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
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?
Is 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.
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.
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 » I am so intrigued by everything that has been dropped about Project Buffalo and the purpose of the Diviners. Why do Diviners exist? Why are there suddenly so many? Why are their powers getting stronger? Who was involved and why? Little bits of info were dropped in THE DIVINERS and have started to develop in LAIR OF DREAMS. If those final chapters are any indication, the answers are coming very very soon and my body will not be prepared. « Hide 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.