Remember how much fun we had with Josephine Angelini's highly entertaining page-turner of a debut, "Starcrossed?" A lot of fun! I wasn’t at all shy about my love for the modern twist on the Helen of Troy myth from Greek mythology. Josie’s book deftly combined two of my favorite reading subjects: Greek mythology and teenage angst! Anyway, my fellow readers will agree with the fact that no matter when you discovered and likely devoured "Starcrossed," it has been a painful wait for its sequel "Dreamless" to arrive in bookstores.
Luckily for everyone, the wait is nearly over! “Dreamless” will be unleashed upon the masses on May 29. I was very fortunate to receive an early read of Ms. Angelini’s sequel, so I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite things about it, without giving away any major spoilers.
Let’s be honest, "Starcrossed" ended with all the characters in a pretty depressing place. The Delos family lost a loved one, Hector had to be sent into exile, and Helen and Lucas thought they were related. “Dreamless” picks up just a few days after the end of that sad conclusion, and the most compelling aspect of the book’s first act, as it were, is what we get to find out about the Underworld and Helen’s role as the Descender. And despite what we all know about the Underworld, it’s not all dark, desolate and depressing. There are a lot of mysterious and mythological forces at work that involve our heroine trying to figure out how to use her powers to release the Scions from the Furies‘ twisted revenge-y type curse. The appearance of Hades and Persephone is an especially enjoyable addition.
The idea of “family” is a big theme at play; in the way Helen must keep her true identity and abilities a secret from her father, the problem with different families of Scions basically at war with one another due to the Fury curse, the impossible heartbreak, confusion and teenage angst from which Helen and Lucas suffer, the Delos family having to deal with banished Hector and the eventual loss of Cassandra. There is also the mention of an ancient prophecy that directly involves Helen, Lucas and the series’ most welcome addition, Orion. Basically we’re talking about love, duty and honor, and what happens when all three of those elements are in conflict. If you’re thinking that it always makes for good storytelling, then you’d be correct!
Orion, Orion, Orion, Orion
I was this close to making this entire post a love letter to my new favorite character. But then I realized that would not only be selfish, but a disservice to all the other gems Ms. Angelini has hidden in her sequel. Anyway, I won’t say too much about the wonderfully entertaining descendant from Aphrodite except that he is impossibly likable. He’s witty, sarcastic, charming, brave, strong, gorgeous and possesses several killer powers/talents. Also he’s sort of an orphan, with some major emotional baggage, an affliction I call "the broken sparrow," which is like catnip to some ladies. You will want to love and fix all that ails young Orion. But I digress. How does he figure into the plot? Orion is chummy with Helen’s mom, Daphne, sent to try and assist Helen with her quest in the Underworld to conquer the Fury curse. The conquering of said curse sets a bunch of things into motion that tie into the aforementioned ancient (and slightly confusing) prophecy, some Scion-on-God action and the strong hints of an all-out war in the next book.
And now begins the seemingly endless wait for book three. Sigh.
Have you read "Starcrossed"? Are you dying to get your hands on "Dreamless"? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!