Lair of Dreams

by Libba Bray

Review by KM

A few weeks ago, I posted my The Diviners review. It was a repost from years ago when I originally got the book. My friends Laura and Kelly had gone to Book Expo America that year and picked me up a copy; I couldn’t be more grateful. The historical setting of the series mixes well with the supernatural elements. In the years since the first book came out, I have still only found a few historical novels that I truly love, but Libba makes it easy for me to add Lair of Dreams to the list.


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, and earned 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?


I loved Evie in The Diviners and while she has a spot in my heart, it was certainly the other characters that kept me in love with Lair of Dreams. Evie takes a backseat role in this book (which is good because I really couldn’t have tolerated her being the main right now) and lets Ling take the spotlight. Ling is wonderful, in my opinion. I want more of her and I want more of her now.

Okay, now just a complaint that doesn’t have to do with the writing: The cover of The Diviners was something I had never seen before. It was an artistic style that looked stunning and original compared to everything else on the YA shelf. Lair of Dreams lost that. I don’t think this cover expresses the book at all and actually did a double-take when it came into the library. I’m so sad they couldn’t stick with the original art theme.

To be completely honest, I wasn’t as enraptured by Lair of Dreams as I was by The Diviners. While the first book was fast paced, this one went much slower. It was just as large, but I  found myself putting it down often, which was something I never could have done with The Diviners. It still had the same lovely 1920’s slang, the same wonderfully horrific monsters, and the characters I loved. It was just missing the action. I’ll definitely be preordering both the third and fourth novels in this series, but I’m hoping it didn’t peak with the first book.

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