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  • Dream Woods

  • By: Patrick Lacey
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Dream Woods

By: Patrick Lacey
Narrated by: Joe Hempel
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Summary

When Vince Carter takes a shortcut to work, he notices a billboard that nearly sends him into an oncoming van.

The ad is for Dream Woods, New England's answer to Disney World. It closed decades ago, but now that it's back in business, Vince is eager to take his whole family, hoping the magic he remembers will save his failing marriage.

His wife, Audra, isn't so sure. She's heard the rumors of why the place closed. Murder. Sacrifice. Torture. But those are just urban legends. Surely there's nothing evil about a family tourist attraction.

The Carters are about to discover that the park's employees aren't concerned with their guests' enjoyment. They're interested in something else. Something much more sinister.

©2016 Patrick Lacey (P)2016 Patrick Lacey

What listeners say about Dream Woods

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This is really good

This grabs you from the start and hauls you in. It's not a long story, less than six hours listening time, and it feels even shorter. There's no shortage of plot, no shortage of action, and everything is pulled together nicely at the end.

The narrator does a great job.

Recommended

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Profile Image for Spooky Mike
  • Spooky Mike
  • 08-09-17

Disney World for Horror Fans

Where does Dream Woods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was enjoyable and different from the standard horror stories. I would say it was up towards the top.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vince. I liked how he was trying to fix his family and reconnect with his past. I enjoyed how he was a punk rocker who finally decided to settle down and become a part of the machine that he previously spoke out against.

What about Joe Hempel’s performance did you like?

As always Joe does a fantastic job. At this point if his name is attached to a book I want to listen to it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The story line of Vince working to fix his marriage. Given his past I felt that it was a very realistic issue and I sympathized with him.

Any additional comments?

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Simone
  • Simone
  • 23-01-17

Incredibly Satisfying

Any additional comments?

This funky little horror book is now one of my favorites. 'Scream Woods' begins in an unassuming way and I felt for all of the characters immediately (even though they aren't the *best* people ever). Without giving away any spoilers, I'll say that this book is a peek into what might be beneath beautiful things that we don't necessarily understand. Like Disney world - it's all magic, right? You can't see the strings that are operating the puppets and maybe the puppeteer is sinister. If you like horror/fantasy and a good solid fight until the end, then this book is for you. I absolutely loved it!!! Hempel is a rock solid narrator, as always.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Maximilia
  • Maximilia
  • 19-01-17

Solid Story, Excellent Performance

Lemme tell you... I'm slowly making my way through Joe Hempel's library of narrated works because his voice is a joy to listen to. He's great at urban fantasy but so far where he really shines is horror for me. He's got this quality to his voice, which is so unique. It's like he's sitting at a campfire, gesturing for all of us to 'Come round, come round, I've got a story to tell you', and then proceeds to act out the story in a way that's terrifying: hushed, urgent, spooky, and wonderful. Listening to Mr. Hempel narrate horror is like revisiting those old childhood campfire ghost stories. I cannot recommend him enough.

His voice was a perfect fit for this tale. The basic summation of the story is this: a father sees an ad for "Dream Woods", a themepark he'd attended when he was a child. In an attempt to make his family happy (and hopefully saving his marriage, as his wife is teetering on the edge of leaving him), he books a family vacation to a place he loved so much as a child! Except... well, time colors all memories, and while he thinks he remembers some maybe spooky things happening there, in reality, a LOT of people went missing from this park. One survivor of the horrors encountered there also sees an ad for Dream Woods, and is determined to go there to stop the dark forces behind the dire theme park once and for all.

Interesting premise, and the first half... I was glued. I seriously was glued to it. The tension and suspense was so thick you could cut it with a knife and it had the hair on the back of my neck standing on edge. Why? Because it took simple things and twisted them *just* enough to make them terrifying. Why I can't give the story 5 stars is that once the splatter started, it lost that tense quality for me and became more... banal. So, maybe I'm jaded when it comes to horror. Maybe I need more blood, guts, gore, or what-have-you to really get spooked when it comes to splatter... but the first half of this audio book where it WASN'T gory was the scariest part!

Still would heartily recommend this for a listen. You won't be disappointed!

