Katie Stout's Reviews > Dreamless

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
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Mar 25, 12

bookshelves: mythology, from-publisher-for-review, harper-collins, paranormal-contemp
Read from March 19 to 25, 2012

4 1/2 stars


Similar Books: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

*Warning: There is about to be a LOT of talk about mythology. Ye be warned.

First, let's talk about how Josephine Angelini is a goddess herself for writing a book about The Iliad. It's an incredible story that, in my opinion, isn't read by enough people. Sure, we know the story of the Trojan Horse, but how many people know that the Trojan Horse doesn't even appear in Homer's epic? And how many people could name a single Trojan warrior besides Paris or Hector? So for giving another generation this breathtaking story, I commend Angelini.

Now, I would also like to say that she and I don't agree wholeheartedly with ways to interpret myth, and that's okay. She doesn't stick to the original story so much that she's crippled by it, but I was a little disappointed by some of her choices. First, the Paris/Helen plotline. I have NEVER liked that story, even in the original. Helen was manipulative and selfish (even if she was forced to go to Troy by Aphrodite, which some stories claim), and she was a double-crosser. Not cool. Then you've got Paris, the womanizer, who doesn't care that he's taking a woman from not only her husband but also her CHILD. Also not cool.

So the fact that these are the main characters in Angelini's books gives me the heebeejeebies a little. I'm not comfortable rooting for them. And while I like this Helen more than the original, I still can't hop on board the Lucas train. Mostly because of the incest issue. Everyone knows that Helen and Lucas are first cousins at this point, but neither of them can seem to keep their hands off each other. This irritates me. I understand the link between the forbidden romance of having carted her away to Troy/can't be together because of family relations, but seriously? Find other people to love.

I also have a sinking feeling that Achilles is going to be a bad guy. He's mentioned super briefly at the end of the book, and I wasn't a fan of the context. Angelini seems to take up the tradition of Western Culture in glorifying the Trojans and vilifying the Greeks, which I've never liked. (Team Greeks!) The Myrmidons are also mentioned in this book and DEFINITELY not in a good way. It hurt my heart, considering Patroclus and Achilles are my absolute favorite characters in The Iliad (Hector, the only truly noble Trojan in the entire story, being a close third).

Oh, Hector. Angelini's Hector really grew up in this book, and I loved all of his scenes. I read a comment by Angelini who said she was surprised by how many people like Hector because he's sort of bad news, but I didn't see that at all. You can see him becoming the general, ready to take charge of his forces. Gah, I was doing ten million little happy dances on the inside when I read this quote:

"The new Hector was formidable, and for the first time in three and a half thousand years, (view spoiler) did not scoff at the Scion to bear the great warrior's name. He was the first to deserve it." (p.409)

Squeeee!!! I just wish Hector was a bigger character. Also, I'm super scared that Angelini is going to follow the original and have (view spoiler). I will be a very unhappy camper if that happens.

I would also like to mention that SO MANY of my favorite mythological characters made appearances or got mentions in this book that I was practically hyperventilating on every page. Just to name a few...

- Ares
- Achilles
- Persephone
- Hades
- MORPHEUS!

For realz. Angelini did her homework. Thank you! And *sputters* HUBRIS?! I was definitely not expecting that to appear in a YA book, but it was epic. Like in the Greek sort of way.

...

Oh right, I'm supposed to actually tell you about the characters and pacing and all that junk. Sorry. I got a little carried away with all the Greek mythology goodness. :)

The characters were all right. I'm still not 100% sold on Helen. She's a little too kickbutt for me. I didn't like that she could (view spoiler) - I don't care if you're a Scion, that's just not possible. And she sorta irritated me with her always wanting to be back with Lucas. She flip-flopped between a modern adaptation of the original character that I found a little too modern and the original "face that launched 1,000 ships" that always drove me crazy. It was probably too much to ask for me to love her as a protag - I hated what she was based on, so I don't think I'll ever love her.

Lucas was also irritating, for the same reasons as Helen. However, the introduction of the new character was great. I love Orion! And I found it interesting that his name is Orion...when he's actually supposed to represent Aeneas. (Eeeeppp! Virgil reference!) I sorta loved the culmination of Greek and Roman mythology in his character, as he leads the House of Rome. Very cool mixing there.

And really, Hector just stole the show for me. I had a hard time focusing on anyone else when he was in a scene. If I could picture any actor as him, I'm pretty sure it would be Chris Hemsworth.



Yup. Definitely Chris Hemsworth.

This was definitely a solid sequel. I liked the deepening of the mythology, and I really like where Angelini is taking the story. She's setting us up for a great finale in the third book, and I'm just going to take a stab in the dark and say there will be lots of carnage.

Angelini is definitely an author to look out for. She does a wonderful job at making mythology accessible and interesting for reluctant readers. I just hope her books will spur people to read the originals.

I know a lot of people found Starcrossed to be a rehash of Twilight, but I think they'll find Dreamless diverging from the Twilight plotline. Yes, there's a love triangle. But it's not really there. And I found it pretty much wrapped up at the end of this one, unless Angelini is going to throw a major wrench in the plot. It's obvious who Helen will end up with, and her connection to the other was understandable.

