Tuesday 24 July 2012

Book Review: Dreamless by Josephine Angelini.

Product details:
Publisher: Macmillan
Release date:  July 5th 2012
Paperback, 503 pages.
Rating: 3½ out of 5
Ages: 13+
Series: Starcrossed #2
Other books in series: Starcrossed
Source: Received from publisher for 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 expectation.

Please note: This book is part of a series. There may be spoilers for previous books in the series in this review.

How many times can one girl walk through hell to save the lives of those she loves?

That’s the question facing Helen Hamilton who must descend into the Underworld night after night in order to find and destroy three sisters known as The Furies, and break the cycle of revenge that is threatening to tear apart the lives of everyone she loves.  It’s an almost impossible task for Helen, but as the Descender, she’s the only one who can do it.  And she has to do it without the love and support of Lucas, because he’s gone, and Helen is on her own as she sets out on a quest that will ask her to sacrifice family, friendship, love and maybe even her own life as hidden enemies emerge and Helen is no longer sure who she can trust.

An accomplished modern day re-imagining of the ancient Greek myths of legend, Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed was one of the big hits of last summer, and in its masterful storytelling and slow-burning romance it captured hearts everywhere. Then, with what can only be described as a brilliant but wicked evil plot-twist, Angelini broke the hearts of two kids in love, and in one fell swoop changed the whole tone of this trilogy.  If Starcrossed was a joyful book about falling in love against the odds, and against the gods, then Dreamless is all about hearts broken, denied and set adrift.

At over five-hundred pages, Dreamless is a big book, particularly in YA terms, and in keeping with its size, it’s a little slow to get going, and took me a while to get into.  It’s complex too.  Greek myths and legends are always complicated, and that’s  certainly true of this book, although to her credit Angelini does a good job of keeping everything on track here, but between scions and  gods, monsters, descenders, descendants, houses at war, heirs, and trying to figure out who is out for revenge, who is related, who is not,  who is talking to who, and who is going to kill the next person who shows up because of some internal fury that they can’t control, well, it does get a tad confusing at times, but it’s fun too, especially when the gods of the Underworld are introduced. Angelini’s imaginings of the rulers and dwellings of the Underworld couldn't be more perfect. I  especially enjoyed  reading about Morpheus, the god of dreams, and Persephone, the goddess Queen of the Underworld.

 I can’t believe I’ve gotten so far into this review without mentioning the boys, especially since the boys in this book are so hot!   With Lucas missing from a large part of the action here, off suffering from what I like to call Edward circa New Moon syndrome, there’s place for another guy in Helen’s life in the shape of Orion. As much as any of you love Lucas, and I love Lucas as much as anybody, you won’t be able to hate Orion. You just won’t be able to do it. This guy is perfect. He’s an actual Adonis! No, he really is. I mean that literally.  Oh, but Lucas. Things are really hard for Lucas in this book, and I don’t know if he’ll ever be the same again. He tries hard to remove himself from Helen’s life and to take away the temptation they both feel whenever they are near each other, but hearts can’t be denied, and Lucas always finds a way back to Helen, even if it’s just to watch over her from afar. I’m still holding out for a Helen and Lucas happy ending, but I can totally appreciate Orion’s hotness, and the fact that he’s an all round nice guy too.  Oh, and I can’t forget Hector. Love that guy. Circumstances dictate that he’s not around a whole lot in this book, but whenever he is he pretty much steals the show. Once again, just like in Starcrossed, Angelini excels at characterization, by which I mean, she writes really hot guys.

 Dreamless, was, for me, very much a second in series book, where the lovers are torn apart, a possible new love interest is introduced, strings are left untied and questions left unanswered.  But you know what, while I had my quibbles with this one, I was still left wanting more, and so I’ll be counting down the months, weeks and day to the third and final installment in the trilogy, Goddess, releasing 2013.  Gods, I can't wait to see how it all ends!


  1. I enjoyed this one too.It's just such a pity we have to wait a year until we find out what happens.  Nice review.

  2. Great review! I enjoyed Dreamless (even though it was slow to start!) and I love the male characters in the book as well.  It was a really long read though for YA- you are right!  I am looking forward to book three, too!

  3. Ooh this sounds like a book for me I love greek myths and it looks like a dark book with great romance! It's often the middle book that I enjoy less but glad it wasn't a letdown like some can  be.

  4. Agree about Orion. I actually tried to hate him, but couldn't. He was just too sweet and funny. Definitely looking forward to the third book! Great review :).

  5. Jess Hearts Books26 July 2012 at 11:35

    I remember really loving Starcrossed but I can't for the life of me remember what happened I was hoping Josephine might provide a good re-cap at the start but from the sounds of it I might have to give Starcrossed a re-read before starting this one. I've read some hit and miss reviews of this book so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it! Excellent review as always Leanna and I'm looking forward to meeting Orion muchly ;)

  6. So glad you liked this! I know you what you mean about feeling like such a Second Book, haha! And so the wait for book three begins!

  7. daisychainbooks28 July 2012 at 12:51

    This was very much a middle-of-series book for me, so not a favourite of mine, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it all ends too!

  8. daisychainbooks28 July 2012 at 12:55

     Yeah, Orion was impossible to hate, although I'm still hoping for a happy ending for Lucas & Helen so I'm wondering how things are going to work out for him in the third book!

  9. daisychainbooks28 July 2012 at 12:56

     Yeah, you might need to re-read some bits. There is some re-capping, but with the huge cast of characters and figuring out what happened to them all I was a little bit confused at times.

  10. daisychainbooks28 July 2012 at 12:56

    Yep - excited to see how it ends!


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