cover image Lair of Dreams

Lair of Dreams

Libba Bray. Little, Brown, $19 (624p) ISBN 978-0-316-12604-5

Bray illuminates the dark side of the American Dream in her long-awaited sequel to The Diviners (2012), weaving xenophobia, industrial progress, Jazz Age debauchery, government secrets, religious fervor, and supernatural horror into a sprawling and always entertaining narrative. Romances among the major players get significant time in the spotlight: Evie O'Neill, now "America's Sweetheart Seer" of radio fame, finds herself pushed into a publicity-driven relationship with fellow Diviner Sam Lloyd; their combative (and often alcohol-fueled) exchanges are among the funniest in the novel. Follies girl Theta struggles to maintain her interracial romance with Harlem healer Memphis while keeping her own abilities secret from him. And musician Henry DuBois's efforts to locate the boy he left behind in New Orleans lead him into friendship with fellow "dreamwalker" Ling Chan, whose Chinese-American community is being vilified as a deadly sleeping sickness sweeps across New York City. Bray is equally at home constructing gruesome deaths at the hands of bloodthirsty ghosts and deploying incisive commentary on the march of progress, both of which inflict their share of damage. Ages 15%E2%80%93up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Aug.)