Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

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

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba BrayLair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #2
on August 25, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 624
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
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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, 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?

After years of waiting, the second Diviners book is finally here. Seriously, I got an ARC of The Diviners at my FIRST BEA, and I got Lair of Dreams at my fourth. Normally, I’d be really frustrated about how long it took for the books to come out, but I’ve pretty much resigned myself to this series finishing in about 2022. I mean, I can’t blame Bray at all because these books are BEASTS. Lair of Dreams is every bit as intricate and lovely as The Diviners.

Like The Diviners, Lair of Dreams is slow. In fact, I think it may have been more slow over all, because there isn’t as long and intense of a climax, which made the second half of The Diviners go really quickly. I wouldn’t call it second book syndrome, but there’s a sense of things building in Lair of Dreams. There were a few threads in The Diviners that hinted at future possible story lines, but there are so many questions in this one, so much more to come. In The Diviners, it kind of seemed like Naughty John might be the worst they had to face, but here it’s clear that solving the sleeping sickness is the smallest of their problems. Poor kids. It’s not jake.

Lair of Dreams is a rough book for Evie. Prior to now, she was sort of a shiny, daring heroine, the leading star of the series. She’s not shining quite so bright anymore, or she is but it’s mostly artifice. Evie’s no longer sure who she is or what she wants. Mostly she’s running scared from memories of what happened in Knowles End and from her feelings. Evie spends most of this book fucking up and making bad choices, and she’s not as central as she once was. It’s sad and a bit frustrating, but I like that Bray is following through with Evie’s character and letting others be important. It’s not just the Evie show.

Well, I guess it is the Evie show for Sam, Jericho, and Mabel. All of them care more than they wish they did about Evie, and, when she purchased a one way ticket on the hot mess express, they boarded too. The romance is a messy tangle, and I’m no longer positive how Bray’s planning to end this. Oddly, I’m still shipless, perhaps because, while I genuinely really like and care about these characters, they’re not REAL to me.

I was thrown at first by the addition of Ling Chan as a central character. If anyone is the central focal point of Lair of Dreams, it’s Ling, accompanied by Henry, who took a backseat in The Diviners. It took a bit of time for Ling to grow on me, adorable grouch that she is, but I love the added diversity and of course I adore Ling’s tenacity. Ling’s one of those lovable grouches who cares so fiercely once she lets you get close to her. She and Henry make a delightfully and odd and perfect friendship.

Memphis and Theta continue to be the ones I care about the least, but I have to say that I’m seriously worried for Theta. There are some terrible things coming her way in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up being most central in the next book, based on that ending. Also, Memphis needs to get Bill away from his little brother because some bad shit is happening there.

Totally called the ending of the whole sleeping sickness thing though. Totally called it at basically the first possible point. View Spoiler » Figuring that out didn’t really lessen my enjoyment of the book, but it did contribute to the slower pace because I did know what was going on.

These books are genius. They’re so ornate and gorgeous and unique and I just love that they exist. SO excited for the next one in like 2020 or so!

Favorite Quote:

“Henry, could I show you something?”

“As long as you promise it doesn’t involve small children or yodeling.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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3 responses to “Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray”

  1. Nori says:

    I love these books. This one took me longer to read than the first. I agree that the pace of the first one (in its second half) was way faster. I have a ship, but I have no idea if it will happen or not. Those are actually my favorite kinds. I love that I know I will still be surprised, even if the big twist of this book was so predictable. There are things that will still surprise me. I just love the writing in these books. Oh, and I love Memphis. Theta still hasn’t grown on me, but I think she might in the next one. Please let it come out before 2020!
    Nori recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (153)My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      What is your ship???? I’m so curious! I do love that I’m actually not sure what Bray’s endgame is for these romances. I’m assuming Evie/Sam but I’m not sure.

      Despite my issues with this one, I really couldn’t give it below a four because these books are just so fucking gorgeous!

      Oddly, Memphis is probably my least favorite. All the others are terrified of feelings and he’s so emotional, and I’m sure no one is surprised I relate to the others more. haha.

      • Nori says:

        I ship Evie with Jericho. I just loved the two of them in the first book. I love that they’re opposites but they just also get each other. They balanced each other. I feel like Sam is too much like Evie and he has too many of the same flaws. But, I have no idea what will happen.

        I have a soft spot for the nice guy characters too…

        And Memphis is a poet! He’s so creative and romantic. And he’s a character who’s power only seems to be able to do good.
        Nori recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (153)My Profile

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