Review: “Dreamless (Starcrossed #2)” by Josephine Angelini

Title: “Dreamless”

Author: Josephine Angelini

Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance

Release Date: May 29, 2012 (expected)

Summary: As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos.

As an unforgettable love triangle emerges, Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding. The eagerly awaited sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed, Dreamless delivers with a huge emotional impact that will leave readers satisfied—and longing for more.

☆: 5/5 – an awesome followup to an amazing debut!

Review: Wow. Helen really takes a beating in this one, guys! I love how Angelini isn’t afraid to torture her characters, and the payoff is huge. Yeah, there’s a love triangle, and I usually hate those, but Angelini really did a good job with this one, and made it work within the plot to really boost all of the sub-arcs and character journey arcs as well as the main arc. Make no mistake – “Dreamless” shows how far Angelini has come within the short span of a year, and shows how far she’s willing to go to make her stories unforgettable.

We get deeper into how the Furies seek their revenge and how the divergence of Greek and Roman myths further complicates the whole Hundred Cousins fleet that’s after Helen and the Delos family (and each other) in this book – and it makes for some fantastic worldbuilding that reinforces even more how dire the situation is, how much higher the stakes are for all of our heroes in this book. We delve deeper into the legend of Helen of Troy and “The Iliad” as we see Helen and Orion fighting together in the underworld, as well as see Helen’s mother Daphne make some surprising alliances without really truly knowing her endgame – and it all makes for a really explosive last third of the book with a really nice big payoff, setting things up nicely for the third (and hopefully not the last) book.

As I said before, I usually really am not into love triangles, but Josie worked it hard here, and made it all work so that in the end we know that Helen definitely still loves Lucas, but, as it seems to me, loves Orion more like a brother despite what happened when the Furies overtook them both. Incest being a major theme in both this series and classical Greek literature, it’s also heavily discussed in this book. So if this is your squick, be prepared for lots of talking about it and lots of self-torture on Helen’s part over her attraction to both Lucas and Orion over it. It’s fascinating how Helen tortures herself over it instead of giving into it – her blood debts with Lucas are  paid, after all, and in a lot of places, it’s okay to marry your first cousin. So the question is – why doesn’t she give in? I’m curious about this, and would love to pick Angelini’s brain about it should I get the chance.

What was also great was finally including Claire and Matt more into things – this was badly needed after the ending of book one, but at the same time, even though they’re human, I feel like Claire out of the two of them wasn’t used to her full potential. Matt gets a pretty large role at the end of this book (I won’t say what or how – read it for yourself!) but it seems like Claire was neglected greatly here, and, to a certain extent, treated as if she were made of glass because she was mortal. I’m wondering why Angelini went this route, and maybe if Claire’s most at risk in the next book. Otherwise, I’m a bit puzzled as to why she was treated so gently when it’s clear that at times she was stronger than Helen when it came to a lot of things.

And the final kind of sad character arc transformation that I thought Angelini did brilliantly here – Cassandra turning into The Oracle. The way she painted the picture of this girl becoming something completely inhuman in such a short amount of time was absolutely heartbreaking, yet completely feasible in this situation. I hope she gets a larger part in book three, because she definitely deserves it. And I have the feeling she will, because of that final explosive last third of the book with Orion, Helen, and Lucas concerning the War of the End Times beginning.

I feel like everyone’s character here got sketched out a bit more fully, and a bit more rounded out. We got to see other places, and that filled out the world in the setting capacity even more. This feels like a fully functional real world now, and I can see the War coming, and it isn’t going to be pretty. I enjoyed watching the evolution of everyone and everything in this world in this book immensely and I just seriously can’t wait for book three now.


Final verdict? If you haven’t read the first book already, you must read it before this one. You must read it, period! This is on my best of 2012 list, and it’s just…well, at times, breathtaking. Sounds cheesy? Yeah, but it’s also the only way I can really express “all the feels” that couldn’t be held here when it comes to Angelini and her craft. “Dreamless” is out from HarperTeen in North America May 29, 2012 so be sure to pick up a copy then. Middle books of 2012 are on a roll this year, and “Dreamless” is just one more awesome book in that catagory. This is really worth the read, guys.


One thought on “Review: “Dreamless (Starcrossed #2)” by Josephine Angelini

  1. Pingback: usagi’s challenges for 2012! « birth of a new witch.

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