I didn’t necessarily enjoy the sequel more than its predecessor... *NO SPOILERS*
~It’s like a freaking maze up in here~
Angelini’s gift really lies in the mythology she twists up to create this ginormous plot arc. The combination of classic Greek literature as the characters’ true history and the gods and goddesses that come into play make this story seriously riveting. It’s a tangle of Roman and Greek mythology that overlaps in a fascinating way. The Trojan War may be the focus, but there are so many players involved and they each have a piece of this story to make it dynamic and compelling. History repeats and clashes and choices are becoming more and more difficult for the slew of characters with their own destinies, their own hearts to follow.
Helen, the main character, has a purpose that’s almost too convoluted and wearing to handle. She’s a savior of sorts for a great many people, all of whom are directly and indirectly counting on the success of her Big and Dire Quest. Her purpose is terribly important and a heavy burden that begins to take a serious toll on her throughout the book. But it’s her journey into places so distant in myth come to life in a way that Angelini makes unique that gives the story a certain vibrancy. Her vivid escapades into various parts of mythological places are part of the reason Dreamless by Josephine Angelini is so engrossing.
And her purpose itself? It’s one of the driving forces of the plot, and at times we want to shake our heads at her decisions and at other times are bristling, bracing amid the ominous tone the story begins to take. The pacing is far more bearable than Starcrossed, and keeps things going at a nice, steady walk through the hell-raising events that follow.
~Favorite part isn’t the characters or romance~
Where Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini has problems with erratic pacing, last minute info-dumping, and half-trite, half-thrilling romance, Dreamless by Josephine Angelini is more subtle in all those areas. Because none of those elements are the focus of the story anymore. While I wish Angelini had provided a bit more recapping—as I’d forgotten a chunk of the plot in Starcrossed—Dreamless by Josephine Angelini isn’t overbearing in information—things are more fast-paced in that sense—and isn’t hindered by loads of recapping which can be all too common in sequels. This sequel feels like a build-up, full of slow-burn tension and arising problems that snowball into some looming terrifying darkness.
War is coming, and everyone is scrambling to make things better in Dreamless by Josephine Angelini in order to prevent it from happening. Fate has other ideas and it seems like every turn and compromise and sacrifice the characters make are overruled by what’s already been written in destiny, which makes the story read a lot like the typical Greek tragedy. And with the characters sometimes making *face-palm* decisions, that holds even more true. Angelini’s tales feel like I’m reading a set-in-modern-day Greek classic, and that’s where I can gush over the book.
There are so many nods to the original myths, yet Angelini leaves her own distinct mark, refuting some of the greats’ literature and backing up others to braid her intricate twisting plot. Ominous vibes are pouring out of this installment to worry and incite real fear for the characters. Death can collect so many when war finally erupts.
~Whatever happened to Lucas and Helen?~
Even though I didn’t totally dig the romance between Lucas and Helen (I’m totally crushing on Hector instead, although I’m glad he’s not into Helen. There’d be some serious body-crushing otherwise *cracks knuckles*), I liked it. It added a certain sweetness and lightness to the story while tempered with thrilling chemistry and whatnot. With the revelations revealed in Starcrossed, which are quite fresh in everyone’s mind (how do you forget a detail LIKE THAT?), their budding relationship has taken a serious gash to the stem. The roots are still there, but they’re suffering every day. The characters’ anguish, while not totally tangible, helps bring on more of the gloom and doom.
Luckily for us, there are other places for romance to flutter. Twins Ariadne and Jason fall in love as quickly and identically as when they were born together. Ariadne has Matt, geekizoid turned major hunk thanks to a few of their extracurricular activities, but he’s too stupid to realize it, and Jason has Claire, Helen’s pint-sized, tough and strong bff, but is constantly flickering between utter devotion and reluctance for various reasons. It seems no one in this series can fall in love without SERIOUS, and I do mean serious, repercussions.
Which brings me to Orion, tall, muscular hunkattack who looks like Adonis himself and is a bit of a sweetheart, I must admit. A tortured soul, indeed. Hello, love triangle. (You weren’t welcome, but I can see the appeal.) His job is to uninvite himself along Helen’s quest and help her figure out a way to make a breakthrough. Their road isn’t easy, and especially perilous with him in the picture, but they engage in a friendship that definitely has its moments. Their banter is fun and all the secret-swapping had me softening. Poor Lucas, all lonely in the corner while Helen gets to explore worlds beyond with the aforementioned hunkattack. Oh, the drama.
