ARC Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

August 24, 2015 Review 18 ★★★★

ARC Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Atom
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 592
Release Date: August 25th, 2015
Series: The Diviners #2
Genres: Bedtime & Dreams, Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Horror & Ghost Stories, Legends, Myths, Fables, LGBT, Paranormal, Young Adult
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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?

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

becIs it possible to sell parts of my soul to Libba Bray in exchange for more paranormal historical books? Because she does it SO WELL. I loved the Gemma Doyle trilogy (well, what I read way back in the day. I need to reread it all again) and The Diviners series is turning out to be just as amazing because everything is written just right. 

Like THE DIVINERS, LAIR OF DREAMS is a book with a slow build. Now we have to remember slow plot does not equal boring. There is more than enough to keep you entertained as the plot weaves its way in, and holy crap when the plot get’s moving, it gets moving. One of the most entertaining aspects for me is the historical setting itself. The way Bray has written it, with the descriptions and dialogue and slang, instantly transports you back into the 20s. I feel like I should cut my hair into a bob and put on a flapper dress while reading this.

20s

The characters are another big draw for me. There’s a big cast of main characters and they’re all so diverse, in terms of both personality and race/sexuality/disabilities/upbringing. Each has their own personal struggles with the time and each other, with distinctive views on life and events. Most of the characters we knew from THE DIVINERS, but the new main character, Ling, is probably the character I relate to most in terms of her personality. I wish I’d had time to reread THE DIVINERS beforehand so I could truly appreciate how much the characters had grown a lot more because they do grow a heap in LAIR OF DREAMS which resulted in feels aplenty.

Part of the character conflicts and growths is associated with the romance in the novel. Compared to what I remember of THE DIVINERS there is  more romance in LAIR OF DREAMS. Most of it is left overs of what developed in THE DIVINERS. We have the complication between Sam, Evie, Jericho, and Mabel which may have managed to become even more conflicting (I can’t decide what to ship HELP). Then you have Theta and Memphis who just want to break your heart at every turn. And we even get a peak into Henry’s love life, which will make you feel a lot of emotions. Despite the increase in romance content, it never took over the plot unnecessarily. It just made me feel a lot of things when really I just wanted all the precious to be happy.

ships

Now onto the actual plot which I wanted to save until last. There are two separate plots in LAIR OF DREAMS: The mystery distinct to this novel and the reason the book got it’s name (I imagine) and the overarching series plot, the seeds of which were sown in THE DIVINERS and developed here in LAIR OF DREAMS. The dream plot of LAIR OF DREAMS was good. While the scenes were creepy and did make my skin crawl, I was never as terrified as I was when reading about Johnny Hobbes in THE DIVINERS.

What has me super excited is all the tidbits that were dropped that hint at the overarching plot of the series. I want to talk about this a bit more so I’m going to put it under a spoiler tag, but note: no big plot points or anything will actually be spoiled. I just need to freak out about what’s being set up a little.View Spoiler »

This review has barely scratched the surface of all the things I love about this series. LAIR OF DREAMS was a great instalment, containing the fun historical setting, creepiness, and great characters I remembered from THE DIVINERS. Anyone who is a fan of paranormal mysteries/horror and historical novels really should check out this series.

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Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Overall: 4.1

18 Responses to “ARC Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray”

    • Bec

      I love these books so much! They’re a heap of fun but if paranormal and historical are your least favourite genres… yeah maybe not for you haha.

    • Bec

      They are massive books! Which is great because you can get lost in the world for hours on end XD Definitely get on this series soon! The writing really describes the 20s setting well.

  1. Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    This sounds absolutely amazing Bec! I’m usually not a huge fan of paranormal mysteries / historical fiction because I feel like adding paranormal aspects to a mystery or historical fiction book makes it lose it’s realism a little bit; but it sounds like Libba Bray was able to balance the two genres wonderfully.

    Definitely going to have to check this out. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…The Shadow of Blackbirds

    • Bec

      Libba Bray does a marvellous job of combining paranormal and historical! She also throws in a bit of horror :D Hope you like this series when you get to read it!

    • Bec

      If you’re looking for a smaller book to get started on Libba Bray I recommend Beauty Queens, but you need to like satire to enjoy that hilarious book.

    • Bec

      She does have some shorter contemporaries out there that are hilarious!

      We did! Isn’t it gorgeous :D

  2. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    YESSSS to this book! I didn’t love it QUITE as much as The Diviners, but I still enjoyed reading every second of it.

    I LOVE the fact that Henry got so much more page time because he is a doll, and I want to wrap him up in a blanket and protect hi from the world.

    But I really loved Ling, and I want to learn more about her! I mean, her chapters were really methodical and detached (like, almost scientific, which makes sense because of her science brain), but I want to know more about her feelings! I think there were hints about her sexuality, and I just want to know more about her in general.

    This book definitely didn’t give me the creeps like the last one did, but it was still filled with creepy things (if that makes sense, haha). I really hope it doesn’t take three years for the next one to come out *wails endlessly*
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

    • Bec

      Henry is precious. I wonder who is going to get more of the focus in book three?

      I get what you mean! I felt there same. There were some moments that gave me goosebumps but it wasn’t anywhere near as terrifying as Naughty John. The third one needs to come out ASAP.

    • Bec

      The characters are great! And I think you’ll like Ling, Jeann! Haha so much happened in The Diviners, but Lair of Dreams does do a pretty good job of jogging your memory.

      Thanks :)

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