Parents' Guide to

Lair of Dreams: The Diviners, Book 2

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Engrossing sequel in supernatural series set in '20s NYC.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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This is an epic period paranormal tale with characters who are complicated, flawed, and human, even if they can see the past, heal the sick, speak with ghosts, or control people's minds. It's a story about teamwork, friendship, and love -- all kinds of love. Author Libba Bray is the David Simon (creator of The Wire and Treme) of young adult literature. She specializes in super diverse ensemble dramas rooted in a particular city in which she immerses the reader without condescending to explain every little place, event, or historical fact. This continues to be the most fascinating historical portrayal of New York City in all of YA, and any reader who doesn't finish it captivated by the melting pot of New York wasn't reading properly. It's a long book, and there is a big cast of characters and a lot going on, but the strength of Bray's storytelling will keep readers interested the whole way through -- even if they can't read it in one sitting.

The characterization is so deep there's no way not to have favorites. In this particular installment, Ling, Henry, and Sam stand out, while Jericho and Mabel, whose love parallelogram with Sam and Evie takes a backseat, don't get a whole lot of page time. Same with Theta and Memphis. Henry in particular steals the show with his heartbreaking story line. He pines for his first and only true love -- a talented young Creole jazz musician he met on a New Orleans riverboat -- and wants nothing more than to reconnect with him. Ling, meanwhile, is direct to the point of bluntness and not especially sociable, but her purely platonic friendship with Henry is the sweetest thing about the book.

Book Details

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