~Excited for the third book?~
Here's the deal. I don’t particularly need the third sequel in Angelini’s Starcrossed series. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini is thick with tension and brewing chaos. Gods and goddesses of the minor variety are beginning their havoc a little early on the regularly scheduled program, which makes for some interesting fights—and I LIVE FOR WARRING AND COMBATTING, especially with supernatural, all-powerful entities. And I do love Hector. Like, fangirl-squeeing, t-shirt-wearing, tattoo-scrawling love, but there’s just a certain umph missing from the story altogether, unfortunately.
Helen’s third-person narration is a major drawback. It isn’t that I don’t like her, but I find no enjoyment in her perspective. I don’t see any wowing qualities or understand her overall appeal. There’s this unexplainable distance there that doesn’t keep me very interested in her for long. I’m hoping in the next book she’ll kick a lot of butt and I can start really admiring her. She makes a lot of frustrating decisions in Dreamless by Josephine Angelini that don’t work in her favor.
I need more from this over-arching story to be truly amazed so that I can work myself into frenzy over the next book. There’s a distance I need evaporated before I can fall in love, but I'm still excited!
Originally posted at Paranormal Indulgence, 5/23/12
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
ARC Received from Harper Teen through Edelweiss
Release Date: 5-29-2012
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Dazzling, Daring, and Dangerous
Two days ago I read Starcrossed and could not put it down! It was the book equivalent to the where-have-you-been-all-my-life? guy. After finishing it, I went straight to my ARC of Dreamless (thank you HarperTeen and Edelweiss) and stayed up most of the night reading.
Some people have a way with words---and Josephine Angelini is one of those people. I just got swept away in her descriptions! I felt like I woke up one morning and found myself in her world--looking around to see Lucas, Helen, Hector, Cassandra and the whole gang. I just love when a book can transport you to another place and time--the only true magical powers anyone can have! (I think)
I absolutely adore Angelini's characters. They are so vibrant and full of life--even the characters that are not in complete focus, like Hector. I just love Hector--strong and mighty, yet completely and utterly devoted to his family. Angelini gives him so much depth even though he's not one of the main two, Lucas and Helen, and I appreciate that she spends so much time building her characters so that every dimension of her book comes to life. She gives each of her characters such grand gestures and personality that you just can’t help but feel your way through the book with them. And it’s not just the good guys that she creates so well…I mean, I quite literally HATE Daphne…but Josephine intended for us to dislike her. The writing brings Daphne to life, and you truly have an emotional response. If only I could pull a pensieve-like move and instead of jumping into memories, jump into a book! I’d give Daphne a taste of my fist….and Lucas...hehe, a taste of my lips? Is that inappropriate? I’m gonna go with no.
The Greek mythology is so....there are no words. The way she depicts the Furies is cataclysmic, and it's so new and original. I can literally see them slinking across the ground in craziness begging for murder so that for one tiny second, they can feel at peace--if that is even possible. I've always pictured the Furies as these evil hellbeasts, and I admit, I much prefer Angelini's tortured Furies over the ones I have always known. Her imagery of the Furies melts into the page, and I have never felt more lost in tragedy, hatred, and misery. It’s amazing.
And then....drumroll please!
Lucas! I admit, I read books for the guys--the ones that sweep you off your feet over and over again, and Lucas, being the flyer he is, can quite literally sweep you off them! If only I could stay in the air with him and never come down! He is the perfect young adult guy, and I have to say, whenever I see my ideal ya guy in a novel, I find myself never being able to put it down. He rivals Daemon, Aiden, Four, and Jace for me! He's overprotective (which I love…throwing punches is so hot—don’t judge me), strong and chiseled (oh la la), arrogant and tempermental (sigh), and completley broken and struggling (if only I could save him)! My heart literally aches for him, and I can't wait for everything to FINALLY work out!
There were so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming in Dreamless, and I really admire Josephine Angelini for her inventiveness with mythology. I will admit that I longed for more of the love story, but after Daphne's evil treachery (in my mind its evil) of convincing Lucas and Helen that they are cousins when they are not, I knew I was in for lots of angst (grrrr). Hopefully I will get more of my love story in book 3!
So....after much rambling about how I love this book, I will say that it is a MUST READ! I went through the gamut of emotions with this one--happiness, sadness, anger, disbelief, more anger, and a little (okay a lot) of lust :) Shame on me (hehe) or shame on Angelini for writing such a wonderfully addictive novel!
As if finding out that the love of her life is her first cousin isn't bad enough, Helen must descend to the underworls in search of the Furies. Days filled with longing and rejection and nights spent literally in hell, Helen's on the edge of crazy. She isn't dreaming and her body is starting to fail. Can she make it through her quest on her own or will the help of another scion help her? The Gods come out to play and Helen's world is about to change.
