Narrator: January LaVoy
Series: The Diviners #2
Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published on 25 August 2015
Genres: 20th Century, Paranormal, Social Issues, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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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’m back with another instalment of The Diviners series by Libba Bray, read by the extraordinary January LaVoy. This time it’s the sequel, with the uninteresting title of Lair of Dreams – but don’t let the lacklustre titles of this series so far fool you! This book was absa-tootly swell!
This book has the perfect blend of horror, romance, suspense, humour, supernatural, and diversity – not to mention the narrator is absolutely divine and reads so beautifully, giving everything to the convincing performance. It’s not easy balancing a cast of 8 main characters and multiple minor characters, each with their own voices, but January LaVoy manages it perfectly.
I’ve fallen completely in love with 1920s New York, even if this one is filled with dangerous ghosts and supernatural experiences, people running around with magical powers ranging from early pyromancy and short-term invisibility to the ability to share powerful lucid dreams.
It’s the dreamwalking that takes centre stage in this novel, with minor characters from the first book, Henry and Ling, both gorgeous and multi-layered characters suffering from society’s prejudice against them, now taking centre stage. There’s a sleeping sickness running through New York, and although it takes over half the novel for any of our darling Diviners to start doing anything about it, the first part of the novel is a huge build up also guest starring the people who fall to this sickness and what they dream of. It seems like the plot is being a little slow, but it takes a lot to build up everyone’s individual plots and weave them all together: not only our eight Diviners, but people like Will and Blind Bill Johnson get dedicated points of view. It’s a massive cast of characters that is beautifully balanced when it decides to swap point of view to keep the pace up. It didn’t feel slow to me, just that the stories seem unrelated at first. I shouldn’t have doubted Bray though, because it all comes together in the end for an amazing TV mini-series-worthy showdown.
Evie is still annoyingly obsessed with ‘being someone’, Theta is snarky and loveable as ever, Mabel is basically Fluttershy from My Little Pony, Sam may seem appealing to some but I’m not seduced by arrogant charmers, Memphis is adorable and I love him, and Jericho is somewhat less appealing in this book too, struggling with his feelings for Evie, with Mabel basically offering herself on a platter to him. I’ve never really wanted to bundle up characters before the shit hit the fan and run away with them… but in this instance, I just wanted to keep reading about Evie and Sam’s fake romance, Ling and Henry’s blossoming friendship, and anything to do with Theta without them having to face up to the horror I knew Bray will submit them to
The Eugenics company is back, the Klu Klux Klan are terrifying, the ‘legal’ racism against immigrants makes me so mad, not to mention the reason Henry ran away from his rich family – it all adds up to a richly detailed authentic historical world – authentic in its speakeasies, clubs, theatre and radio, reporters and journalists, attitudes and atmosphere. Adding in diviners, ghosts and a mysterious supernatural sleeping sickness doesn’t seem out of place.
I will add that I don’t want Evie to end up with Sam OR Jericho at this point, I want her to be genuine friends with both of them. That series of events where Evie and Same broke into the post office was awesome because the sexual tension was gone.
I feel really good about only having finally gotten into The Diviners late last year. It meant that I could listen to the three audiobooks really close together. I’m already on the waiting list for Book #3, and while the fourth book hasn’t been published yet, I’m really looking forward to listening to that one, too.