Book Talk- Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Lair of Dreams

Finished: 8/31/15

SPOILERS FOR “THE DIVINERS” BEYOND THIS POINT

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, and earned the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners. Piano-playing Henry Dubois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret–for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City. As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess….As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

IT’S FINALLY HERE OH MY GOD YES IT’S FINALY OUT!!!

So first off I need to apologize for how long it’s taken me to post this. Seeing how summer has ended and my life has been sucked back into the time consuming vortex known as “college”, my non-school related reading time has been drastically decreased recently. But that doesn’t mean I won’t do my best to keep updating! It may just take slightly longer to get anything published. Anyway, let’s get on with the book ranting!

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I am a huge Libba Bray fan. The “Gemma Doyle” trilogy was one of my first hardcore book obsessions back in middle school, and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t read “Beauty Queens”, one of my all-time favorite books, at least three or four times. So naturally I absolutely loved “The Diviners” when it came out in 2012. I am complete trash for historical based fantasy, so obviously I was completely obsessed with the first book. It had this really great mix of great characters and really well written horror elements with a well-developed historical setting, and I really wanted to know what was going to happen next.

SPOILERS FOR “LAIR OF DREAMS” AND “THE DIVINERS” SERIES BEYOND THIS POINT

So you can imagine what it was like when the next book didn’t come out for three years

waiting

But it finally came out, and I’d say it’s overall definitely worth the wait! In comparison to the first book I would say it’s about equal. Kind of like the first one it takes a while for the main plot to take off, but once it does it is absolutely amazing. And even beforehand we get a lot of really great character interactions! On that note, I would say that there was a lot more romance in this one, and all of it was pretty well done. I think I actually know what I ship for once!

We also have a kind of dual-plot thing going here again, so I’ll start with everything that went on with Evie and Sam. I actually have really mixed feelings on Evie. Like on one hand she is an interesting character with cool abilities, and it is nice to see a somewhat non-conventional main character, but at the same time she can be kind of overdramatic and irresponsible. I do like her overall though, and she is well written and entertaining to read about. Plus this series definitely has more of an ensemble cast, so you never really see too much of one particular person.

For some reason though, I really love Sam Lloyd and I don’t know exactly why. Like usually I don’t go for the flirty, kind of bad boy type, but for no understandable reason I have this weird, unexplainable thing for him. He just has this odd charm about him, and in an unexplainable way he’s kind of endearing, and I really do everything to work out with him finding his mom.

But I will say that when he told all those reporters that he and Evie were engaged there was this serious moment of SAM NO. Like why would you even, do not tell reporters that you are engaged to the famous radio star. Evie is not going to take this well. None of this is not going to end well.

But then Evie and Sam’s plot was seriously straight out of a fanfiction AU, and I loved it. We had the whole fake engagement for publicity thing going while they slowly started developing feelings for each other, and we just know neither one of them is going to confess to feeling anything, but then there was that whole thing on the roof, and I really started to ship it, and oh god, I actually kind of want to see them together now!

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Also, can we just appreciate everything Theta related in this book? Oh my god, Theta Knight is literally my queen. She seriously served as the voice of reason through the entire darned book, like she was always the first one to make Henry take care of himself or call Evie out on the engagement related crap. Her lines were definitely some of the best parts of the book.

On a similar note, I really hope everything works out for Memphis and Theta. They were totally my OTP in the first book, but we didn’t really see a lot of them together in this one. I do still really love them as a couple though. Even though I am REALLY worried for Theta after what happened at the end! That piece of crap had better leave her alone! And you know what, I’m worried for Memphis and Isiah too! Because Bill Johnson is totally up to something sketchy, and I don’t know what it is, but it definitely involves them.

Speaking of worrying about characters, what was with that part with Evie reading the comb and seeing her brother, or that soldier who tried to kill her? Did they have something to do with the creepy men in the Sedan? Or the Stovetop hat guy? So many questions!!!

Going on to the other plot, we have everything that happened with Ling and Henry. I loved Henry so much in this book. He’s just such a sweetheart, and he’s trying so hard when so many things are against him, and you really just want to see him get to be happy. And then there was everything that happened with Louis.