5 people found this helpful

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  • timj26
  • 21-10-19

Loved it

Vince try’s to fix his unhappy family by taking them to the place he was happiest as a boy
The author does a great job building suspense turning a place of joy into a nightmare
Excellent narration from the very talented joe hempel
If you like more atmospheric horror I would highly recommend checking this out
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for T. Winter
  • T. Winter
  • 14-10-17

Good narration but really poor writing.

I tried, but I just could not get into this book. I had about an hour left to go and finally decided life is too short. The narration is great, but the writing is amateurish and full of things that don't make sense. Yes, it is creepy, but the execution is just too poor for me to deal with. The neatly packaged, rehearsed way the characters tell each other their life stories. The way the father goes on and on to everyone he meets about how the amusement park is the best place on earth. This is just not the way people communicate with each other. It is, and feels, completely contrived.

Then you have the supposedly typical six year olds who lament having possibly shortened lifespans (one of them might live to 60 instead of 80) and go around pondering how *credible* and *archaic* things are . . . really? And the little mistakes, e.g. 'money is no option.' It's object, Mr. Lacey. OBJECT.

Finally, the characters themselves are either completely one-dimensional (like the father, trying to get his wife to love him again and sure the park will fix everything) or totally and unrealistically unlikeable. Seriously, hoping and waiting for the callous and shallow wife to get eventually cut from the book through murder was the only thing I was emotionally invested in. But alas, it wasn't enough to make me finish the book. (And please don't misunderstand, this isn't a spoiler, I'm not saying if it happens or not.)

There are so many better books out there. I would take a pass on this one.

I was provided this audiobook for free at my request by the author, publisher, or narrator and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected the opinions I have expressed.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for CMLawson
  • CMLawson
  • 27-03-17

Heartfelt, entertaining horror that calls back to the days of video store horror racks

Dream Woods is the story of a family trying to heal their wounds through a family vacation. Unfortunately, they chose Dream Woods for their vacation, a theme park which just reopened after being closed under grim circumstances.
The book reads like The Shining mixed with the best of 80's B horror. The characters are genuine and engaging. They are flawed, realistic, and interesting. As a metal guy who had to grow up and support a family, I easily identify with Vince, the ex-punk accountant and family man.
As for the performance of the audio, Hempel delivers. The reading was clear. The voices were identifiable without distracting from the story. All around a great job.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Mary Karowski
  • Mary Karowski
  • 24-01-17

This would be Disney if run by demons

Great for any theme park enthusiast. A wonderfully written macabre tale of theme parks gone horribly wrong. I loved every second of it and wished there was more to it. Great at restoring the nostalgia of childhood visits to theme parks and capturing the way life doesn't always work out as planned and the attempts to recapture that childhood feeling. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Amanda
  • Amanda
  • 16-09-17

Creepy theme park!

I enjoyed this story but wish there was more build-up. This story is about a theme park with a sketchy history. Facing marital trouble and takes his family to the newly reopened theme park from his childhood yet it isn't the fun he remembers. It would have been a great story if it was slower to build-up before it all hits the fan, it would have increased the creep factor. Still a very good story with stellar narration. I received a free review copy of this book at my request in an exchange for an honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-09-17

Creepy amusement park filled with evil? Yes please

A creepy amusement park filled with evil creatures? I'll take one ticket please! This is the first of Mr. Lacey's stories that I have experienced and I must say it was a blast. The story mainly revolves around one family's horrific experience at a creepy amusement park with a dark past. This fast paced story features interesting characters and a wonderful locale. Being a huge theme park fan myself, the idea of an evil amusement park instantly drew me in and I enjoyed the ride to the very end. I'll definitely be looking into more of Mr. Lacey's work.

This book was narrated by the talented Joe Hempel. I think everything I've heard by him has been horror stories, and I have yet to be disappointed. He has a relaxed style, and I think that actually adds a bit more creepiness to the stories he narrates. I may have said it before, but his narration reminds me of someone telling me a ghost story around a campfire, which I enjoy quite a bit.

I received a copy of this audio title for free in exchange for an unbiased review

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Nomi
  • Nomi
  • 09-03-17

Great creepy horror

Would have listened to this just because Joe Hempel narrated it. Great creepy horror/suspense. Starts out fast and had me hooked right away. Definitely going to follow this author.

Joe Hempel as always did a wonderful job. Very enjoyable.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 people found this helpful