Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Dreamless

DREAMLESS (Starcrossed #2)
Josephine Angelini
Paranormal Young Adult
487 pages
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

Dreamless 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.

Rating 4/5

Be sure to check back on Wednesday as I have Orion stopping by the blog as part of the Dreamless Blog Tour :-)


  1. I know that Starcrossed got a few mixed reviews which kind of put me off reading it, but I do think I would like the mythology elements, especially if they're that complex and immersive. Also, it did sort of seem cliched from the reviews I had read so it's good to get your reassurance that that is not the case. Perhaps I need to rethink reading this series! Though the page count is a bit daunting.

  2. I LOVED Orion!! He clearly was the best part of the book. Although I read the book I am still not sure about the rating.. I was not a big fan of Helen in Dreamless and also Lucas made it not easy for me to love them.
    The story and the plot was great - but Lucas and Hellen Love Hate was horribly and definitely annoying... I think I gave it 4 on goodreads, but just thinking about those two makes me wish to shake them! loll!

  3. Good! I'm glad you liked this. I'm at the beginning of it now. I like it but haven't gotten enough into it. I'd heard that there was a love triangle and was concerned it would be stuck in second book territory. I'm glad it doesn't feel tired.

  4. I'm looking forward to meeting Orion, but I'm gonna miss Lucas! Glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! It's one of the books I'm really looking forward to this summer! :)

  5. Great review, Jenny! I enjoyed Dreamless, but not as much as Starcrossed. I definitely missed Lucas, too, but Orion was a nice replacement at times. ;) The book was rather lengthy, but thankfully, it held my attention! Thanks for sharing this great review!

  6. Marvelous review...;)Im excited to read this series, I just bought Starcrossed for my Nook, it was like 99 cent...I couldn't refuse!!!!

  7. Love Greek Mythology and your review makes me want to pick up this book! It is going on my TBR--- :) I looked up the first book also!

  8. So glad to see you enjoyed this! I really loved reading the first book last year, and I can't wait to dive into this one. :) I'm super excited now!

  9. Aylee - I'm hugely partial to Greek mythology, so everything about this series works for me:) I really love how she writes her characters, and while the world is complex enough to confuse me a times, she does a great job of making things clear by the end:)

    Danny - I really loved him too! I was so glad he wasn't all macho and "I'm going to steal Helen from you" with Lucas. That would be been irritating. Helen and Lucas were a bit frustrating in this one, only from the standpoint that I want them to be together (like Jace and Clary who drive me insane), and I know a lot more has to happen that will keep them apart:)

    Alison - I loved this book and thought she introduced enough new information and revealed a lot of interesting twists that it was definitely not all filler content for book 3.

    Leanna - I missed him too:( I think he'll be around much more in the next book though, so WIN.

    Christina - It's definitely a long, complex story which could be daunting at times, but I thought it was great:)

    Tina - YAY! Looking forward to seeing what you think!

    Felicia - I do too. I was so excited when it started becoming a trend in YA lit. I loved both books:)

    Christy - Oh good! I loved Starcrossed too, and there are some HUGE developments in this one so I look forward to comparing notes:)

  10. Glad this one didn't have the middle book syndrome. I've yet to read Starcrossed, been sidetracked with other review requests and reads. I hope to pick this series up closer to the release on the third one so I don't have to wait that long for the conclusion. I'm starting to get really impatient with series.

  11. Sounds like Orion is nicely written. I didn't love the first book, but I enjoyed it enough to be curious about this one...and you've definitely made me more curious about it!

    Nice review :D

  12. Oh my God, you are such a good writer. Your review seems to capture the mood and feeling I get when I look at the cover. It really feels like it has a dream-like quality to it.

  13. Gosh Jenny, just when I thought your reviews were epic enough you bust out with this one? Seriously your opening paragraph just literally blew me away! I still have to pick up Starcrossed, but this book also sounds fantastic! I will be back again on Wednesday to meet Orion! :)

  14. I've heard awesome things about this series :) !! I really look forward to read Starcrossed as I love books with Greek mythology in them :) :!

  15. Rummanah - I didn't think it did at all. Things definitely moved forward, we got new characters and new revelations and I thought it was awesome:)

    Lea - I loved him:) I liked that he didn't pressure Helen at all, and it didn't feel like he was making a play for her even though there was definitely some romantic tension between them.

    Pam - Thank you! I really appreciate you saying that:) I love this series!

    Jasprit - Thank you:) I hope you do get Starcrossed, it was a favorite read of mine last year and I thought this was a really fantastic sequel. I need the next book immediately:)

  16. When I read this book I felt like the relationship is just totally strained! Ugh my heart. I felt so many emotions during this book. I am hoping that there relationship will be straighten out soon cause i don;t know how much of this I can handle! Loveley reivew Jenny!

  17. I didn't know this was another book based on Greek myths. I do like the story of the Furies. However, what I think I would like the most is seeing how the author takes the cliched overused ideas and reinvents them. That is something that would interest me. I have been eyeing this series and now feel compelled to read it. Happy Monday, Jenny.

  18. I'm so glad your and Small's reviews convinced me to stick with Starcrossed since I really enjoyed the last 1/3. I'm excited about giving Dreamless a try and seeing the mythology get built further and meeting Orion.

  19. Ancient Greece in all its glory, I'd sure like other mythologies too. Celtic, Norse..more :)

  20. Oh sweet! I just got the first one on the kindle sale and now I can't wait to get this one. I am also happy she throws a few twists into the old clichés. Can't wait to read about Orion too!!

  21. Savy - I know. Josie is good at at ripping hearts out isn't she? Love her for it:)

    Heidi - Yes! A really complex mythology which I enjoy:)

    Z - Oh good! I'm glad you enjoyed it:) Things get even more twisted and interesting in this one!

    Linda - I'm a sucker for Greek mythology:)

    Melissa - Yay! Can't wait to see what you think of it!

  22. I am a big fan of this seres! I loved the mytholigy in Starcrossed! Can't wait to read this one.

    Great review! =D

  23. I LOVE Greek mythology!!!! I HAVE Starcrossed, I freaking PROMISED myself I'd read it before this one came out... I still have a few days right?!?! Lol


  24. I haven't read this series yet but I am currently reading another book dealing with Greek mythology with Furies involved I am interested in giving this series a try.

  25. This may be a totally anime-girl thing of me to say (in which I blame my BFF for getting me into it) but I LOVE the name Orion!! A lot of people are against love triangles, but I actually kind of adore them and Orion sounds dreamy. Sort of like the Stefan to Damon in The Vampire Diaries TV show! x) I'm happy to be Team Damon/Orion, but with Orion in the equation... I just can't wait to meet him! (Will definitely be here on Wednesday! <3)

    Absolutely AMAZING and squee-worthy review, Jenny! You're making me even more eager to get my hands on this book than before -- totally impossible feat, achieved! :') <3

  26. What a beautiful review! God, I hope the book is as beautiful as this review is! I have it in my TBR pile coming up soon. I felt safe reading your review as I have many reviews to go before I even read this one. I really can't wait. Josie has a picture of Hector on her facebook page and I've been trying to pin it to my Pinterest acct, but it won't let me! He's cute and she hasn't got a name. Bet Missie would know. Hmm. Might email him to you.


  27. I felt the same as you. I was thankful the push and pull with Lucas and Helen didn't continue too much and I really liked Orion. I'm not up for the love triangle usually but this felt real enough for me. Helen felt so alone so her relationship with Orion growing felt real. I was glad Lucas was there more then we really thought too. And the world was definitely great!

  28. I read Starcrossed already but I am reading it again so when Dreamless is out I can continue right away!