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Review: Lair of Dreams

Lair of Dreams: A Diviners Novel - Libba Bray

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I did a little happy dance when I got the email 'read now for first 500 members' and started reading right away. It felt like this book took me forever to get through. So long winded and so so many characters.

 

That being said though, there was some of it I loved, and some of it seemed to drag on and it felt like nothing was happening. It was beautifully written. The writing is just incredible. The scenery and sense of place is just amazing. The descriptions and the atmosphere of New York City in the 20s is purely breath taking.

 

There are certain passages throughout the novel that make it seem almost like the city is a living, breathing entity with thoughts and emotions that will effect what's happening to the characters. At one particular point at the end there's a whole chapter of setting the scene for the next book where the country itself is portrayed so clearly you feel as if you're really there.

Though throughout there is an underlying sense of dread seeping through. Its very atmospheric, and at certain points very uncomfortable and creepy. However, personally, I did not think it was quite as frightening and gory as the first one was.

 

There were SO. MANY. CHARACTERS. So many different plot lines, the characters from the first book, Evie, Theta, Memphis, Sam, Jericho, Mabel, Henry and a few others. And new characters as well, introducing new Diviner Ling and a mysterious girl named Wai-Mae. All the plot lines twist and turn. The Diviner powers are becoming stronger and each character is struggling with it in its own way. At the same time something very creepy is happening with ghosts and dreams and creatures and nightmares. Something terrible is happening in Chinatown. A lot involving dream walking (this is where Ling comes in). Its all over the place. Though when the main characters all come together finally its almost like 90% of the way through the book. There was a big rush of action towards the end.

 

I did find the many many characters and plot lines rather tedious at times, and with such a large cast its hard to keep track of what's going on where. Especially when random people who come into horrible fates keep appearing every now and then. Though to give credit where credit's due, the cast is wonderfully diverse.

 

The mythology is pretty spectacular and each unique Diviner power comes into play more as the mystery of the ghosts and dreamwalking deepens. I don't know why I didn't like this installment very much. Some of it was very good, but I guess this one just didn't work for me. Still looking forward to the next book.

 

Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.