Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book Review: Dreamless

So vacations are obviously not good for me and blogging.  Even though I have way more down time and you'd think it would be easier, without structure, I fail.  Anyway, I'm back, and with school starting, etc. things should be getting back to normal.  Hopefully. Now on to the book review!

Can true love be forgotten?

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.

Josephine Angelini's compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling "Starcrossed" delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.       Quoted from Goodreads

I love that the summary ends with the word expectations.  Expectations are interesting things and they can totally make or break a book. In this case, they made the book for me, probably because for Starcrossed, the first book in this series, they broke it. I'm not saying Starcrossed wasn't a good book because it was.  I just had too high of expectations, and the book wasn't quite up to par. Plus there were some things that really irritated me about that book.

Dreamless, on the other hand, didn't suffer from high expectations or sophomore slump.  In fact, it took the adequate foundation created in Starcrossed and built a dream home.  Needless to say,  I found myself liking it much better.  Or maybe the book was just plain better: writing, plot, the whole shebang.  I kind of thought I knew what to expect, but Josephine Angelini surprised me in the best way possible.

Lets start with things I liked.  I liked Helen's character growth.  It may have started a bit slow, but she does grow up and take more control of her life in this book. I like that she doesn't quit, and while she has her weak moments, she really does try her best and never falls into the too stupid to live category (except for maybe in one area, but then every character, and I do mean every character in the entire book, falls into that particular pothole, so I can't really blame her too much).

The ending.  I thought the ending was fantastic.  It had everything I could possibly wish for, peril, self sacrifice, betrayal, fighting, hope, and left me wanting the next book.

Orion.  I really liked the introduction of this new character.  I was leery at first because I'm frankly done with the whole love triangle thing.  It rarely works for me, is usually too obvious for words, and creates needless drama.  While I'm not going to pretend that Dreamless avoids most of the above, I like where this is all heading.  The need for three main characters is obvious and furthers the plot along instead of just causing angst.  And Orion himself is sweet, charming, and helpful, albeit doomed to the friend zone (in my opinion) in the next book.

Daphne.  I love this character.  And I hate her, which is why I love her so much. She is the Jack Bristoe of Alias.  She is good, bad, and deliciously ambiguous all at once. I love that I can't quite figure her out.  Of all the characters she intrigues me the most.  Even Hector, who I grew to love in this book, isn't as much fun.

Okay, now to my biggest problem with the book: the continued stupidity surrounding Helen and Lucas's relationship.  I won't go into details because I don't want to give away spoilers for anyone who hasn't read Starcrossed, but come on.  The lie should be obvious to so many people.  I'll cut Josephine Angelini some slack about what's keeping them apart, because she did defend it with the Electra reference and other tragedies from history, but really?  It's simple math.

I'm giving this book 3 1/2 stars.  It may have made it into the 4 star echelon if it weren't for the above mess.  Still, I'm super excited for the next one.

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