Thursday 23 January 2014

Book Review - Dreamless

Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #2
Genres: Mythology, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 5th July 2012
Publishers: MacMillan
No. Pages: 503
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out. A ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books in the series.
If you have not read the previous installments, please proceed with caution.

Holy mother of god, mind the pun, it's just so good; I was captivated, blown away, mesmorised! Somebody's going to have to hold me throughout this review; I don't know if I can make it through without falling into a mass puddle of awetastic tears. Dreamless was everything I wanted, hoped for, and expected in a sequel to Starcrossed, and boy oh boy did Angelini deliver.

At the end of Starcrossed, I was left both heartbroken and devastated, but not eager to grab the second; I think this was down to the lack of cliff-hanger that I've come to expect in YA novels, however, it appears to me that Angelini is trying in every way possible way not to follow trends other YA novels do, and no cliff-hangers is one of them. Even after a mind-blowing, amazing, finale battle scene, Angelini left the ending to Dreamless like the calm after the storm, and I was expecting to launch myself against my bookshelf to rip Goddess off of it, but I didn't, and I'm pretty thankful for that. It's allowing myself time to come to terms with the plot twists and insane scenes and think 'you know what, that book was just so wow', because there are no possible words to reflect how much I enjoyed Dreamless. It continued to amaze me like Starcrossed did, while improving and including everything I wished Starcrossed had.

I very much appreciated how calmly and cleverly Angelini introduced me back into her world, as it had been around 6 months since I'd read Starcrossed, and I confess, I had forgotten a few minor points, but I was instantly reminded which was wonderful, and while I will admit, the first 50 pages did drag quite a bit, once we met Orion, everything seemed to go at Scion speed. She created numerous layers to her previously interesting but too normal characters and that love triangle; oh man, I'm so conflicted. Many YA authors will give you two male characters, who hate one another, but our leading lady just can't seem to choose one, but not in Dreamless; Angelini introduced a brand new character who felt he'd been there throughout the whole series, and created a bond between the three that one, is pretty darn fantastic to read, and two, one that is very important to the entire plot. While I of course have my preferences, I have no idea how Angelini will end this romance, and if I'm honest, I'm fearing death at some point.

But it wasn't just the characters that amazed me in Dreamless, it was Angelini's talent in creating two worlds instead of just one. A lot of authors struggle to develop the world on earth in their plots, but Angelini managed that, and added the Underworld to boot, which was just as magically wonderful as earth with Scions; nightmarish and beautiful in unison. Helen's character developed so much due to her journeys in the Underworld, and you could really see and experience her growing into a much stronger character that we will obviously see so much more of in Goddess. Sidenote: I read a few reviews that involved calling Helen a mopey, whiney character in Dreamless, and I would like to give you a snippet of my notes concerning this factor -

Here's Your Spoiler!
Are you being serious? She is going through hell, literal hell, she's had her heart broken, she is dying, she is going mad, there's this horrible creature living next door to her room that watches her sleep, she has this feeling that she wants to kill the guy that's helping her, she's got a lying mother doing god knows what, pardon the pun, and her own father doesn't know what she's going through; I mean, woah! I'd be a little sorry for myself too, if I was going through all that; dying and losing my fucking marbles for crying out loud; yet another bad pun, my apologies.

Overall, Dreamless to me was absolutely amazing. Angelini took a well developed plot and turned it on it's head. She took some of our minor characters and made them much more involved in the plot, she took what main characters we had and made them pretty darn bad-ass and created so many layers to them, they each become glorious cakes. However, the crème de la crème in this installment was just how much research Angelini had done in order to make sure she stayed faithful to the story of Helen of Troy, while creating a 21st century twist on it, everything from the characters to the world, to the creatures, to the forming war, right to history itself. To anyone who is interested in Greek Mythology and the story of Helen of Troy who is considering this series, I strongly suggest you check out this series right now; you've no time to waste.

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