Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

Published: May 29th, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 487
e-copy: Courtesy of publisher and Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

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.

Before I tell you how absolutely wonderful this book is, I have to point out that if you are not a fan of Greek myths then Dreamless is definitely NOT the book for you.  Ms Angelini has delved into the world of Greek mythology so deeply and successfully that it's hard to remember it is just fiction.  It's confusing, complex, complicated and completely compelling.

It's been some time since I read  and reviewed Starcrossed, the first book in the trilogy, and on hindsight I wish I had re-read it - it took me a while to remember what had happened and I spent the first chapter or so with a bit of a puzzled expression on my face, but once my memory was jogged it was so easy to fall back into the world of the scions and their families. There is a lot of familial love in the story and it emphasizes how important family is for everyone, especially when refering to characters who have missed out on this. 

This is a story about a family, or House, who are being manipulated by fate - 'The Fates', to be precise, and of the struggles that ensue while trying to control their own destinies and beat 'The Furies'.  Helen and Lucas; Jason and Claire; Ariadne and Matt, - they are just the almost couples in the story.  There's also Orion, Hector, Daphne, Cassandra, Zach and too many others really to mention, but all are crucial to the story in their own way. And let's not forget the bad guys who are majorly creepy and revolting.  Dreamless has a love triangle that is just not quite what you are expecting and is so heart-breaking. I'm not normally a huge fan of triangles, but this one works, on so many levels.

I love the fantastical elements of the story - the superhuman strength, abilities like flying, bending light, shooting lightning from fingertips, etc - and they way that they all just seem so normal.  Couple all of this with mind-bending trips to the Underworld and meetings with Gods and you're in for the read of your lives. Wonderful storytelling, fascinating characters and a brilliant love story - what more could you want?  Number three perhaps? Not soon enough for me, that's for sure. 

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