DREAMLESS (Starcrossed #2)Josephine Angelini
Paranormal Young Adult
Available May 29th
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Amazon)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
MY THOUGHTSDreamless is a story where each page carries a tangible weight, both words and deeds seeming to powerfully resonate however softly spoken or subtly executed as each individual finds themselves powerless to escape the tragic cyclical nature of their lives. This is not a read where attention can waver, instead the extraordinary intricacies of the Truce, the four Houses, and the possible war with twelve imprisoned Olympian gods require our full focus as Ms. Angelini delicately spins her tale with consummate skill. Her ability to manage and guide all the individual threads of the Starcrossed world creates in her a fourth Fate with more power than the other three combined – she the puppet master of those three who are the puppet masters of all our characters – and we hold our breath while reading waiting to see what outcome the loom of the Fates will weave.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of this series is the fact that although many situations first appear to be familiar and overused plot devices, Ms. Angelini often surprises us with the direction events take after the initial clichéd snapshot, leading us into new territory that forces us to divide our hearts into sections as we struggle with which of all the possible end results we most want for Helen and the Delos family. Helen and Lucas experience a predictable separation in this second installment to make room for a new romantic interest, but luckily for us, after the first dramatic explosion from Lucas to push Helen away, we don’t get hundreds of pages of push-pull from them–the break painful and seemingly permanent–and we can’t help but be grateful for the absence of tedious “I love you” and “I hate you” declarations every other chapter.
While many readers may scoff at the introduction of Orion as a new romantic foil for Helen, his presence in the story ends up being a more than welcome one. Lucas is noticeably absent for much of this nearly five-hundred page tale, and Orion seamlessly enters the picture as the one person left in Helen’s life who is constant, filling her emptiness with his steadfast presence. Lucas’s rejection is merely the beginning of Helen’s isolation, each page further removing those who have become her support system from her life, leaving her adrift and alone in a literal hell, her journey glaringly marked by a single set of footprints when she so desperately needs sets on either side of hers. Orion asks for nothing and clearly expects nothing from Helen in terms of affection, thus winning us over with his unassuming nature and his resolute determination to be whatever she needs him to be for as long as she needs him to be it.
Though there is much to love about this second installment, the Greek mythology element taking prominence with Helen’s repeated visits to the Underworld in search of the Furies, the story itself is quite long for a young adult novel and the plot is a complicated tangle of ancient history, love, loss, war, allegiance, and most notably, fate. New elements are added to an already extremely complex storyline, often making us wonder what role this latest addition is going to play, but Ms. Angelini does an admirable job of exerting control over all her seemingly loose and unconnected threads, bringing them together in the end to grant us crystal clear understanding. Things are certainly left unresolved, but the main issue involving the Furies is nicely tied up, giving us a satisfying conclusion on one front even though so many avenues are left as yet unexplored.
Be sure to check back on Wednesday as I have Orion stopping by the blog as part of the Dreamless Blog Tour :-)