Perchance to Dream – Book Review

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Title: Perchance to Dream
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Paperback: 341 pages
Published: August 16th 2011 by Square Fish
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary (From Goodreads):
Act Two, Scene One
Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and is determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.

Enter BERTIE AND COMPANY
But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between –

NATE: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.

ARIEL: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.

When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?

Well, this was certainly an interesting read.

I enjoyed it, and once I got into it I finished this book very quickly, but that could be because I found my eyes skipping big chunks of descriptive language.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it when authors can paint a picture for me – but sometimes it just gets too overwhelming and winds up detracting from the plot, which it did. I felt that the plot of this book was far weaker than that of the first book, which is a real shame. It seemed to hinge on the love triangle much more, which is getting old.

That being said, there was the whole subplot with Bertie’s father, which is fascinating enough to read about and understand, even if his appearance isn’t an overly long one. Ophelia also doesn’t appear properly in this book, but we do get the story of how she and the Scrimshander met and how they both affect Bertie’s powers.

Going back to the love triangle – this book made me like Ariel, which is something. Or at least, I can tolerate him. I can see why Bertie is falling for him, but I honestly prefer the character of Nate because at least he’s straightforward.
I found the fact that Bertie loves them both equally to be cliché, and was expecting it to be totally honest. That scene didn’t really add much to the story for me, because it was so obviously going to happen.

One scene I did enjoy is the one where Bertie and Ariel are acting out the story of the sun and the moon – at that point I could enjoy the imagery and imagine exactly what was going on.

I think that maybe the reason I’m not so enamoured with this book is that it’s not set in the Theatre, and I miss the setting. Nowhere in this book is permanent, so it feels like an abrupt change to the first book. The new characters don’t feel as well developed in this one either.

The end of the book did feel much stronger than the beginning, but this book feels like a placeholder book. It’s setting the scene for the final book in the trilogy, and I’m holding out hope for it being a stronger ending, at least on a par with the first.

Has anyone else read anything like this, or is willing to give this series a read?

Holly xx

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