Book Review: Perchance to Dream

Book Review: Perchance to DreamPerchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
Series: Theatre Illuminata #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on May 25th 2010
Pages: 341

The stuff that dreams are made on.

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 determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.


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. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. 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?

Once again, LISA MANTCHEV has spun a tale like no other—full of romance, magic, adventure, and fairies, too—that readers won’t want to put down, even after the curtain has closed.

Sequel to Eyes Like Stars

I have to be honest here, Perchance to Dream felt scattered to me at times. The setting was hard for me to picture. Otherwise, it was the usual rescue adventure with obstacles caused by mystical forces. The whole setting felt surreal and I couldn't seem to focus on what was going on and then suddenly they were moving on to something else. It was kind of a trip.

Okay, why can't Ariel just be the bad guy? I feel like he should be, but he isn't – it's just how Bertie reacts to his "love" for her. Okay, less venting about Ariel versus Nate.

I cannot connect with Bertie as a character. I think the problem is I can't see her background clearly in the books and how it's made her into who she is. I don't understand her. Why does she push Ariel away? Why is Nate the one she runs after to save? I'm not quite clear of her motives and then the sudden father figure entering the stage threw me off and it felt awkward and really weird all at once. I do love the fairies – they crack me up and keep me fairly sane throughout the whole adventure. They are constant in their love for food and constant bickering and insanity. Definitely my favorite characters.

Final Verdict: I can relate to the fairies, but I feel like the other characters aren't as real. There's nothing quite human about them besides emotions and I need some basis in reality to really connect. I'm sure people involved with theatre would understand this novel more, especially with the scene changes and play-writing.

Cover Commentary: Gorgeous. I may buy it just to have it next to Eyes Like Stars, which I enjoyed more than the sequel for some reason.


15 responses to “Book Review: Perchance to Dream

  1. Sara

    I finally reviewed this one too… but I gave it a “B” (4 stars). I love the world and the dialogue, but the whole love triangle thing is driving me nuts. To be honest, I find it kind of distracting at times. BUT I still love these books and I’ll definitely be picking up the next one!

  2. Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews

    Really? I won the first one and am hoping to adore this series… oh well. Maybe I will like it more.

  3. Christina T

    I really wasn’t a fan of Ariel or Nate in Eyes Like Stars. I haven’t read Perchance to Dream yet and I still plan to but I definitely will get it from the library instead of purchasing it. Your difficulty in relating to the characters is also something I struggled with while reading Eyes Like Stars. I thought some of it was a little too strange but I liked that it was set in the theater so I don’t know how I will feel about Perchance to Dream since it is not set in the theater.

    Great well written review.

  4. I bought this not knowing it was a sequel, so yesterday I bought the first one. Sorry this was a disappointment, but I am glad that the first one is good. Thanks for the review.

  5. Taschima Cullen

    First, Anonymous, What the hell?

    Second, I am there with you. I thought there was something wrong with me since I was the only one who gave it a 3 hearts, but know I know I’m not crazy. It just wasn’t as good as the first one.

    Third, good review girl 🙂


    I love the cover! I still have to read the first one so I didn’t read your review in depth so it wouldn’t ruin anything but a 3 out of 5 isn’t too bad.

  7. I completely agree with your review. The “real world” outside the Theatre isn’t well-defined at all and I wasn’t sure what the rules of the world were. And don’t even get me started on the whole Bertie/Ariel/Nate thing. I have no idea what Bertie’s thinking there, either, and this point I couldn’t care less if she wound up with either one of them.

  8. Sandy Shin

    I haven’t read the first one yet, but I’m coveting both covers. Thank you for this review!

  9. Rebecca

    The cover looks nice. It’s a shame you didn’t like it as much as the first one but I guess you can’t love every book you read.

  10. Shy

    I’ve read the first book and was TOTALLY crazy about it. So, I really cannot to read this book myself. Hoping that it’ll work for me!

  11. Sassy CC

    I love the covers of this series but didn’t love the 1st so might pass on Perchance to Dream for a little while.


  12. donnas

    Great review. I have the first one on my TBR shelf. And I know I will want to read this after that, but at least I know now that I dont have to rush to get it once I finish the first.

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