Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

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*I received this book from Hachette Book Group Canada in Exchange for and honest review.*

Title: Lair of Dreams

Author: Libba Bray

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: August 2015

ISBN: 9780316126045

Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)

Synopsis from Goodreads
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, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities…Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?

—–

Everything is jake! Yes, I have a new favourite saying.

After a long hiatus, the group is back: Evie, Sam, Mabel, Jericho, Theta, Memphis. Libba Bray, as usual, does not disappoint with this thrilling sequel to The Diviners. I’ve been a fan of Bray since A Great and Terrible Beauty. From the moment I first read her books, I knew I’d be a fan for life. Lair of Dreams is a monster of a book. The advanced copy is nearly 700 pages, so it’s no easy volume to lug around (but lug it I did).

Hidden in these pages are the stories of the Diviners of New York City. Some are dream walkers, some can heal, some can trick the eye, some can read objects. Some diviners are just discovering and developing their powers and others are struggling to keep their power secret. Bray’s world is complex, thorough, and interwoven.The characters’ stories flow seamlessly into each other, running parallel to one another, but connecting through friendship.

In Lair of Dreams, Bray takes the time to further develop her characters. While I felt as though book one centred more on action, book two found a better balance between heart-stopping ghost stories and gradual character development. What I loved about this book, in comparison to The Diviners, was that Evie is no longer the central character. She is still a prominent figure and I enjoyed her story very much, but Bray has allowed her other characters to shine. We see their friendships suffer and strengthen. We see romance develop and secrets revealed. Each character has vices and virtues, but no one is perfect. These attributes make them seem so much more alive.

The main mystery of the story centres around a strange sleeping sickness with no known cure. People fall asleep and never wake up. There seems not to be any connection, but it’s a driving point for racial hatred in the story, and constant fear and discrimination. I loved the choice of the sickness as the pivotal point of action in the story. It’s adds it’s own level of fear as no one knows where it comes from or who it’ll hit next.

My one and only set back was that in this immensely long novel, the thrilling action really doesn’t occur to the end. Although Bray incorporates the ghostly elements a bit at a time throughout, but I never felt like I was caught off guard or was nervous to read the next page. The Diviners was thrilling and had my adrenaline going, and Lair of Dreams fell a little flat in this aspect.

Fantastic read over all! As you probably know, I’m a sucker for good characters. Bray had me with her characterization, and again with her setting. 1920s New York? Who wouldn’t want to read about that!

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