Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

13618440Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Author: Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown Books

Publication Date: April 2014

ISBN: 9780316134071

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)

Synopsis 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.
Common enemy, common cause.
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.
What power can bruise the sky?
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?

 

For such a long book, Dreams of Gods and Monsters was an incredibly quick read! Laini Taylor doesn’t disappoint in this thrilling and gripping finale to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It’s so nice after months and months of waiting to have a conclusion that neatly wraps everything up and finally gives us some of that Akiva/Karou time that we’ve been waiting for.

I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I was satisfied with the way the loose ends were tied, there were characters who experienced impressive growth and development, and Laini includes a significant amount of what I consider to be “extras” at the end where we learn about the world post-war and we get some insight into the world’s recovery. Generally, we see stories reach the climax only to end 10 or 15 pages later, maybe with a short epilogue, but Laini gives us a reason to hope for the world she’s created with more than 100 pages of “after the war.” It’s fresh and exciting and definitely left me wanting to read more. She’s created a world in which many more stories can take place and I hope she jumps at that chance because I’m dying for more of the new Eretz.

I’ve given it 5 stars, but I think for me it’s 4.5 stars and I only say this because there was so much build to the final climax, and I didn’t feel as though it was entirely followed through. I was speeding through these pages, my heart racing, only to feel as though most of the action takes place “off screen,” if that makes sense. You know that great battles are taking place elsewhere, but sometimes it’s as though we get little glimmers and glimpses of the action without having the chance to get fully immersed. But don’t get me wrong, this hardly takes away from the general splendour that is this wonderful conclusion to a wonderful series.

This series is wonderful because it’s about hope. It’s about people who are willing to risk everything for a brightly and mostly impossible future. It’s about people taking improbably dreams and turning them into realities against all odds. I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone. Laini’s voice is unique and her story contains a world that is complex and beautiful. If you haven’t read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, go buy it (or borrow it)!

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