BOOK REVIEW: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba BrayLair of Dreams (The Diviners #2)
by Libba Bray
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Synopsis:

The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

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, earning 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?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.

Review:

The land has a memory. 

Every stream and river runs with a confession of sorts, history whispered over rocks, lifted in the beaks of birds at a stream, carried out to the sea. Buffalo thunder across plains whose soil was watered with the blood of battles long since relegated to musty books on forgotten shelves. Fields once strewn with blue and gray now flower with uneasy buds. The slave master snaps the lash, and generations later, the ancestral scars remain.

Under it all, the dead lie, remembering.

At this point I honestly don’t know whether I should race to finish book three to see how things progress or take my time and savor it as much as I can. You see, there is no publication date yet for book four and the trend ~seems~ to be that she is taking two years to write each book. I mean…if that’s the case, COOL. Before the Devil Breaks You came out last year so that means the fourth could possible come out next year….right??!?!? Either way, you better be sure I will be stalking the GR page, Libba’s website, and every other media outlet available until I catch of wiff of a due date. That is reason #1230942830598 how you know you’ve found a good series.

“Did she just say they’d drag the river for your body?” T. S. Woodhouse asked, his pencil poised above his open notebook. 
Sam sighed like a man deeply in love. “She did, the little bearcat. It’s the only defense that poor, helpless girl’s got against the animal pull of our love. Uh, you can quote me on that.”

This book was a great sequel to its predecessor, though I will admit that it scared me a lot less (and that is NOT a bad thing). It picks up shortly after the first left off and it seems that Evie exposing herself as a Diviner has made her quite famous. She landed herself a radio talk show where she reads people’s items and basically tells them the positive things they want to hear. With her sass and genial personality, she has become New York’s Sweetheart Seer and has won the hearts of many. One heart that she did not immediately win over, though, was mine. I can’t lie, there were parts of this book where I became frustrated and annoyed with Evie because she was drinking and partying a LOT and it seemed to me like she was brushing off anything serious and ditching her friends. For some reason, it just didn’t click with me that she might be getting/staying drunk and making light of everything because that was the only way she knew how to cope with EVERYTHING that happened at the end of the last book. She and Sam had a conversation about it towards the end of this book and I kind of sat there for a second, thinking, damnit Arielle, of course Evie wasn’t doing all of that on purpose!!! I mean let’s face it, I can’t even think about that last scene with Naughty John without scaring myself and it’s all just a story…it makes perfect sense that Evie would be seriously changed and scarred by the event. I just needed that all to be said in case anyone initially has the same thoughts as me!

Sam had a skill that often let him take what he needed. But you couldn’t do that with love. It had to be given. Shared. Through the window, Evie saw him. She made a funny face—a silly gesture—and Sam felt it deep inside.

Anywayyyyys this story, while still featuring all of our favorites from the first book, centers more about Henry and a new character, Ling, who can always dream-walk. After a chance encounter in a dream one night, Henry finds Ling in real life and convinces her to help him find Louis’s dream so he could suggest him in his dreams to come to New York to be with Henry. 

Before I go on, I just need to say that I loved Ling’s character in this book! After being annoyed with Evie’s occasional surface level-ness, Ling was so blunt and straightforward about everything. She seemed like just the right person to add to the group. Another thing that I loved about her/ these books that I never mentioned in my first review is the diversity we see. Henry is gay, Memphis and Theta are an interracial couple, and Ling is disabled (has to wear braces/ use crutches because of a sickness that basically destroyed her leg muscles) and bi-racial (we also see how immigrants were poorly treated, too). Obviously each of those things can still be hard for people to deal with today but it was VERY interesting to see how they coped with being “different” in the 20s. My heart hurt for all of them for different reasons on multiple occasions but it was refreshing to have these characters and see how they just went on and lived their lives anyway. AND it’s a sad reminder that people have had to deal with people’s ignorance and intolerable BS basically forever.

But I digress. Back to the plot. The main new obstacle in this book is something called the Sleeping Sickness. People are being preyed upon in their dreams and if they “agree” to keep dreaming, they are stuck in a deep sleep, unable to wake up until they are basically burned up from the inside. Yeah, pretty messed up, right? Well even more messed up is that the area that is being the most affected is China Town and people are becoming extremely restless. It’s up to our favorite Diviners to save the day! Ugh, this book has a lot of sadness to it in my opinion. You find out more about Henry’s back story, you find out about a third dream-walker’s story, and you feel bad for Isaiah because Uncle Bill is THE WORST, UGH, Mabel feels like she isn’t special and keeps being ditched by Evie, the list continues on…

I also may have said book one scared me more, but don’t take that to mean this one isn’t scary. The thought of going down into a dark subway tunnel with weird animalistic ghost creatures chasing you IS REALLY SCARY, TOO. No thanks. I hope I come out of this series as a braver person, I really do lol.

But the gin had loosened the last of Evie’s restraint. “I’ve seen you. The true you. I’ve held your secrets in my hands. You’re scared, Sam. You pretend you’re not, but you are. Just like the rest of us.”

By this point in my review I finally noticed that three out of my five quotes are from Sam or Sam/Evie. Oops. No regrets. Their fake engagement was basically my favorite part of this book. I want to tell people that there is kind of a love triangle only…it’s not a typical one like with Bella/Edward/Jacob or Tessa/Will/Jem. Jericho likes Evie. Sam likes Evie. Evie has kissed both and kind of likes them both but isn’t particularly *with* either one of them (other than the fake engagement, of course, lol). In my heart, I think it will be Sam, and want it to be Sam. You just don’t get an opening meeting like they did and have nothing happen. No. Way. Plus uhhhh they had some pos-i-tute-ly dreamy tension a few times. Looooooved it. Also, I loved that he trusted her enough to tell her about Project Buffalo and wanting her to help him find his mom. 

BTW I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS MOM AND EVIE’S BROTHER AND THE CROW GUY SEEMS SCARY AF, TOO HELP ME.

For dreams, too, are ghosts, desires chased in sleep, gone by morning. The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

Soooo yeah, on the level, I’m probably just going to binge book three because let’s face it, how could I ever try to pace myself with these characters characters and a story like this?!

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