Review: Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

dreamlessDreamless by Josephine Angelini
Genre: Romance, Mythological, Adventure
Published by: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 504
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★
Series: Starcrossed (#1) | Goddess (#3)
Where to Find: GoodReads | Amazon

In the sequel to ‘Starcrossed’, Helen must venture to the Underworld in order to complete her quest of freeing the furies from the cycle of vengeance. A more apt title for this book would be ‘Sleepless’, as Helen battles on the brink of death to find the haggard sisters, whilst still having to deal with the wakened world of Nantucket and a boyfriend who’s forbidden to her by the laws of nature.

Plot and Pacing
‘Dreamless’, in hindsight, was a very repetitive book. For the first two thirds, Helen is venturing into the Underworld to try and find the furies. I didn’t really understand the landscape of the Underworld, or how she navigated it. She seemed to have these omnipotent powers of control, when it was previously stated that no powers were available in the Underworld. Helen was a descendant of Zeus, not Hades, so it seemed like a convenient power for her to have. It felt like neither Helen or Orion, her new love interest sent to the Underworld purely to protect Helen (he does little else), were really accomplishing anything of much importance until I’d read 350 pages.
The pacing for the final third of the book was manic in comparison. So much was going on, I found it hard to keep track of all the characters! There was a lot of battling and maiming and hurting and killing. I don’t think it would be a leap to call one particularly chapter gory. It held my interest, I just wished the same level of action/adventure was present in the first half.

Romance
As I said, Orion is introduced to counter Lucas. Yay, another YA novel with a love triangle. What I did like about this love triangle was the lack of ambiguity. Helen was either with Lucas or with Orion, not both. I’m not going to pick a ‘team’ as it was obvious that Orion was just being used as a plot device to progress the novel. Authors seem to think a novel isn’t complete without their female protagonist having qualms over who she loves. Why does YA romance have to be about choosing between two equally hot guys? Why can’t it be about struggling through the hard times, no matter what?
Of course, Helen wasn’t going to make any decisions concerning her heart in this book. We’ll just keep the tension going until the end of the trilogy.

Characters
Helen borders on being a strong female protagonist. She’s willing to do the classic self-sacrifice which puts her next to Katniss and Tris on the scale of SFPs. But ultimately, its her superpowers that make her strong, not her sense of will. I liked towards the end when she realised you can love more than one person (wouldn’t it be weird if a love triangle ended with sharing the girl?!) but she’s going to have to go through more character development before I give her the official title of SFP.

Minor characters are abundant in this series. It’s sad, because when deaths inevitably happen in a quest series, I don’t mourn them. I cried over Bianca di Angelo, and Zoe Nightshade. Rick Riordan made them worth tears, but when something bad happens in these books, I’m more interested in Helen’s reaction than my own.

Overall, I’d give this book 3 stars. It wasn’t as compelling as the first book in the triology, but the quality didn’t falter so severely that I didn’t enjoy the book. I’m interested to see what happens in ‘Goddess’, as there were some pretty hard core battles in ‘Dreamless’, I’m wondering how they can be topped!

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