Book Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

 

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Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Edition Purchased: Cover shown, Published August 2015 by Atom, 613 pages

Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Wordery, Book Depository

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? 

[This is the first book in my TBR Jar Review series! Also, while there won’t be major character or plot spoilers in this review- it is a sequel after all-, I can’t promise this won’t spoil some people if they haven’t read this book, so proceed with caution!]

Ah, this has been a long time coming. I first read The Diviners in 2015 when I was but a tiny 16 year old, unsuspecting of the fact that I wouldn’t get to this sequel for another 4 years!

Obviously, as things go when you leave that much time between a first book and its sequel, I forgot a few things. However- and this is my first praise of Libba Bray’s writing- I quickly recalled things I had forgotten, or was reminded throughout the book in a way that, rather than making me feel bad for not remembering, made it more exciting, like information was just being revealed to me. I love how Libba Bray teases you with information, giving you just enough to keep reading. It’s very engaging!

Although you couldn’t read this sequel without having read the first book, it still holds up and introduces characters not really focused on in book 1. So much of this felt like I was meeting brand new, incredible characters, even though I knew of several of them already, just because of the way Libba Bray wrote their POV’s and developed their characters.

Bray really is incredible at balancing a large main cast of characters, all of whom have at least two or three chapters dedicated to progressing their character arc and making you feel more attached to them. However, I did feel like some characters weren’t focused on as much- Jericho, Mabel and Memphis- but I feel like since they played such a big part in The Diviners, it made sense for others- like Ling and Henry- to have more attention on their stories, seeing as they were the ones uncovering the main reason behind the Sleeping Sickness while everyone else had their own drama going on.

If I’m being honest, I don’t think the Sleeping Sickness [the big bad of this book] was as well done as Naughty John. Like I said, there was so much else going on for the characters that it seemed like it was on the back burner, Ling and Henry the only characters who really seemed concerned about it. Of course other’s story lines are all leading to the climax of book three and, I expect, the final book in the series, and I think the villain was a lot more sympathetic and heart wrenching in this book, but I still think it would’ve gone a long way if the other members of the cast acknowledged the Sleeping Sickness more before the last 100 pages. Despite guessing a few of the twists, I still cried, so rest assured the pay off is well worth it!

Re-reading my review of The Diviners, Libba Bray really doesn’t leave you hanging when it comes to wrapping up plot points. One of my biggest questions was about Louis, and why characters were having weird dreams; Bray answers those questions in book 2, all the while introducing new things to question in the lead up to book 3. What’s even more exciting is that Bray leaves off at a point that sets up a major ‘coming together’ of diviners in books 3 and 4 that I am buzzing for! It’s more exciting than Infinity War, although there’s a lot less tension between the Diviners at this point!

Honestly, what stood out to me and had me laughing the most in this book was Sam and Evie’s relationship progression. I think we all expected them two to come together, and Libba Bray really had to use the fake dating trope to make me feel even MORE excited for them two. They bicker and fall out constantly, but they care so much for one another, and I love every scene between them. I would also love to see a lot more of Theta and Memphis in book 3 [which I know for a fact we will, after where this book leaves off], and I really want to see Henry and Ling get out there, scope the crowd [Ling gave me Vibes when she was with Wai Mei, if you catch my drift], and for Jericho and Mabel to have some kind of happiness.

Before I forget- FRIENDSHIPS. Jericho and Sam are hilarious and are always arguing, which I love, and Jericho always seems to be mocking Sam in a loving way, which I 100% can relate to as Sam is so dumb sometimes. Theta and Henry are so sweet as friends- despite Henry being a walking gay disaster- and Henry’s friendship with Ling is just so perfect, I couldn’t think of a better friendship dynamic to be explored throughout this novel, after the focus on female friendship in book 1! I would like more Ling and Memphis interactions, and a lot more of Mabel- especially now it looks like she’s being drawn more into the world of protesting.

I really hope I’ve covered everything. This series is so fun, with a great cast of characters you care for and really engaging villains and mysteries to solve. It’s well worth a read, I don’t think I’ve read a book this long so quickly in quite possibly years!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

One thought on “Book Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

  1. Pingback: February Wrap Up & March TBR Jar Pick! – seasonsofwords

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