Review: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

Release Date: August 26th 2015
Published By: Allen & Unwin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (US) / ATOM (UK))
Pages: 613
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to ‘read’ objects, and therefore the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title ‘America’s Sweetheart Seer’. There’s just one downside - a sham engagement to the irritatingly handsome Sam Lloyd.

But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities… and across town, a mysterious sleeping sickness is spreading through Chinatown, leaving dead dreamers in its wake.

Can the Diviners descend into the slumberland and catch a killer?

Review: Lair of Dreams is a fantastic instalment in The Diviners series, filled with darkness and mystery, comedy and heart, tension and determination - everything that is needed to entice you into this magical 1920’s New York.

As with The Diviners, Lair of Dreams had me mesmerised from the very beginning until the very last page. It is the perfect blend of classic and creepy, mysterious and magical, heart and dreams.

By the end of The Diviners, the world knew Evie O’Neill’s sercret - she is a diviner. And in true Evie fashion, she has not shied away from the spotlight. In fact, she has taken it to the next level and has become ‘America’s Sweetheart Seer’. But not wanting to be in the spotlight, other characters keep their diviner abilities to themselves. Memphis, Theta, Sam and Henry all keep their secrets close. But as their abilities start to strengthen, their secret is becoming harder to keep.

And how long will they be able to keep their secrets? As the city is falling victim to a “sleeping disease”, and a man in stovepipe hat has plans far greater than anyone can guess, can our favourite cast of 1920s misfits save the day?

In Lair of Dreams, we get to reunite with some of our favourite characters, Evie, Jericho, Theta, Sam, Mabel, Henry and Memphis. But wow, do we get to meet some more amazing new characters as well!! There are multiple new characters to fall in love with, or to despise, including the Ling, Louis and Wai-Mae. Some of the other characters start to take centre stage in this instalment and with such a large cast of characters this could have been really messy. But Libba Bray’s masterful writing avoids what could have been a total train-wreck and delivers us with interesting, detailed and complex characters and interweaving storylines. I am in total awe of how well this book has been written!

I honestly loved getting to explore both existing and new characters in Lair of Dreams. The highlight for me was definitely having the spotlight on Henry and meeting new character Ling. Firstly, it has to be said, I adore Henry. I totally and utterly adore this boy! I love his wit, charm and his dedication, and my heart hurts for him so much at times. Henry is keeping his dream walking ability a secret, but as his desire to find his lost love strengthens, he finds it harder to keep it a secret or to focus on anything else. And it is in the dream world that Henry meets Ling - another dream walker. And not only is she the only other sleep walker Henry has met, she may be the key to finding Louie.

I also enjoyed seeing more of Sam in this instalment. I actually found myself really warming to him as we got to know him, seeing glimpses of the real Sam and finding out what drives him. I did miss Theta a little in this one - I just don’t think we can have too much Theta in the mix :) But I actually enjoy all the characters in this series every character is complex and charismatic, tortured and determined.

The series is going from strength to strength. I did feel that Lair of Dreams felt like it was a part of a series (where as I felt The Diviners was more standalone because the story arc had completed), but this did not lessen my love for it. I adored jumping back into this dark, creepy but yet funny and heartfelt world - and I cannot wait to jump into it again!

The writing had me enthralled from beginning to end. This story is definitely character driven, and with the complexities involved with each and every character, the development is ongoing and amazing. Everything that happens has a meaning, a purpose, and is somehow intertwined with something else.

The setting is phenomenal. 1920s New York City, WOW! Okay, the setting itself doesn’t make it WOW, Libba Bray makes it WOW! The descriptions, the language and phrases, the pop culture and historical references are extraordinary. I honestly cannot tell you how impressed I am with this world.

I also really enjoyed the switch in storyline in Lair of Dreams. Well naturally we couldn’t continue on with the evil Naughty John storyline, so this time we have a completely different type of villain. One that you can only find in your dreams. And while I found that this villain wasn’t as disturbing as Naughty John, I feel that the whole situation was just as creepy. But you never know, there are lots of things that are subtly interweaved, and there is possibly something far worse waiting around the corner!

Filled with dreams and nightmares, Lair of Dreams is creepy, mysterious, funny, tension-filled, haunting and magical. Basically, it is divine.



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