Dreaming Awake is a powerfully written, emotionally gripping story that hooks you and keeps you there as the rest of the story unfolds. It's beautifully written, almost lyrical in a sense, and the imagery is quite powerful and heartwrenching. This is the second installment in this gripping trilogy, filled with romance, betrayal, friendship, and heartache. The pace picks up a great deal and there is quite a bit of action, the character's are amazingly written and utilized in the best possible way. This time around, Theia struggles with the fact that the deal she made with Mara may just be her own un-doing in a sense. I'm not usually one for straight up love stories, so I was happy that there was a bit more action and point to the storytelling and a little less focus on the romance, as beautifully written as it was. With a bit of Mara's blood rushing through her veins, Theia is finding that there's power in it, and has come to the startling realization that she has this urge she never possessed before to feed on souls, which throws a couple of monkey wrenches into the story later on. Theia doesn't realize until it's pointed out to her later, that she's actually been drawing on this power. It was nice to see that her character development progressed in this book, that she became stronger and was able to overcome some of the obstacles thrown in her direction. The bond of friendship Theia shared with Ame and Donny, was definitely one of the best things about this novel. They were willing to go above and beyond, to ensure their friend's safety no matter what. Hayes world-building and masterfully written imagery of the Under are grotesquely mesmorizing and will pull you into the story right along with the terrifying character's that are basically walking nightmares. There are walking skeletons and one of the most imaginative yet disturbing things I've read about to date, sewn together handmaidens. The way these handmaidens are described, will give you chills. It's such a distorted vision filled with dark magic, intense vulnerability, and terrifying fears that may or may not come to pass. Not since this series, have I seen Under depicted in such a way that it left me visibly shaking while reading. And the cliffhanger that it leaves you with, will drop your jaw. This is definitely a book that you will want to read.