional, and snap there is just something about him that checks the box ‘successful protagonist’ for me. Oh and thank his lucky stars that he just happened to learn sign language of all things when living on the streets of Jersey.
Mariella, whom has a lovely name, balances the line between being genuinely smitten and being infuriatingly silly. I found her to be, yes a daydreaming love-struck teen who ogles after Orane dripping with loyalty and love, but also a strong girl perfectly capable of taking care of herself and only staying away from fighting her own fight because of a very powerful demon who has been eating his way into her mind for ten long years. Hudson could defeat his demon on his own but he’d only been entranced by her for four years and besides that it took the death of the light in his world to give him enough strength to break free. Mariella is safe and loved, and besides that she doesn’t want to kill her demon. Not in the slightest (Talk about Hudson having his work cut out for him!). So she may be a tough nut to crack but trust me, the minute truth flashes through her eyes she becomes a force to be reckoned with.
And although not a leading lady in this novel I can’t overlook K.T. who is an awesome person. K.T. is a wonderfully realistic and authentic female character. She’s witty, loyal, smart, pretty, fun, and fierce. She’s not just a place-holder or sidekick in the book even though some may see her that way, but she’s not because people are not “place-holders” they are real people with fully actualized lives no matter how small or brief a part they may play in your four Act drama of a life. But heck yes because her role grows with each chapter and I’m glad because she just might be my favorite. Also serious props to her dedication to Mariella. Definitely deserving of the “Best Friend Ever” Award.
Oh but Dawn is pretty rad as well (And let’s not forget the impressive generosity of Horace nor the unyielding love of Mariella’s parents!). In fact by the very very end we find a whole Scooby Doo gang formed and ready to roll with the support of some very good people. I can definitely foresee some crazy adventures coming their way.
The plot was good. It shifted and evolved and danced keeping me engaged throughout its entirety. Cameron can definitely write and clearly has an overflowing well of ideas. Overall it’s definitely rather what you’d expect of typical paranormal books at the core, but that’s why you read paranormal right? There are things throughout the book that are “good fortune” and “happy chance” and that without them the journey through the story would have taken forever and been near impossible. So although I admit there were a hefty handful of coincidences in this story I won’t protest against them too much particularly as this is fiction and a fiction filled with fantasy and the paranormal…so basically the author can do whatever the heck she wants because this is her world.
I will mention briefly that this book contains a moderate abundance of expletives, which I say in case that is something you’d prefer not to read (I generally don’t find it classy but that’s the point really, it adds realism to Hudson’s edged and jagged life so in this case I didn’t mind).
This book for me was a fun quick-paced read. It was pretty dang good but I admit I’m still waiting for a paranormal book to win me over like I have been in the past by fantasy books. It’s not you, it’s me. 😉
Sing Sweet Nightingale is a hauntingly seductive paranormal fantasy thriller on a clock. Fans of the paranormal genre will soak it up instantly, fans of the paranormal will tingle with these electric theories, and newbies to the genre will exit the book converted or at least willing to dip their toe in a bit deeper. Grab a copy and read away. Keep a nightlight on, an amethyst in your pocket, and a secured seat for the ride.
My life is insane.
Yeah, yeah I’d agree with that, Hudson.
Purchase here: Sing Sweet Nightingale
Check out the rest of this series: Deadly Sweet Lies (The Dream War Saga #2)
Similar Recommended Reads: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini, Drought by Pam Bachorz, The Devil’s Flower by Lisa Collicutt, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Meet Erica Cameron!
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.