Also, I'd like to make a small mention of the POV. It's 3rd person omniscient...sort of. I think it was supposed to be 3rd person limited, but there's a lot of head-hopping, people knowing things they couldn't know unless they could read minds. That was a bit weird. But I just accepted it.

And there were tons of typos in the ARC, but I'm sure those will all be taken care of in the final copy.

Oh! And if you're curious, here are some original texts that have characters and themes she discusses or introduces in the story. You know, in case you want to read further (which you TOTALLY should!):

- The Iliad, Homer
- The Aeneid, Virgil
- Metamorphoses, Ovid
- Bulfinch's Mythology, Thomas Bulfinch
- "Oedipus Rex," Sophocles
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Reading Progress

03/19/2012 page 1
0.0% "For all of you who hated STARCROSSED, I'm very sorry. My feed's about to blow up with squee-ing!!! :D" 1 comment
03/19/2012 page 66
14.0% "HECTOR!!!!! *fangirl squeal* My favorite Delos brother :D"
03/19/2012 page 77
16.0% "If I keep having heart palpitations every time she mentions a character from THE ILIAD, I'm gonna have to stop reading this book... (But Automedon, seriously?! Vague Homer references for the win!!!)"
03/22/2012 page 174
36.0% "Morpheus. OMG. I'm about to make a list of my favorite Greek myth characters Angelini mentions. If she says Psyche or Odysseus, I'm gonna flip."
03/22/2012 page 200
41.0% "LOVING Ares in here! A blood-oozing warrior with Celtic-ish blue body paint? Rockin."
03/22/2012 page 313
64.0% "I'm pretty sure Angelini reached into my head and pulled out all my favorite mythology references..."
03/25/2012 page 392
80.0% "Dude. Orion? Epicly more awesome than Lucas. Sad to know Helen will probs end up with Lucas." 2 comments
03/25/2012 page 403
83.0% "Ironic that Lucas supposedly has a lot of self control when he represents Paris, the epitome of ZERO self control."
03/25/2012 page 409
84.0% ""the new Hector was formidable, and for the first time in three and a half thousand years, Automedon did not scoff at the Scion to bear the great warrior's name. He was the first to deserve it..." Yesssssss! Forget Lucas! Hector is the best!"

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Pauline (new) - added it

Pauline I'm so jealous! :)


Truly Bookish I am dying to start this but I was trying to wait until closer to the release date. Not sure I'm going to make it.


Katie Stout Truly Bookish wrote: "I am dying to start this but I was trying to wait until closer to the release date. Not sure I'm going to make it."

I couldn't make it any longer. lol


message 4: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel I'm scared to read your review because of possible spoilers. -I'm so jealous that you were able to read Dreamless! It's the book that I've been looking forward to the most in 2012! Glad that you like it! Sounds like it's worth the wait :)


Katie Stout Rachel wrote: "I'm scared to read your review because of possible spoilers. -I'm so jealous that you were able to read Dreamless! It's the book that I've been looking forward to the most in 2012! Glad that you li..."

There are no spoilers if you've read the first book! (Unless you click on "view spoiler" lol) :)


message 6: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel Ok :) I guess I'm paranoid because I've accidentally read spoilers a few times since I've been on Goodreads.


Katie Stout Rachel wrote: "Ok :) I guess I'm paranoid because I've accidentally read spoilers a few times since I've been on Goodreads."

No worries! I'll include some minor spoilers in my reviews, but I'll always make sure to keep them hidden for those who don't want to read them. :)


Christen *Goldilox And The Three Weres* Awesome review! Totally agree about Orion and Hector! They stole the book for me. Loved how Hector and Helen (view spoiler) I also love/hate how things are with Cassandra. (view spoiler) Is this only a trilogy? I didn't know that! That means only one more book? Yipes!


Katie Stout Christen *Goldilox And The Three Weres* wrote: "Awesome review! Totally agree about Orion and Hector! They stole the book for me. Loved how Hector and Helen [spoilers removed] I also love/hate how things are with Cassandra. [spoilers removed] Is..."

I THINK it's only a trilogy. I could be wrong, though. I'm not sure how she could drag it out into 4 books. But YES to Cassandra! It's interesting how they portray (view spoiler) thing. It reminds me a little of Percy Jackson in that way. I think it was the last book in that series that deals with (view spoiler) in any sort of personal way.


Truly Bookish I just finished this and loved it! I don't think Helen and Lucas are really cousins. Ajax died 19 years before and Helen is only 17. I'm guessing this will come out in the third book so Helen and Lucas can be together. Pity because I love Orion.


Katie Stout Truly Bookish wrote: "I just finished this and loved it! I don't think Helen and Lucas are really cousins. Ajax died 19 years before and Helen is only 17. I'm guessing this will come out in the third book so Helen and L..."

(view spoiler) I assumed that, anyway. It still grossed me out, though, because (view spoiler), you know??


Truly Bookish Yeah, I know what you mean. It grossed me out too.


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