Normally, check I try REALLY hard not to do sequels as the Book of the Week, because if you haven’t read the first book, you really don’t know what’s going on, and can’t really read the Book of the Week post.
Or I’ll do sequels if I know that enough people have read the previous ones, like with Divergent or the Heroes of Olympus, which are two sequel books (Allegiant and House of Hades) that I definitely will be using as Book of the Weeks soon.
I already read Starcrossed, and to be honest, it just didn’t hook me that much. It was recommended to me by a trusted friend, someone who recommends books to me all the time, and I knew I had to keep trying, so I picked up Goddess. I read about half, put it aside, and read quite a few others books in the meantime.
Last night, I got about 75% of the way through another book, which honestly disappointed me hugely, and I gave up. Moving on down my list o’ books (which is pretty ridiculous and OCD….seriously), Dreamless was next, and I really had to give it a good try. I’m meeting Josephine next week at the Los Angeles Teen Book Fest (more on that later!), and I want to have an honest opinion about her books before I see her.
And the reason that Dreamless is the Book of the Week, and not just a mere review gets down to one point: that while the first book didn’t capture me and embrace me, the second one definitely did. I’m about a quarter of the way through Goddess, the final book of the trilogy, and can’t wait to see how it ends.
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
GoodReads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository
Young Adult, Fantasy
Part of a Series?:
Yes, the second book of the Starcrossed trilogy
Please remember that while there will be NO spoilers for this particular book, there will be spoilers for the first book.
You May Like if You Liked:
The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Please keep in mind that these are MY personal recommendations, and it varies between each person. I know that some YA is a little more adult than others, and I don’t want to encourage a younger teen to read something that isn’t appropriate for them.
Dreamless continues the story of Helen Hamilton, a shy girl living on Nantucket Island whose desire for an ordinary life was thwarted when she discovered she is a Scion, a descendant of a Greek god and a mortal. Each Scion has a power, and Helen’s is the ability to travel to Hades.
Helen is determined to use her talent to stop a war amongst the gods and change her destiny, which is to live a life patterned after that of the tragic Helen of Troy. But her quest may cost her Lucas Delios, the boy she loves.
Dreamless really follows Helen as she uses her power to Descend into the Underworld, to discover a way to gain favor with the Furies, to help break that curse where Scions of opposite families want to kill each other, especially since Hector is a traitor and the Delios all have blood lust when around him. But the more she Descends, the more it takes a toll on herself, and everything and everyone around her.
It took a REALLY long to get through this book. I started it, then put it aside, then picked it up again, then put it aside. The first half of the book just really drags, as Helen Descends into Hades over and over and over and over and over again. It just got really repetitive and honestly, kind of boring. I was like, okay, something needs to start happening or I’m going to throw something. I didn’t end up actually throwing something but I did set this book aside a few times. It just didn’t compel me at first. I think once the second half picked up, and Helen had more of a direction, and so did the rest of the story, and she finally felt more of a handle on things, the book sped up and I finished the last half last night, easily.
I also *think* that Josephine is introducing a love triangle in this book, and that just made me incredibly frustrated.
I liked the twist on the Furies in this novel. I think that’s a huge thing that brought me back into the novel. The Furies are always portrayed as evil, or at the very least, completely inconvenient. They’re still totally NOT good in this book as well. They are the cause behind the Scions having such hatred toward each other and why Ariadne and Lucas and Jason want to tear out Hector, their family, whenever they are near him. And Helen is determined to fix that. I like that her approach in fixing this is so different than anything else, and its ultimately a good thing. The solution to the problem isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be, especially with the general attitude toward The Furies.
I also like the direction that Helen is going in. She’s really stepping into her powers, and embracing exactly who she is. I know that in the first book, she was still learning but there were times when I wanted to kind of punch her in the face. But in this book, I really begin to admire the strong person that she is. Because she doesn’t just have these powers, and a physical strength, but she’s extremely clever as well, and that really makes for a strong character. I say again and again that physical strength is incredibly awesome in a character, but that a lot of people think a character can ONLY be a strong character if they’re a fighter or a warrior, or any of that, but intelligence makes for an incredibly strong character. Helen has both, definitely.
She really built up a story that left you panting for the next book. Second books need to be that bridge between the first and the third and it really does that. I immediately wanted to read the next book, which was difficult because it was 2 a.m. I really liked that Josephine filled my new addiction to Greek myths in YA lit and that she did so in such a unique way.
I love all the new appearances of gods as well too. We see so many different versions of the gods and goddesses in different books, and there’s always a different perspective of who is ‘good’ or who is ‘bad’, and I am intrigued at who is on what side in this book. I’m also interested to see what sort of havoc they wreak on the world because Josephine doesn’t hold back, you know? She really takes this idea and matures it in a way that you’re almost horrified. You’re horrified that this could be happening to any one of these characters.
And seriously, I just gotta say it? Can Daphne please just tell Helen and Lucas that they aren’t really cousins? I am so heartbroken over that, it makes me think of Jace and Clary in Mortal Instruments, and I can’t handle it. Its so full of angst and I just want to punch them both, while at the same time, hoping they’ll make out. Yeah, I said it.
3.75 out of 5
Recommended or Not:
I’m in a serious Greek myth thing going on right now, and I think I’m blaming Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant series, which you all saw that I BUSTED my way through in a matter of days. I also have Dreamless left to read of this series, and House of Hades comes out on Tuesday, and I also just recently purchased Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs, which has some Greek myths thrown in there. I need a break from dystopians haha.
But that being said, I really liked THIS book of the trilogy so far. Starcrossed was really hard for me to get through, maybe because I hadn’t quite fallen into my Greek obsession yet, or maybe because I was waiting for the sequel. Its like Empire Strikes Back, or something, which we all know is infinitely better than the first one (though the first one is my favorite!), and I honestly think, yes, please read this series. I think its a unique look at the myths of Greece, which is hard, with so many books attempting to do so.
So after that long rant, yes, I recommend this book :)
* * * * * *
I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Book of the Week. Stay tuned for next week’s when I review Rick Riordan’s The House of Hades!
Happy Reading Everyone!