Henry and Louis’s story DESTROYED ME I don’t think I have ever in my life shipped anything harder after only one chapter, but after that flashback chapter where we learned their backstory, and they were just so in love with each other, and it was all so adorable, and they were going to run away together, but then Henry’s complete piece of crap father found out and everything went wrong…Let’s just say I wanted to see them reunited SO FREAKING BAD.

And then they meet in the Dream world! And it was really nice for a while, and we got to see them together, but then there was the whole thing with the whole thing with the flowers, and the whole dream world started getting really creepy, and Ling had that realization that she only ever finds people who are dead… And suddenly all the beautiful romances turns into this horrible moment of:

Wait what…

Oh.

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                And I realized that Louis had been freaking dead all along and Henry was going to lose him again, and oh god, he did not deserve to go through that, and then there was the part where they were saying goodbye, oh god I was literally crying. I could feel my heart being torn from my body. But it was also just so well written…I just really love this series. Even if it does emotionally kill me.

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                So then we have Ling. Ling is such an example of a new character done right. She was just so blunt all the time, but she really did care about her friends and family, and she was so excited about science, and she’s another one of those characters where you just want them to be happy.

Then you had the two of them together. Oh my god, Ling and Henry are my new platonic OTP. I mean their personalities were so contrasting, but and they balanced each other out so well, and you could tell they just wanted to help each other get through everything that was going on in their lives. I completely loved how they slowly started to become friends while figuring out the dream world and everything.

The dream world parts of the book were this weird mix off really peaceful and creepy. In a way they kind of reminded me of the realms from Gemma Doyle. Like they were this place where the characters were free to be themselves without judgement, but there’s this feeling that there’s just something really off about it, but you don’t figure out why until late in the book. It was just all around a really good creepy setting.

Then there was everything that happened with Wai-Mae. When she said she was coming from China to be married, I just had this awful feeling, like I knew marriage wasn’t what was going to happen to her. But then I actually thought that Ling was going to find some way to get her out of the situation. I didn’t realize until really late that she was the ghost. And then I was just like holy frick, what a good/ horribly emotionally painful plot twist.

Actually, everything with the supernatural aspect was simultaneously really interesting and really sad. Some of the sleeping sickness scenes were so incredibly messed up. Like not as bad as the kill scenes in the first one, but just really freaking gross and creepy.

And again, then there was everything that happened with Wai-Mae. Oh god, even this part of the book devastated me. I mean, her ghost was doing horrible things, but her life was so freaking sad. But it also made for a really interesting horror aspect, especially since it made you feel sympathy for the villain figure.

So anyway, then we get to the ending…this was definitely one of those books that answered some questions and brought up a lot of new ones. So instead of rambling for another few paragraphs, I present:

MY TOP TEN-ISH QUESTIONS FOR THE NEXT BOOK:

  1. What’s with the creepy men in the Sedan? Who do they work for? Are they like the anti-diviner crew or something? Do they have anything to do with the Stovetop hat guy? WHAT EVEN IS STOVETOP HAT GUY?
  2. What was with the stuff with Sam’s mom!? Will she and Sam be reunited soon?
  3. IS THETA GOING TO BE OKAY? WILL ROY GO TO HELL LIKE HE DESERVES?
  4. What’s going on with the guy who wants Jericho to work with him? He seems kind of evil/manipulative, and I feel like he’s going to be important.
  5. Is anything going to happen between Henry and David? Because they seem like they might be cute together.
  6. Who is this Arthur character? What is he getting Mabel to join? Is Mabel ever going to get the appreciation she deserves?
  7. What’s with the soldier who attacked Evie? Was that something to do with the dreams? Or the creepy Sedan men?
  8. What is Bill Johnson trying to accomplish? What does Isiah have to do with it?
  9. Is everyone going to join together into this awesome ant-evil supernatural beings diviner group? Because that would be awesome.
  10. DO WE HAVE TO WAIT THREE YEARS FOR THE NEXT ONE? BECAUSE I CAN’T HANDLE THAT. TOO MANY QUESTIONS.

Also DID EVERYONE CATCH THE GEMMA DOYLE CAMEO? BECAUSE I DID! OMG YES!!!

Well that’s about it for now. Thanks for reading!

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