Wake Up or Die Trying // Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray


note: there are probably spoilers for The Diviners, so be warned


Evie is the start of the show, but her life is slowly crumbling around her. She might be New York’s Sweetheart Seer, but she’s still haunted by the events of The Diviners and she parties to forget about it all. She’s slowly alienating the people around her as well as forming fake relationships to get what she wants. She needs help, but she isn’t really the type to ask for help.
Evie continues to be one of my favorite characters in this book, and even when she’s doing a bit of self-destructing, I always love her and want everything to just work out for her. This wasn’t as much of her story as The Diviners was – other characters get more of a chance to shine, which is awesome, but I could always use more time with the Sweetheart Seer and her glamorous, sometimes sad life.


Ling has never been her disability – she might not have the strongest legs, but she has a damn strong mind, and she’s going to use it. She’s always felt a bit stifled by her life in Chinatown, and she just wants to escape to the world of science and wonder. Her ability to walk in dreams might get her where she wants to go instead, even if she has no idea what danger she’s getting herself into.
Ling was a very small character who never got a name in the first book, if I remember correctly. This book is her chance to really shine, though – Lair of Dreams belongs to her and the next character, Henry. She has the ability to escape into dreams and she even begins to learn how to manipulate dreams, but in a story where people are getting trapped in dreams before dying, it’s not exactly the safest place to be. Ling isn’t the most likeable person, but she hasn’t exactly had an easy life, stuck with a disability while being half-Chinese in a country that hates foreigners. She’s an intriguing character for sure, and even though she didn’t see a twist coming that I managed to deduce fairly early on, she’s still an extremely smart character, and I’m interested to see her interacting more with the rest of the core cast.


Henry will change the world with his music – or he would, if people would give him the chance. His best friend, Theta, believes in him completely, but it just isn’t enough some days. He’s still pining for the love of his life, but when he realizes that he might be able to find Louis through his dreams, a talent he shares with a certain budding scientist, he quickly falls deeper and deeper into the world of dreams.
Henry was a bigger character than Ling was in The Diviners, but he definitely wasn’t one of the biggest. I don’t think we ever got into his head in the first book, but we definitely do in this book. We learn more about his tragic past, which makes it easier to handle him being a bit stupid, a lot like Ling – you know, spending more and more time in his dreams even though dreams seem to be quite dangerous right now and it takes a toll on his health. He’s not simply stupid, though – he’s heartbroken and in love with the boy of his dreams (literally, in this case), and he’ll do whatever it takes to be with that boy, whether it’s smart or not.


Nothing can hurt a carefree boy like Sam – not a confusing relationship with a girl he could truly love, not the growing fear spreading through New York City. Of course, one little nickname – “little fox” – brings all the pain of his childhood rushing back, and he needs to find answers, no matter what it takes.
I love Evie and I love her romantic entanglements (or possible, anyway) with Jericho as well as this charming character. Sam puts on a mask around everyone, even Evie – most of the time, anyway – but we get a better peek behind that mask this time around. He’s trying to learn more about what happened to his mother, and I’m definitely intrigued by that mystery.


The healer of Harlem might have his powers back, but he certainly doesn’t want word getting around. He has a girl in his life, and he certainly doesn’t want to mess it up – even if it means he isn’t always paying attention to what’s going on with his brother and other people in his life.
Memphis might have a girl in his life right now, but things certainly don’t seem to be perfect for him. Old Man Bill (I think that’s his name – it’s been a while since I read this book) is still worming his way into Memphis’s life through his brother, but Memphis is too preoccupied with Theta to notice. His storyline isn’t as big as it was in the first book, but he’s still an interesting character and hopefully there’ll be a bigger focus on him in the third book.


The museum where Jericho works with Uncle Will might be doing much better now than it was when Evie first showed up, but things certainly aren’t perfect for Jericho. Evie has pretty much vanished from his life, and the museum still has its problems – not to mention he’s still reliant on a special serum if he wants to continue living.
Jericho is the other fascinating and complicated angle of the Evie-Sam-Jericho triangle. Evie is the only person who seems to really get him out of his shell, and since he barely sees her at all this book after she basically ran away from him (and some other things, to be fair), he isn’t the funnest person around. I just want him and Evie and get more scenes together!


Theta has the perfect life in New York City – as long as she hides the pain and horrible memories she escaped from before getting to the City of Lights.
Like the other main characters from the first book, there’s a little less focus on Theta in this book since there are other characters to focus on, like Theta’s best friend, Henry. It’s been about two months since I read this book (I know, I know, I’m horribly behind), and Theta’s storyline is one of the hazier ones when I’m trying to remember the book.


Mabel has long lived in Evie’s shadow – when she’s not in her parents’ shadows, that is, especially her mother’s. She isn’t just content to remain in the shadows, though – she wants to shine.
Mabel was a small character in the first book, and she continues to be a relatively small one in this book. I feel like I don’t quite know what to make of her character – I like her, but as Evie’s friend, and the fact that she’s always someone else’s, not simply her own person, is a big part of her character. Hopefully she’ll get a chance to shine a bit more in the third book.


All in all, I loved this sequel to The Diviners. It was a long time coming, but it was also quite long (the longest book that I read in 2015), so that helped a little. There were some twists that I saw coming, mainly in Ling and Henry’s storyline, but I didn’t really mind too much. I can’t wait to read the third book, even if it takes another two or so years to get in my hands. Also, there’s a tiny cameo by Gemma Doyle, from another supernatural trilogy of Libba Bray’s, and I did a little, silent happy dance in my head when I saw that. Bring on the cameos, Libba!

LairofDreamsTitle: Lair of Dreams

Position: Book Two in The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray (The Diviners)

Genre: Historical/Paranormal

Pages: 613

Rating: 4.5/5

The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

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, earning 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?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.




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