Friday, June 1, 2012

"Dedication Takes a Lifetime but Dreams Only Last for a Night"

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Songs for this read: Simple Distance by The Workday Release, Falling to Pieces by Junior Doctor, Running From Lions by All Time Low, When I Go Down by Relient K

Sequels in a trilogy always tend to be the ones that mess the most with ones emotions. And never in a good way. Because of this they are given a bad name and notorious for being readers least favorite of a series. And usually with good reason. The middle book is always where the author decides to mess with everyones heart strings and keep the two favorites as far apart as possible so it seems hopeless. Or even worse, insert a love triangle. Yeah who would really want to read that? Deeeepressing. And while I must say I am guilty of holding grudges against certain middle books for these exact reasons, I think it's important to focus on the vital role a middle book plays in the overall plot arc of a trilogy.
As a middle book, Dreamless is more or less obligated to involve At least some of the story elements mentioned above. I used to believe trilogy authors did this simply to keep readers holding on to the next book to see if the lovers would get back together because they had some idea in their head that readers ultimately get bored seeing the couple happy and functional. Don't get me wrong in a sense this theory has complete credibility but this alone isn't enough.
While reading dreamless I realized just how much crucial character and plot development occur in the story line of the second book in a trilogy. While it is all being set up in the first and resolved in the last, the middle is wear you really find out who these people are. And that is why so often something huge drives the couples apart. Not purely to keep readers biting their nails but to let's them get to know the. Characters separate of each other. To get readers to love the characters as individuals that then make up a duo (hopefully) in the next installment.
Ok I really didn't set out to write all that but it just started flowing on the keyboard. Tying this back to this great book I read, dreamless does a great job establishing really just where all the game pieces lie in this plot. The mysteries of the first book are expanded and the epic battle royale has been properly introduced,
The love triangle is in full force and sides have been marked like lines in the sand. And while the second book curse succeeded in making me hurt for Helen and Lucas being so distant, you know the book is a keeper when you don't want to kill the girl when she isn't with her boyfriend. It is a rare thing these days ( at least for me) to find a book where you genuine like the heroine and don't just out up with for her boyfriend.
It's still a middle book so I'm not going to tell you I am in live with this book. But I will say I wasn't disappointed and that I just know the finale will be even better than both the first two combined.

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