Monday, May 10, 2010

Review: Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev

Title: Perchance to Dream
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Genre: YA, supernatural,  romance
Format: ARC
Release Date: May 2010

On a quest to find her friend, the pirate Nate who was previously taken captive by the evil sea witch straight off the pages of 'The Little Mermaid', Bertie, Ariel, and the faeries have their work cut out for them.  Bertie doesn't yet know how to use her newly claimed power-- to ability to make her word a reality.  As she clamors to get a grip on the twists of fate that have propelled her and her company to travel outside the world of their magical theatre, Bertie finds her journey even more complicated when she starts having feelings for both Nate and the air elemental Ariel.  Add in a father figure and you have the ingredients for a humorous adventure tale with magic and romance.

'Perchance to Dream' is the sequel to 'Eyes Like Stars'.  Book two in the 'Theatre Illuminata' series, 'Perchance to Dream' was an enjoyable, fun read.  Similar to my experience with 'Eyes Like Stars', I found that while I whipped through 'Perchance to Dream' and liked the story, I was still a bit confused during certain bits-- mostly action parts.  There are a lot of inside jokes that pertain to plays, especially Shakespeare.   Myself, I missed a lot of them because I'm not too into the Shakespeare/Classic play scene.  Theater lovers should get the references right away, though.

The change of setting was a breathe of fresh air.  While the theatre is an interesting place, I liked seeing our magical band of characters out in the regular world.   It seems to me that this setting brought the characters personalities out so much more than in 'Eyes Like Stars'Story-wise, the action seemed a bit rushed, but the dialogue and bits of information we get about Berties past and possible futures was well placed.

Speaking of characters, I love the new additions to the 'cast'.  Waschbar and the Scrimshander brought some very intriguing elements to the story, while the Strongman in charge of a traveling theater troupes wardrobe closet made me laugh out loud.  The fairies from 'Eyes Like Stars' are back and bring with them a nice sense of humor.  Ariel seemed more fleshed out to me in 'Perchance to Dream' than the first book.  Nate, well to put it bluntly, his dialect kind of bugged the heck out of me to the point where I wasn't looking forward to his scenes.

What do I love about both the 'Theatre Illuminata' books?  The covers.  Fantastic work by a very talented illustrator, Jason Chan.  'Perchance to Dream' has a cover that very well could be a wall print.  If anything, this series deserves an art book based off it with illustrations by the person who made 'Perchance to Dream's perfect cover.

All in all, 'Perchance to Dream' was a fun read.  I may not have understood some of the references and may have had to skim through some of the action, but overall this sequel does justice to its beginnings.  Add me to the list of those waiting for the conclusion!

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