Monday, May 05, 2014

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

From Goodreads: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: If it wasn’t for the blogging community, I probably would have never read Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Eventually succumbing to the hype, I read both Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight last year, and have been eagerly waiting since for Dreams of Gods and Monsters.

Since my thoughts about Dreams of Gods and Monsters are pretty scattered and I want to limit the amount of spoilers in my review, I decided to do a pros and cons list. 

Pros:
  • Taylor’s writing remains as beautiful as ever.
  • While a part of me acknowledges that Karou forgave Akiva a bit too easily, another part of me understands that it was inevitable because peace would only occur between the chimaera and seraphim if their leaders put aside their need for vengeance. The romantic tension between Karou and Akiva was just so good!
  • I loved the slow growth of Liraz as a character over the course of the trilogy, but especially over this novel.
Cons: 
  • Every time I got to Eliza’s POV during the first two-thirds of the novel, I had to force myself to read it because I knew that she was important. But, I just had an unbelievably difficult time caring about her, and resented her for taking away precious page time from Karou and Akiva. I would have liked to see her importance to the story be revealed earlier.
  • The inclusion of the Stelians not only made Jael’s surrender too simple, but also expanded the worldbuilding way too much for my liking. By the end, the focus wasn’t so much on the war between the chimaera and seraphim and its resolution, but on the greater war threatening Eretz. I totally didn’t understand all the talk about the godstars, and was disappointed to not learn, for example, why Akiva is so special, even by Stelian standards.
  • Although I thought the person Ziri ended up with was perfect for him, I wasn’t completely sold on the romance because he had been crushing on Karou for pretty much the whole series. It just seemed like he developed feelings for someone else after one interaction with them – an interaction that readers aren't even privy to!
The final book in the trilogy, Dreams of Gods and Monsters provides enough closure so that readers will be satisfied, yet leaves the door open for a possible return to the world of Eretz if Taylor chooses to do so in the future.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters was released by Little, Brown & Company in April 2014. 

Comments About the Cover: It kind of creeps me out, which I guess is okay considering the title.

5 comments:

  1. Haven't read this one yet, but I definitely plan on doing so. Thank you for the bullet points and not going into spoilers. I'm really curious about who Ziri meets and what happens to Karou. I'm glad you enjoyed this one overall, Z.

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  2. I just got a hold of a copy of this one and I'm really excited to read it! Glad to hear the romance is still awesome, I love their dynamic. Sounds like a lot of character development going on in this one too!

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  3. I totally know what you mean about the worldbuilding expanding beyond this book's struggle. I was left at the end wanting so much more story. I really hope she revisits this world, because I'm definitely invested in the new characters, even if they distracted somewhat from this series struggle. And yes, the writing is gorgeous as always. Lovely thoughtful review! :-)

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  4. I was also conflicted about the ending and the inclusion of the Stelians... I can't help but feel like that whole part would have worked better as another book rather than squished into this one. Still, Laini's writing is so beautiful and I enjoyed this one a lot because of it - glad you did too!

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  5. I haven't read this book yet. What am I waiting for? I don't know. I have heard that there is an introduction to another storyline is this one... probably what you talking about in the spoiler part of the review that I did not read- I am looking forward to someday getting to this story, I am glad you liked it.

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