Tag Archives: Lair of Dreams

WWW Wednesday, 26-June-2019

26 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: We had a lot of work lunches over the past week so progress on Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min has been almost non-existent. But, as always, I’m still moving forward!
I’m optimistic about A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin but my renewal will end again next week. I think one more should do it, I have about ten disks left.
I’m able to return to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers! This one has been really fun so I’m glad to be able to devote some time to it again.
I started listening to Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It’s not exactly exhilarating listening for workouts, but it’s making me appreciate my health and youth more than any other book I’ve listened to. It’s very humbling and makes me look at my parents and grandparents in a new light.

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray and posted my review earlier this week. I think the book was going well but seemed to have a bit of middle book syndrome kick in at the end. I want to keep moving forward with the series, though. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t take me four years to get to the next book this time. I gave it Four out of Five Stars
A marathon reading session on Saturday means I finished Wolf’s Mouth by John Smolens before my Monday book club meeting. I don’t usually cut these so close but I had a hold up with another book with a deadline. I hate deadlines for reading. I hope not to have one again for a while. I’ll be posting my review in the next week or so.

Reading Next: Hubby and I have a long car trip this weekend. The audiobook we have picked out for the drive is Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. This is a title I found at Powell’s when we went two years ago. We’ve tried to start it a few times and failed. I’m hoping these two ten-hour drives will push us to listen this time!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (4/5)

25 Jun

It’s been a few years since I read the first book in this series but I was able to pick up right where I left off. The first book was really memorable and I adored it. Unfortunately, we have a bit of middle book syndrome in this one.

Cover image via Goodreads

Lair of Dreams (Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

Other books by Bray reviewed on this blog:

The Diviners (Diviners #1)

Summary from Goodreads:

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess… As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

This started out really strong for me but ended bittersweet. We start with a new villain and a new Diviner. Adding one to the crew isn’t too much so I’m OK with this. We have some development, especially between Sam and Evie and of Henry’s character. At the very end, we get a bit of Theta. So, overall, good character development. And good buildup of the series villain, the King of Crows. But the defeat of the book villain, the Veiled Woman, fell flat to me. Once they figured out who she was, getting rid of her was too quick for me. It was like Bray realized she had too many pages and tried to end it quickly. I would have liked to see a little more struggle for her ghost to be put to rest. Maybe I’m in too much of an editing stage in my book to be reading.

Bray creates wonderful characters. Each has unique quirks and ticks and I thought their speech and worlds were unique and wonderful. She does a good job of having diverse characters: Ling and the Campbell brothers bring racial diversity while Sam has religious diversity and Henry has LGBTQI+ diversity. It doesn’t hit you over the head, but it’s there. Bray also ties in a lot of subtle hints at eugenics so I’m guessing this will come into play at some point.

I liked Henry the most, I think his character was the most dynamic in this book. He opened up about his sexuality and was vulnerable to Ling. He also made some headway in his career. And he made mistakes and got emotional. It was very real and I appreciated that. I think he’s set up to be a very strong character in the third book.

I think all the characters were relatable in some way. Henry had an emotional spell, which we all do. Evie is depressed but won’t talk about it and is drowning herself in fame and alcohol. Maybe I haven’t been there, but I can understand wanting to escape. Memphis and Theta had a serious rough patch and I think every relationship has been there. With a wide variety of characters, this book had a lot of relatable moments.

Libba Bray
Image via Barnes & Noble

Ling’s story was my favorite. She had a very rough life even though her family loved her and she was smart. She was dealing with her disability and the loss of her friend at the same time, not easy to do. She’s also in a weird place being half Irish and half Chinese. She doesn’t feel like she fits into either world but everyone sees her as Chinese. I can see how she’d be very lost and angry so thus defensive. I thought she was really well fleshed out.

The ending was too rushed. I would have liked to see our heroes hurt a little more as a result of defeating the ghost, but they seem ready and able to take on the next book and challenge. It just seemed like the ghost in this book was almost an afterthought.

The audiobook was narrated by January LaVoy and she was wonderful. She gave a unique voice to each character and nothing felt dumbed down or rude. She was also great at building tension through scary parts. I didn’t want to listen to this while I was running in the dark because it freaked me out!

These characters were often dealt bad hands. They’ve found each other to work through them. This is a non-traditional family of characters, especially Theta and Henry. Both had to leave home in a hurry and both are afraid to lose each other. I thought the reliance on each other and family was really sweet.

Writer’s Takeaway: It stuck out to me that Bray did a lot of head hopping. In a single scene, we’d know what Henry was thinking and what Ling was thinking. Both Sam and Evie would share their intentions and ambitions. Normally, it’s distracting. But, honestly, Bray killed it. I bought every world and loved it all. This is a great example of what an experienced writer can do that amateurs shouldn’t try.

