I have been eagerly awaiting Lair of Dreams ever since I read the The Diviners, which is the first book in Libba Bray’s Diviners series. The series follows a group of young people with special abilities living in New York during the 1920s.
After helping to solve a string of murders committed by a supernatural serial killer, Evie O’Neill has revealed herself to be a Diviner. Now, “America’s Sweetheart Seer” has her own radio show and a party to go to every night. But not everyone is happy about the existence of the Diviners and all the publicity Evie has been bringing them. Meanwhile, con man Sam Lloyd, who has the ability to make himself invisible, more or less, suddenly finds himself in the spotlight. Musician Henry struggles with his career while frantically searching the dream world for his lost lover Louis. Chorus girl Theta can’t seem to escape her past and come to terms with her own power. Numbers runner Memphis can heal the sick and injured, but at a price that might be too high. Amateur scientist Ling can visit the dead in her dreams, but soon discovers ghosts are not always nice. And Jericho tries to come to terms with the price of his existence, and Evie’s rejection, all while saving the Museum of the Creepy Crawlies from going under. When a mysterious sleeping sickness sweeps New York, the Diviners find themselves working together again to figure out what, or who, is causing it.
I loved this book! The characters all have a lot of depth, but are each completely unique. I’ve become attached to all of them. But the star of this book is the 1920s New York City atmosphere. Bray gives her readers a taste of speakeasies, grand hotels, and Chinatown. Like The Diviners, I thought Lair of Dreams incorporated the historical aspects flawlessly, and I really enjoyed it.
There are also a lot of unanswered questions (especially about the mysterious Project Buffalo) and a couple of cliff hangers, and I can’t wait for the third book!
There are only two things I think this book fell a bit short on. First, I thought the antagonist wasn’t quite as good as the one in The Diviners. Naughty John was terrifying from the beginning to the end in the first novel, and Lair of Dreams didn’t get really exciting until probably the last quarter of the book. I thought the plot twist/killer reveal was creative, I appreciated the reasons the killer was kind of kept secret, and I did like it, I just liked Naughty John better.
Second, they changed the cover design. I’m still a bit upset about this, because the original cover of The Diviners is one of my favorite cover designs ever. It’s seriously gorgeous! Not only does Lair of Dreams not match (non-matching series covers drive me a little bit crazy), but it doesn’t even come close.