Monday, April 14, 2014

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Summary (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?
Normally I give myself a little time between completing a book and then reviewing it. My mind needs to play catch-up and I tend to need time to put into words my exact thoughts. I just finished the last page minutes ago, and I feel such an enormous need to immediately talk about this book.
Beginning this book was kind of like reading the beginning of the last Harry Potter book for the first time. Worlds were colliding, and humans were getting their first glimpses of magic (unfortunately the evil kind). And I really doubted my ability to ever put the book down. But, of course, I did because I’m an adult and I have to work. However, working Friday was almost painful because I was counting down the minutes until I could go back to this story. And it’s no small story at 613 pages!
I have loved Laini Taylor’s books since I first read the arc to Daughter of Smoke and Bone in 2011. I was a little worried about this conclusion if only because I have not been the biggest fan of YA trilogy conclusions as of late. (Also, why is everything ending around the same time?) Thankfully, I had no need to worry. This was one epic finale.
I really do not and cannot spoil too much of the story because so much of it needs to be experienced firsthand. Just know that there are epic war battles, flying monsters, evil angels meeting with the pope (!), religious cults, enormous facades, wars within wars, monster corpses caught on film, angel/monster love stories (plural), old friends, new friends, cross-continental travel, prophetic dreams, and so much more!
I love that the setting in each book spans countries and continents (and now worlds). I love Karou’s best friend! Seriously, she should win a best friend award. And I love a new friend they meet in this book. I love the real-world turmoil the sightings of angels have induced. I love this author’s interpretation of gods. Seriously, the end of this book blew my mind. It went into various levels of weird (that I was not anticipating, really), but seriously it blew my mind!
Throughout the series is this metaphor of beginnings and I loved how it came to play here. Also, I love how Taylor combines darkness with light. There’s torture and pain, but there’s also violins and wish police, and so much humor. I was literally biting my nails in worry one moment, laughing out loud another, and then gasping in shock a few minutes after that. It’s truly only the best writers that can span all of a person’s emotions in one book (or in this case, even a few minutes).
The love story was a little more emphasized in this book than it has been in the past; however, Karou always puts her goals, her dreams, and even her people’s best interests before all else. Have I mentioned how cool a character she is? She’s strong, intelligent, and oh so brave: the best kind of main character. This was one of the those books I didn’t want to read too quickly because I didn’t want it to be over. I seriously postponed my finishing of it, afraid for that moment when I realized there would be no more. I’ve reached that moment, but I’m okay. The ending worked so nicely. All the pieces fit together.
The only somewhat negative thing I have to say is that I didn’t understand one of the storylines completely. The whole plot line of the “vicious queen is hunting Akiva” was really weird and rather confusing and I’m not sure if this is because I wasn’t remembering all I should from books past, or if it was just because the whole story was really strange. Regardless, I guess it mostly made sense at the end. And all in all, I give this book and this series a 10/10. I’ve already recommended the series to a lot of people, and I will definitely continue to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Ok so I've had your review here bookmarked since before I started reading DoG&M but I was avoiding ALL the reviews until I actually finished the book. So I apologize for the lateness of my comment. Alright moving on, I loved reading your take on this! I've had nothing but love for the brilliant Miss Laini Taylor and this series since it first came out as well. I was drowning in feels for the entirety of this one and it certainly was a fitting conclusion to the trilogy. Like you I have ALL THE LOVE for Karou, Zuzana, and the rest of the crew. I adored how Laini took the series in new and unexpected places and how everything fit together so perfectly! The sheer scope of how the story takes you from world to world and how war fits in with hope, sadness together with laughter was nothing short of EPIC. Amazing review Nori ^^