If you love SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo or VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead, pick up LAIR OF DREAMS by Libba Bray, as it is a mixture of the two.
LAIR OF DREAMS begins with one glamorous seer, Evie O’Neill, fresh from a horrific experience with the serial killer ghost Naughty John. Evie has gone public with her abilities and has retained celebrity status as host of her own radio show, the Sweetheart Seer. Evie has seemingly recovered from her supernatural experience, partying it up and basking in her radio fame. Her notoriety has driven a wedge between her and her uncle, whose occult museum remains in financial turpitude.
The wolfish Sam Lloyd has reappeared in her life and once again acts as the Clyde to Evie’s Bonnie. The two engage in a faux romance in order to advance the career of Evie and to discover what happened to Sam’s mother. Bray readdresses Sam’s mother and how her background is integral to the story of the diviners.
“I cannot stress enough to readers how in love I am with the diversity of this series….This novel was written beautifully as Bray employed vivid imagery and descriptive detail. “
We are also introduced to a new diviner, Ling Chan, a strong, disabled Chinese woman who similar to Henry, dreamwalks. In addition, we are given more background on Theta and her mysterious past. Also, Henry begins searching for his former New Orleans lover. Throughout the novel, the reader is also involved in a plotline focusing on Memphis, Isaiah and suspicious behavior of Blind Bill Johnson. On top of all of this, this gang of diviners are tasked with the role of ending the sleeping sickness, a dreadful disease which when caught, leaves the individual stuck in a nightmare forever.
Woooo! Bray really gave the readers a lot to digest in this 600 page novel. After an agonizing three years of waiting, Libba Bray finally released the sequel to The Diviners series, LAIR OF DREAMS. According to Bray, she had severe writer’s block and was unable to produce a product that she believed would satisfy her readers. However, I am still adamant in my hatred for prolonged breaks between books; I forget everything! Also, I craved the creepy, eerie tales of ghosts and the supernatural. I missed the witty back and forth between Evie and Sam, the beautiful friendship of Henry and Theta, and I missed how Theta and Memphis were positutely relationship goals. Alas, the book was well worth the wait as I devoured it in one day. I can easily say LAIR OF DREAMS is a great follow up novel to THE DIVINERS.
I cannot stress enough to readers how in love I am with the diversity of this series. We have multiple POC, interracial couples, physical disability representation and representation in sexual orientation! Not only this, but we are given a series centered around the 1920s that is not a whitewashed version of history! Every YA literature book based in the 1920s is always about white flappers or white male bootleggers. We see the Prohibition aspect, but we never see the racial significance of the 1920s. The 1920s was the peak recruiting period for the Ku Klux Klan as evident in data and the popularity of the film Birth of a Nation. In addition, the Chinese Exclusion Act was still enforced, a law which manifested due to the severe anti-foreigner sentiment of the time. In LAIR OF DREAMS, the reader is given an in-depth perspective of this act from the eyes of Ling, which I believed was phenomenal. Hats off to Bray for doing what YA authors should have always been doing.
This novel was written beautifully as Bray employed vivid imagery and descriptive detail. The villain did not match the creepiness of Naughty John, but I still felt goosebumps on my arms while reading this book. Downsides of this series can include lingo (some feel it is overemployed) and the period of time between book releases. However, I highly recommend LAIR OF DREAMS as an addition to your TBR list if you love paranormal thrillers.