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Lair of Dreams

Author : Libba Bray
Paperback Published:  August 2015
Reviewed: August 2015

What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review via NetGalley.

 

 4 out of 5 stars


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?

The story opens in New York in the 1920s, deep underground where men are hard at work digging subway tunnels when they discover a long since abandoned subway station which is caved in.  Human nature and curiosity gets the better of the workmen and they venture in behind the ornate gates to investigate until they discover skeletal remains, all the while a music box plays a soft lulling tune which would later come back to haunt everyone of them in their dreams.
It is from here that we are introduced to “Sleeping Sickness” and how it spreads throughout, no one knows where it came from or how to stop it.

The narrative of the book jumps between the central characters whose lives you are given a glimpse into by the way the story is told.  Evie O’Neill is a Diviner, she has a radio show and appeared in Bray’s previous novel (which I was unaware of when I read this and so cannot comment too much on her back story or motives), but she plays an important role in this story.  As do Henry Dubois the Fourth and Ling Chan, also Diviners and Dream Walkers who unbeknownst to each other end up in the same dream setting one night, and from there they share an adventure that would draw more of the characters together.  There are more characters involved in this story, but for me these three stood out the most, something about the dialogues and descriptions really brought them to life and intrigued me.  
Conscious not to spoil this book for any other reader I will avoid spoilers, believe me there are some things you just need to find out from reading this book!

The writing style used on the whole is good, the dialogues between characters are witty and funny (especially when Ling is involved), there is a richness to descriptions of settings and characters that you can almost imagine the Tea Shop or the theatre, and impressively, the language used in places seemed to “fit” with the 1920s setting, nothing overly modern seemed to stand out. 
There is clever use of newspaper articles, books, telegrams to add additional information to the story, for me this definitely avoided any strung out dialogues which could have become very dull based on some of the information added.

A very atmospheric novel, tense at times, but once the story starts the pace is good, things move along well and characters seem to interweave nicely.  Well written and on the whole, not unpleasant to read.   

This is where I explain why I would not score this book as 5 stars. 
At times I found my attention wandering, or looking ahead because there were too many things going on at once.  Whilst the monsters lurking in the dream world are important to the story, I found myself skipping over these parts to find out what was happening “in the real world” of the story, these incidents held no fascination for me at all, there was no real significance of them for me, but others may disagree and interpret them differently. 
Some of the side plots were distracting and at times it just felt like it was all too busy. 
I do sincerely hope there is a follow up novel, as there are many questions left unanswered upon finishing this book and it would be a shame to leave the story with such an unsatisfying conclusion.

This is good book, and there’s enough narrative to explain the references to the previous book, but I do think that had I been aware of the first book I would have read it first to have a better understanding of certain things. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book will be published on 25th August 2015.  A copy can be purchased here Lair of Dreams (Kindle Version UK).
 

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