A great build-up but a disappointing end. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfilled the 1920-1939 time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Book Talk- Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray | Musings of a Book Nerd
Review: Lair of Dreams | Gun in Act One
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray Review 5/5 | Blogs of a Bookaholic
Book Review: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray | The Owl and the Reader

WWW Wednesday, 19-June-2019

19 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I tried but still made minimal progress in Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. I’m fine with it being a slow go, really. I should pick shorter ebooks, though…
I was able to renew A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin for another few weeks. I’m being optimistic about how many disks I’ll get through.
Still on hold with A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers.
I’m very close to finishing Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray! I’m enjoying this one a lot and I’m only a little nervous about a plotline that’s a bit similar to my own novel. I’m hoping it’s still dissimilar enough to be unique.
I’ve just started Wolf’s Mouth by John Smolens and I’m trying to get through as much as possible quickly! I’m a little nervous about finishing this one in time but I’ll stay focused.

Recently finished: I renewed Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy and was able to finish it just past the renewal date. Phew! I’m so glad I read this one, it was really helpful and gave me some good ideas for how I’m going to edit my novel. I thought it was ready to submit, but now I’m thinking I need to do at least one more draft before it’s ready to send off. I should have a review for this one up either tomorrow or early next week.

Reading Next: I’m going to start my next book club selection on audio as soon as I can’t so I’m not crunched for time again next month. Our net pick is Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. I have no idea what it’s about but I think it’s our non-fiction selection for the year. I always end up liking these more than I thought I would.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 12-June-2019

12 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I made a point of reading Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min during two lunches last week. I think I’m finally past the halfway point! Only a few more months to go…
I passed disk 20 of A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. It’s great and I’m adoring it, but it feels like such an uphill battle with how long it is.
Nothing with A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, still on hold.
I made good progress with Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray because of my runs this past week. I had to renew it, but there won’t be a need for a second renewal to be sure.
I have to return Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy today or tomorrow. I’m racing to finish it. Wish me luck!

Recently finished: Second week in a row of nothing. I hope I can break the streak soon!

I did post my review of Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime so there’s that at least! This break in finishing books has finally let me catch up on reviews.

Reading Next: I’m a bit nervous that I won’t start Wolf’s Mouth by John Smolens soon. I need to have it finished by the end of the month and I’ve been really slow with physical books lately. I’m hoping it sweeps me away and I finish it in no time!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 5-June-2019

5 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I keep thinking I’ making good progress on Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min but I’m moving forward so slowly! I’ll get there eventually, I’m sure, but it’s slow going with my short lunches.
I’ll keep pushing forward with A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. I’m loving it, so it’s no problem, just a bit sad when I see how much more I have to get through still.
Still holding on A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I look at it longingly on my bedside daily.
I’m moving forward with Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray and am about halfway done. The biggest problem with this book is that it’s so creepy that I get scared if I’m running in the dark while I listen to it!
I wish I was reading Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson faster, but this week was very busy and I have no such luck. I’ll try again next week.

Recently finished: Nothing new this week. Everything was so busy that I’m not surprised, but I wish I had more to report. Maybe next week? Maybe?

The bright side is that I’m getting caught up on reviews! I posted my review of Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi last week. Please check it out!

Reading Next: I hope to start Wolf’s Mouth by John Smolens soon. It’s not one I’m really excited about, but a reader in our group highly recommended it, so there’s that to look forward to.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 29-May-2019

29 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I made an effort to keep moving through Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min again. Eventually, this will pay off and I’ll have it finished. But I’m enjoying the ride as I go. It’s not a bad book, just a slow read for me.
I’m on my final renewal of A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. There’s no way I’ll finish it in time, but I’ll make a grand effort. I’m hoping I can go in and show them I still have it and get it renewed again a few more times before I have to give it up.
I was really enjoying A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers but I’m going to have to put it aside for a bit. I’ve got some books with deadlines that are pressing on my time and I know I’ll come back to this one when I can.
My new audiobook is Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, the second installment of the Diviners series. I read the first in this series a while back so it’s a bit of a struggle to remember what happened and keep up. It’s a fun story, though, and I’m enjoying it.
I picked up Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson on Friday and decided to jump in so I can finish well before the due date. There’s no renewal on this one since it’s part of the Interlibrary Loan system. So far, it’s a nice review but I haven’t picked up on anything that’s going to make me stop and fix my own novel. I guess that’s a good thing?

Recently finished: I finished the audiobook for Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and absolutely loved it. I learned a lot about growing up in South Africa and how people interact there. It’s not a country I’d ever given much thought to outside of Mandela so I’m really glad I read this. Not to mention Noah’s amazing narration and humor shine through.

I did get one review posted (yes, I’m very behind on them). I posted my review of Exit West by Mohsin Hamid on Thursday. Please check it out when you can. I enjoyed the book a lot and my book club has since met to discuss it so I’m excited to continue the conversation.

Reading Next: My next book club selection is Wolf’s Mouth by John Smolens. I was sad to be unable to find this one on audio so it will be my next physical read and means I’m keeping Genius on the backburner for just a bit longer.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!