Google, define "sophomore slump" for me, please.
"A sophomore slump or sophomore jinx refers to an instance in which a second, or sophomore, effort fails to live up to the standards of the first effort."
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the antithesis of a sophomore slump. Angelini steps up the action and the passion and the sizzling tension in DREAMLESS; in fact, breathing isn't an option. You'll be holding the air in your lungs and turning pages faster than you can believe.
Helen Hamilton just can't catch a break. She needs to descend into the Underworld, since she's the only one who can, and find the Furies to complete a mission she's been set on . . . but she can't control her descents and she finds herself in random and painful scenarios. She meets someone in the fiery pits of Hell named Orion.
A fierce love triangle emerges from the darkness. Helen and Lucas are taking a break, since something happened in Starcrossed and led to them breaking apart, but Helen can't keep her mind off of him.
Helen enters the Underworld in her dreams. At the beginning of the novel, I wasn't thinking this was how it was going to happen and when I found out it was, I was instantly relieved. I wasn't looking forward to a long, grueling journey where the heroine would be away from everyone in Nantucket for so long. The way Angelini did this was great.
And can I say now how much I just love the cover?! Whoever designed this cover needs a raise, because I am barely able to look at that book without mentally swooning.
Dreamless is the first HarperCollins ARC I've ever read, and it was definitely a great start.
With rich mythology and a passionate love triangle, DREAMLESS takes the intensity up to a whole new level! Be prepared to be swept off your feet.
Can I start by saying best Helen of Troy story EVER?! This series takes the story of Helen of Troy to an all new level of awesome. Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) did not disappoint.
If you like love triangles, you are going to flip. There is so much tension between Lucas, Helen, and Orion that is was hard to pick a side. (Oh, Orion is a descendant of Adonis so he was extra yummy.) Now I don't usually like love triangles because they are usually frustrating, but this was a bit different. These demi-gods have very distinct roles to play in a prophecy and Helen is stuck in the middle. It was always a clear choice in other love triangles-- Team Peeta, Edward, and Four all the way. But I am torn between Lucas and Orion. I want them both, and I don't think I would be mad at Helen for picking either of them.
In Starcrossed I raved over how great Claire and Jason were. Well, in this book I did not feel that same love. In fact, if it were possible, I would punch Jason in the nose. I think Orion and Hector stole the show in Dreamless. The other characters were just kind of there taking up space. They helped move the plot, but they didn't move me.
In fact, this book took me over a week to read! It was only 487 pages! I can knock out 200+ pages in a night, but I took forever to read this. It just kept going and going and going. And those 50 page chapters?! Torture. Don't misconstrue this as me saying that the book wasn't good, because it was. It was action packed and very complicated. The plot was a finely tuned vessel, that's for sure. It just seems like too much was packed into this book.
The editing also irked me. For this to be a final copy I could not believe how many typos I found. Over 100! Yes, I totally counted. And yes, I wrote in the library book because I had to fix them! I can't leave grammar mishaps uncorrected. Sorry. It got so bad at one point that I was literally finding missing words/phrases on every other page. Someone really dropped the ball on that one.
Overall though, this was a great read for the plot. Orion was a wonderful addition, and I cannot wait to see how Lucas's new 'development' plays out. There were lots of hints at the end about the impending war, so it's going to be fierce. Hunks in chain metal. rar. Get ready! Epicness in the making.
Why I Loved It: Dreamless drove me just as crazy as Starcrossed. That is a good thing. Most of the time. At times, I was pretty much could only be described as...
I mean, seriously, what happened here??? So for those who read Starcrossed and still have not dived into the sequel, here's what you need to know. The book's intro is a lot more fast paced than the last book. However, Helen spends a massive amount of time in the Underworld. Which can be a bit depressing. At times, I had a hard time reading the book. Granted I still think that Ms. Angelini's writing is just as incredible. But I was resisting with intensity a love triangle. And that's what shows up in this book folks. A stinkin' love triangle. Just for the record, I am totally Team Lucas, and I really think that I will be an angry girl if at the end of Goddess the story ends in something other than Lucas and Helen having a shot at happy ever after.
Ok so moving on. I did enjoy this sequel. I thought the writing was good, I loved the further exploration into mythology, and I loved how the characters were more developed. One more time, not thrilled about the introduction of Orion as a prospective love interest. Helen struggles a lot with her mission to bring an end to The Furies, and that struggle may be more than she can handle.
In the end, I wasn't expecting where the author was taking me. Well not completely anyways. Once again the book left off in such a way that I will have to read the next one. JUNE GET HERE NOW! Those who loved Starcrossed, you must continue the journey.