Monday, August 24, 2015

ARC Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Title: Lair of Dreams
Series: The Diviners #2
Author: Libba Bray
Published: August 25, 2015 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers 
(Amazon / 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?

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

*** This is the second book in a series and may contain spoilers for book 1. If you haven't read The Diviners, do that and come back. ***

Lair of Dreans is a posi-tute-ly fantastic sequel that once again proves why Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors. It once again takes the reader on a captivating ride through 1920's New York with complex characters, atmospheric supernatural elements and tons of mystery.

To me this one felt much more like a supernatural mystery and less like historical fiction. I loved the emphasis on the history and ideology of the 1920's in The Diviners. It balanced real life events and figures with fantasy elements so brilliantly. And yes, Lair of Dreams does that too. It takes the reader into the world of flappers, jazz, and chorus girls. But it's a little bit in Lair of Dreams it's toned down a lot. I can see this one being more appealing to readers who may not necessarily read or love historical fiction. But for me, who loves that genre, I wanted a little bit more of the history. But I also kind of wanted a little more of the little things that set the scene in the first book. For example, the slang. Maybe that was because I'm more used to it or maybe because it was toned down. But despite it not feeling quite so immersive, Lair of Dreams takes the readers to a fantastic historical setting.

But the toned down history gave more credence to the mystery elements. For one thing, Lair of Dreams is just as atmospheric and spooky as the first book. Libba's writing is fantastic and lyrical. Whether she's explaining the plot or setting the scene it all has a dark beauty that keeps you questioning. The mystery was probably my favorite part. This book was so intricate with lots of different plot lines and mysterious elements that didn't seem connected at all but they were incredibly purposeful and important to both the larger story of the series and the specific plot of this book. It had me on the edge of my seat and I loved watching the mystery unfold in a slow and deliberate way that had me guessing until the very end.

I also really loved the supernatural elements of the story. I wouldn't go so far as to call it horror but there are definitely some spooky and dark ghosts that had me very nervous both while reading and after I finished. What The Diviners did for whistling, this book does for the song Beautiful Dreamer is all I'm saying. But the antagonist wasn't quite so scary as Naughty John but they definitely had me worried for the characters. Thankfully they have their Diviners powers to help them out. I loved seeing them explore the powers even more in this book. We of course see more of the powers of the characters who were the center of the first book like Evie, Sam, and Memphis. But in this book, Henry takes center stage. We get to learn so much more about his Diviners power, dreamwalking. We also get to meet a new Diviner, Ling Chen who is also a dreamwalker. The dream world was both interesting and atmospheric. Frankly I'm glad I don't really remember my dreams otherwise I may have been more scared by this book.

And I can't talk about the supernatural elements of this book without talking about these characters. This is a book where there are so many perspectives but it works so well. I think honestly it worked even better in Lair of Dreams. Maybe that's because I have grown so attached to all of them in the course of this book. Their all so complex and captivating. What Libba Bray does so well is balance between the fun and fancy atmosphere of 1920's New York and the dark atmosphere of the supernatural mysteries. This is mirrored in the characters and their arcs throughout the book. Sure they are fun and silly with great banter that had me laughing out loud and cute romantic moments but there is more to them then that. They also all have these complicated pasts that we are slowly learning about. I'm excited to learn more about a few of them like Theta and Sam as the book develops more. We've only got hints of them so far. But the more time I can spend with these characters, the better. They're fantastic and I'm such a fan.

But I'm a fan of this book in general. It's a hulking mass of a book but it's still a fast-paced read that I couldn't put down. It had me on the edge of my seat needing to find out not only what happens with the plot but to these characters. I can't wait to see what happens next. This book is the berries!

I give Lair of Dream by Libba Bray 9.5 out of 10

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! If you loved the first book and you have been anxiously awaiting it's sequel you will not be disappointed. It takes you back into the world of The Diviners with an even more mysterious storyline and you get to learn more about those characters you know and love. If you like supernatural mysteries or are looking for a spooky story that will have you on the edge of your seat then check this series out.

Have you read Lair of Dreams? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I skipped to your star rating since I haven't read the first book yet but it sounds like I really should start The Diviners :D

  2. Ooh nice! I just finished The Diviners last week and have ordered this one. Though since i just started a new job, not sure how soon it will be until I can read it! And it won't be read nearly as fast! Sigh...but glad to hear that it was epically amazing as its predecessor! Great review!