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Fantasy Novels for Adults and Teens

Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps

Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2018 and recipient of the Kirkus Star. "A fa . . .

Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2018 and recipient of the Kirkus Star. "A fantasy with tremendous heart and a magisterial execution." Read the award-winning YA fantasy novel, Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps. This YA fantasy novel for adults and teens will appeal to fans of The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, or The Goonies. Available now in ebook, paperback, or hardcover formats.

Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps is ★★★★ (4.36) on Goodreads


A normal eighth-grader by day, thirteen-year-old Ben awakens one night in a fantastical dream world where snow burns, the sun disappears and reappears without warning, and magic is addictive. But the mysterious realm of Meridia is disappearing, eaten by a phenomena called the Fading. Joined by Avery, Marcus, and three dog-like dragonwoofs, Ben journeys across monster-infested oceans and sun-scorched mountains to retrieve the sphinx’s head, the key to saving the world and every astonishing creature that inhabits it. But not everyone wants them to succeed. Soon, they find themselves pursued by the Sovereign and his generals, whose armies will stop at nothing to perpetuate the Fading and its consumption of the land.

This tale is a captivating addition to the realm of fantasy novels for adults, blending the rich visuals and storytelling of fantasy graphic novels.


Once the scourge of the skies, dragonwoofs, ten to twelve feet in length, would fly over entire armies during battle, breathing fire on unsuspecting infantry and winning wars for kings and queens alike. But after some time had passed, the offspring of the dragonwoofs became smaller and smaller until they were only thirteen inches long. Thereafter, the dragonwoofs could neither breathe fire nor fly at all and soon they were almost extinct. Avery stepped forward. “We’ll buy one.”


Kirkus Reviews 
Best Books of 2018 & Recipient of the Kirkus Star
"A fantasy with tremendous heart and a magisterial execution."
(full review)

Valerie Ettenhofer for IndieReader 
★★★★★ (4.7)
"The elements of Meridia are breathtakingly original and impressively cohesive, all while still managing to fondly bring to mind the fantasy works of Jim Henson and Hayao Miyazaki. [...] Hints of beloved fantasy throwbacks and tons of excitingly one-of-a-kind ideas coalesce into an impressive, unmissable fantasy adventure in WHERE DRAGONWOOFS SLEEP AND THE FADING CREEPS."
(full review

The BookLife Prize by Publishers Weekly 
"This novel is the enchanting offspring of The Neverending Story and Alice in Wonderland. [...] A charming read with a satisfying plot twist and heartwarming conclusion."
(full review)

Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite 
Silver Medal Award Winner- 2019 Readers' Favorite Awards
"Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps is exactly the kind of sleeper fantasy that the target audience and the larger adult audience may be inclined to overlook, and there are infinitely many reasons why fantasy lovers and even those, like myself, who are somewhat jaded by fantasy at this point, should pay attention and start reading. [...] Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps is one of the finer works of epic fantasy I've come across in some time, and it's most highly recommended."
(full review)

Self Publishing Review 
"With a touch of Alice in Wonderland whimsy, but the dark elements of The Neverending Story, this novel is both heartwarming and gripping. Unlike so many other books for this age range, the author doesn't pander to his audience, but challenges young readers with complex characters who are relatable, yet still admirable. The creativity on display in these pages is remarkable, and will certainly hold the attention of teenage readers, and perhaps even hold an appeal for a slightly older audience. Massey delivers a powerful and entertaining story with his debut work of fantasy."
(full review)

Foreword Clarion Reviews 
"Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps will captivate young audiences with its unique blend of contemporary thrills and fantasy adventure." 
(full review

BlueInk Review 
"Young adult readers take a foray into surrealism in this timely fantasy novel that alternates between middle school reality and an imaginary land to comment on contemporary themes and explore a common teen problem."
(full review)

Midwest Book Review 
"Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps" showcases author A. J. Massey as a master of the genre and a novelist with a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling." 
(full review)​

Donovan's Bookshelf 
“While Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps is an excellent choice for fantasy leisure readers, it also holds enough literary humor and wordplay to ideally attract educators interested in exploring themes of language and humor, and who look for contemporary reads beyond Alice in Wonderland for such examples."
(full review)​

Gary Shapiro, Host: From The Bookshelf - KSCO-FM 
"A marvelous book."


Will Ben's adventure in Meridia also appeal to adults who enjoy fantasy novels? Yes, while the protagonist is a thirteen-year-old boy, the complex plot, imaginative world-building, and mature themes make it a captivating read for adults who enjoy fantasy novels.

Does this book include illustrations or is it purely a text-based novel? The book is primarily a text-based novel with a map of Meridia included for reference. Fans of fantasy graphic novels may find the vivid descriptions and imaginative settings akin to the detailed artwork found in graphic novels.

What inspired A.J. Massey to write fantasy novels? A.J. Massey was inspired by classic books like "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Chronicles of Narnia." Additionally, he drew significant inspiration from 80s fantasy films such as "The Neverending Story," "Labyrinth," and "The Goonies."

What makes the Dragonwoof novels stand out among the best fantasy novels? A.J. Massey's novels stand out due to their rich storytelling, captivating fantasy elements, and the unique nostalgic touch inspired by 80s fantasy films, offering readers a distinct and memorable reading experience.

What are the recommended reading ages for these books? Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps will appeal to both teens and adults aged 11+. Advanced readers aged 10+ have also enjoyed the book. Fever Dreams and the End of Everything skews slightly older, probably 12+ due to villains and scenarios that may be scarier for younger children.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? Along with a thrilling fantasy story, A.J. wanted his readers to navigate the social complexities of the eighth grade and show that not everyone falls neatly into cliques. Oftentimes, we fall into middle school purgatory--not cool enough for the cool kids, not nerdy enough for the nerds. What happens when these characters team up and are put in a position where they must save a dream world and everyone in it?


All covers and original artwork are done by the amazing Ricky Gunawan.


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