A Long Overdue Review of Libba Bray’s Lair of Dreams (by Jill)

I started this post like a year ago.  I’m not going to finish, but am going to put it up in its unfinished state as a testament to what happens when a pair of good bookbloggers get way too busy in their non-bookblogging life.  But never fear, my friends.  Bethany and I are going to get some stuff done today.  We hope.  

Lair of dreams cover

 

Where was I?  Oh, that’s right.  Libba Bray’s latest, Lair of Dreams.  It is a sequel to her earlier young adult fantasy/horror/historical fiction novel The Diviners, that I posted about back in 2015, and it is compelling a.f.  I’ve never disliked a single Libba Bray book I’ve ever read, and I think I’ve read four of them.  But this one is special.  The only reason why I’m calling this a young adult novel is because the characters are mostly all teenagers.  They have serious problems, though, these kids.  One is gay and can walk in other people’s dreams, one is an alcoholic and can see the history of an object just by holding it in her hand, one is a white girl who is a chorus girl and can start fires with her mind in love with a black guy who is a poet and can also heal the sick.  And that is just four of the major characters.  This is a “cast of thousands” sort of book, and I tend to love those.  I’m sure doing a shifting limited omniscient perspective novel with close to ten primary characters and numerous others who we only know for a chapter is not easy, at least I don’t think it would be?  They are all fairly well fleshed out, though obviously not as well as a first person narrator would be.  Of course, it helps that this is the second book that I have read with these same characters.

This time, Evie O’Neill and her fellow diviners are facing up against an unseen foe.  I’m on page 475 out of 613, and I’m just figuring out what these creatures look like, and we still have no idea why they seem to be feeding on people’s dreams.  I’m not sure if they’re ghosts (though I think they are) or zombies (they could be this too) or vampires (not likely) or if they have rabies (really just reaching with that one).  Evie has become The Sweetheart Seer.  She has her own radio show where she reads objects for people, though never delving too deeply, because that wouldn’t be fun, and she is all about fun now, even more so than in The Diviners.  She is drinking and partying every night, using gin to wash away the chronic headaches that she always has from using her gift on a nightly basis.  Theta and Memphis are trying to make their relationship work despite flack from all sides, but things are not going well.  Henry finds another dream walker named Ling, a girl with polio who lives in Chinatown with her Irish mother and her Chinese father.  Together they find (or do they?  I’m not convinced either way yet) things they have been searching for—Henry finds his lover Louis, and Ling finds a friend, a girl named Wai-Mae, who is another dream walker on a boat travelling from China to San Francisco to be a mail-order bride.  The entire world Libba Bray has made, from the historical setting, to the varied abilities of all the diviners, is so detailed and ********

 

Now it is 2018, and I still haven’t finished this post.  I’m going to just say this: being a bookblogger is no joke, guys.  Read The Diviners and Lair of Dreams and the sequel that’s sitting in my to read pile.  They’re great books. 

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This entry was posted in Fiction - Fantasy, Fiction - general, Fiction - Young Adult, Libba Bray, Reviews by Jill. Bookmark the permalink.

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