Title: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2)
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Release Date: August 25th, 2015
Narrator: January LaVoy
Listening Time: 20 hours, 12 minutes
Goodreads Synopsis: 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?
Plot: This second installment had some great stuff to offer as far as more atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties and character development. Characters like Jericho, Sam, Blind Bill and a couple others I won’t mention have great moments of growth, doubt or showing their true colors. The plot of the sleeping sickness offered panic and paranoia for the whole city and it felt like a real threat as it kept going. I like how people were hysteric and suspicious.
However, I fee like the author sacrificed the plot of this book for more moments to make you care about the characters. The dream sequences are very repetitive and hardly offered any change, which made the story feel very long and a little boring sometimes. The final confrontation took way too long to get there and felt like it was solved too quickly. But in between, the middle felt like the author was forcing the characters to not figure stuff out. With how deductive and smart Ling was, I feel like she should’ve figured out what was going way earlier and the villain could’ve been a bit more threatening as well. I do know that the Libba Bray has stated that the third book is very plot driven. While that’s not a bad thing, I feel like she pulled a Patrick Rothfuss: barely answering any questions in a sequel! I hate when authors do that. I really wanted some answers, and the moment where you think you’ll get some at the end doesn’t happen.
Characters: The characters who get the spotlight the most are Ling (a new character) and Henry, with Evie and Sam trailing right behind. Ling and Henry are the dream walkers and stumble upon these repeating dreams and the other creepy things that are the consequences of the evil surrounding the “sleeping sickness.”
Ling is a Chinese American, who wears braces on her legs to walk. She loves science, has a rather tough personality, but also doesn’t want people’s pity due to her disability. Her love of education, parents and heritage were so refreshing to read about. I loved seeing the culture of Chinatown and her having an appreciation of her family and community. The moments where she is vulnerable and offers kindness were very real and showed depth to her character.
Henry was the one character I cared for the least. Sure, his back story is a bit depressing, but I feel like the author didn’t explore his past enough. How did his feelings for boys begin? What was his family relationship like before his mother deteriorated and his father became a one dimensional tyrant? Surely he loved his family before then. I also felt like the scenes with him were the same things: dream walking, going behind Theta’s back, not caring about the consequences of the dream walking, not thinking very hard about what could be causing it, etc. He never really grew as a character and most of the scenes with him were boring, except when Theta put him in his place.
I did think, as I stated earlier, that many characters started to grow and change throughout this book. The relationship between Theta and Memphis is my ship!!! (I rarely say that) There’s one moment towards the end that made my heart swell. If you like seeing characters go through a lot of growth, this series does do that well.
Narration: January LaVoy does it again! She really immerses you in the 1920’s, with great accents, sound effects and some creepy voices that made me flinch a bit. She didn’t do great on one male voice, but that’s just a small nitpick. She’s quickly becoming a favorite narrator of mine and I hope that she does more YA books.
Overall: This is a solid sequel to this four book series. While the plot was sacrificed, repetitive scenes, a main character that didn’t get developed enough and not enough questions answered, I admit that I’m slightly nervous for book three. Since I’m halfway through the series now, I still don’t know much and that’s a personal thing that I don’t like. I would possibly wait closer to the release of book three (October) if you have similar feelings to me in books. But the audio book is the only way to go for me for this series. I stayed up late to finish it and the ending was worth it and makes me anxious for the next one. I just hope that she doesn’t pull another Rothfuss again…
Thanks for stopping by! If you’ve read this, let’s talk non spoilers in the comments! This is a series that people don’t talk about enough. There’s more to it than just the first book. I hope you guys enjoyed this review and have a great weekend!