It takes a special talent to write a 600 plus page book and have zero character development. I am also perplexed that it took to the 80 plus percent mark (according to my Kindle) before all of the characters even met up to fight to "Big Bad" in this book. Evie and Sam are awful. I wish that one or both of their characters would get killed off. It's also really annoying the love rectangle will be continuing through to a third book. At this point all parties need to leave each other alone. There is also way too much repetitiveness in this one.
"Lair of Dreams" takes place a few days/weeks after the events in book #1. You still have Evie focused on being famous and now using her talents to perform a nightly show in which she reads people's items. Evie is estranged from her Uncle Will, and still hates Sam, and regrets kissing/being into Jericho. You follow all of that? From there the book jumps around to each of the characters we are familiar with, Will, Jericho, Sam, Theta, Memphis, Henry, and Mabel. You will be happy to know that all of these characters are still singing the same song from the last book, i.e. still focused on their dreams of being famous or successful and just generally self absorbed to the max.
Bray includes a new character, Ling, who was the only bright spot in this whole book. I was wishing that the majority of the book was her, her family, and the people in Chinatown.
Unfortunately we go back and forth between all of these characters, and a few others I am thinking about. Bray includes details on a sleeping sickness that is killing those in New York, specifically Chinatown. Along with that, we have Ling and Henry meeting up and becoming close friends after they realize that they both can dream walk.
I don't even know how to review this book properly. Seriously, nothing happens. You have Evie and Sam cooked up in the dumbest scheme ever with them pretending to be engaged cause now that the Fitzgeralds have left New York, they have taken up their mantle. IT MAKES NO SENSE! If you are going to talk about the Roaring Twenties at all, why in the world are you acting like the Fitzgeralds were the only ones running around? Also Evie and freaking Sam are not literary figures like F. Scott, Hemingway, and Stein. It wasn't about people running around and drinking if you are talking about the Lost Generation folks. I am still flabbergasted there was no discussion of women's rights or anything else that was going on in this country or others at the same time. This is my own fault, I should have known better than to read a book taking place in a pretty significant historical moment in history, I was just irritated the entire time.
Jericho and Mabel are the saddest people ever. The end.
Theta and Memphis. Sigh. I Memphis is African American, Theta is not. We get one scene in which they go out and Theta acts like an ass (because she's keeping a secret from Memphis) and there are lots of inner monologue from Memphis about being out with a white woman, and how eventually he is going to be like Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. I don't think that the character of Bray gets that being famous doesn't equal that somehow racism wasn't going to be a thing anymore. I just found Memphis naive as hell.
Henry and Theta have friction due to Henry dream walking more and more and then him getting tied up with Ling. Ling has her own set of issues and frustrations and she is starting to want to dream just as long as Henry since the real world is pretty terrible.
Ling though and some other characters start to sense that the sleeping sickness is more than what they initially thought and it takes a really long time for the character to figure out what is going on and stop things.
I honestly just found myself wishing that the book could stay focused on a character for more than a couple of pages. This needed edited for length/clarity so badly. At times I just found myself skimming because I didn't need to read one more scene where Evie and Sam acted like assholes to each other. The flow was awful from beginning to end. If all of your characters don't meet until the 80 percent point of your book something is wrong. The fact that Bray had them all come together to save someone close to them was a laugh and a half. The most anti-climatic fight scenes ever. Nothing made sense. And then in the end for them to all say, well maybe what we did mattered, or maybe it didn't made me want to pull my hair out.
The world-building in "The Diviners" just needs improved. Bray foreshadows that some big government secret is about to blow and maybe all of these people and their powers are a direct result of that. I just don't care and am glad I am not going anywhere near the third and soon to be published fourth book in this series.
The ending was just a cliffhanger to set up book number 3 and I hate that in books. Even if you have a book that is part of a series, each arc for that book should be finished by the time you get to the end. It just reads as if you can't come up with a good ending so you are just going to continue on.