It is our dreams that keep us alive. Without goals, imagination and ambition we would have nothing to strive for. A world without dreams is a bleak, Dursleyish thought, and it is a risk of being a reality for the main character in Josephine Angelini’s Dreamless.
Dreamless is the second book in the Starcrossed trilogy. The first book, Starcrossed, released in 2011. For those who have not read (and should rectify that immediately) the books, they are a modern retelling of traditional Greek mythology. There are many different kinds of magic. The origins and use of magic are viewed and interpreted differently throughout the world. In Greek mythology, it is the gods, and their descendents, who have powers.
Starcrossed delves into the life of Helen Hamilton, a “normal” girl who finds she is really a Scion (offspring) of the gods. Helen not only has to come to terms with her newly found powers but with the role she must play in an epic battle that has been going on for centuries.
Scions are claimed by one of four Houses (hmmm, familiar) and spend their lives violently warring with the other Houses to repay a blood feud from the Trojan War. Helen’s life is complicated when she meets, and finds herself drawn to, Lucas, a member of a rival House. This goes about as well as a Hufflepuff falling in love with a Death Eater, as Helen is fated to restart a war if they fall in love. Together, the two seek to find a way to bring an end to the battling of the Houses while questioning whether one can ever truly beat fate.
While Stracrossed is about Helen finding out about her true identity and the world to which is she tied, Dreamless finds Helen literally going to hell and back to try and change her destiny. The book is not just a love story but also (for all you Divination and prophecy lovers out there) a question of if we ever truly have control and if one person can make all the difference. While these are heavy underlying themes, the book combines wit and (deadly) humor to make it a fun read.
Starcrossed and Dreamless bring together the modern and ancient worlds in a story that has more twists and turns that a Triwizard maze. It is refreshing (and addicting) to read a story that is able to combine epic fantasy with the everyday. Combining well-known characters within Greek mythology with those of her own creation, Angelini’s writing pulls you in more than a summoning charm with its unique yet relatable storyline. The ending of Dreamless is more painful than a cruciatus curse as it leaves you wanting more.