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Summary for Lair of Dreams:
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?
Summary for Before the Devil Breaks You:
After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.
With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they've ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation--a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.
This past autumn, I took part in Fall Bookish Bingo and I found a new favorite series, The Diviners by Libba Bray. It was pretty much everything I could have wanted in a YA historical horror fantasy novel - and the production of the audiobook, narrated by January LaVoy, was absolutely stunning. Well, in the last month or so I've managed to get myself caught up on the next two books in the series, Lair of Dreams and Before the Devil Breaks You on audiobook - and now it's just a waiting game until the release of book four which so far is untitled and doesn't have a release date. I don't know how Bray does it, but this series just keeps getting better and better. I would honestly give these two books more than five stars if I could. Like with book one, January LaVoy does a marvelous job bringing all of these great characters to life in the sequels.
Just like with book one, the sequels both travel at a slow pace, but regardless they reeled me right in from the beginning. I didn't want to press pause and put the Playaway down for anything or anyone (except when my lone AAA battery died and I had to go out and get another pack of batteries - yes, the sequels are just as long) because Bray's storytelling (and LaVoy's narration) totally reeled me in right from first chapter. There's so much to love about this series - I love how the author blends real-life history with cool fantasy elements of Diviner powers and spine-tingling horror. I also enjoyed being back with our main cast - from Evie, Theta, Will, Sam, Memphis, Jericho, Henry, and Mabel (my heart!). Then again, as great as it was to primarily follow Evie before, I loved that the sequels let the others shine. I liked getting to see more of Theta (and learn more of her crushing background) and Memphis explore their budding relationship. Hands down, though, Henry and Ling's friendship completely steal the show in these two sequels. Ling is a brand new Chinese-Irish-American character that is first introduced in Lair of Dreams (well, technically, she's the girl with the green eyes in book one). Like Henry, she's a dream walker, but she can also communicate with the dead. The two of them make a great team, and, she quickly became one of my favorite characters on her own. On another note, I also have to admit that I was totally wrapped up in what we find out about Project Buffalo, the good and the bad.
Anyway, I could go on about how much I love this series all day long, but I don't want to inadvertently spoil something. I highly, highly, highly recommend picking up the criminally underrated Diviners series if you haven't already had the chance (on audiobook if you're interested in hearing January LaVoy's brilliant narration skills for yourself). If you like Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly, pretty much anything by Cat Winters, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Supernatural, I expect you'd absolutely adore this series as much as I do. Now, I just have to wait until the fourth book in the series to be released (and hope they can come up with a better book cover that'll actually suit the series) - or perhaps listen to another audiobook read by the same narrator while I bide my time. This series quickly became one of my favorite reads in 2017 - I totally should have started in on it much sooner!
I listened to Lair of Dreams from November 23 - December 8, 2017 and to Before the Devil Breaks You from December 20 - December 31, 2017.