Monday, April 14, 2014

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Reading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 613 Pages
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Narration: Third Person: Numerous
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Paranormal Type: Angels/Chimaera
Source: Library

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series
Book One: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Book Two: Days of Blood and Starlight
Book 2.5: Night of Cake and Puppets
Book Three: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

My Review:

Holy crap that was the longest book I've ever read. No, really.

"There is the past, and there is the future. The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other. We live poised on that second as it's hurtling forward-toward what?" Pg. 79

One thing that I loved about this book was that it took a reasonable amount of time for the seraphs and the chimaeras to unite against a common enemy. It wasn't just a magical "OMG, we have to fight together to stop the end of the world, and then be best friends forever" sort of nonsense. Bad blood doesn't disappear that quickly. It was a gradual, quite excruciating climb toward not friendship, but acceptance. There were so many obstacles in the way. Every time something happened to impede the united front that Karou and Akiva dreamed of, I flinched and wanted to cry big, fat, ugly tears. And even though it was physically painful for me, it was realistic, and that's what counts in the end. This is no fairytale. It's life. And life? It ain't easy.

"Absence has presence, sometimes, and that was what she felt. Absence like crushed-dead grass where something has been and is no longer. Absence where a thread has been ripped, ragged, from a tapestry, leaving a gap that can never be mended. That was all she felt." Pg. 497

Laini Taylor has SUCH a magnificent way with words. She uses a lot of similes and metaphors in her stories, and I absolutely love them. Some authors utterly fail at this style of writing, but Laini? She's a pro. The images her words brought to life in my brain were stunning.

“You are a conniving, deceitful hussy. I stand in awe." 
"You're sitting."
"I sit in awe.” 

And then there's the humor. Hilarious, dead-pan humor. Zuze is the best possible friend any protagonist could ever have.

Now you may ask, if I loved the story so much, why the four stars? Well, for one thing, I'm not too big a fan of Karou. She was awesome in the first book, especially the opening scene, but throughout the series, she's grown more and more obscure. I'm not saying she's a weak character, because that definitely isn't true. She's intelligent and brave, but I still expected more from her, some character growth. For the majority of the novel, she was like this shy, delicate flower who blushed every time she was in Akiva's presence. *Eye rolls* However, that's not to say that I didn't enjoy the romance. In fact, I loved it. This series is the epitome of star-crossed lovers. Not slight star-crossed lovers or intentional-but-not-really-star-crossed-lovers, but true, hard-core star-crossed lovers. It pained me to see all the events that tore these two people apart. My soul and body literally ached for them to find any kind of happily ever after.

Just a warning for all of you out there, this novel has a huge amount of different POVs. For the most part, Laini handled it well, but I still found that it detracted from the story. I always knew who was talking, but the constant character shifts threw me off balance.

If she wanted to, Laini could write a fourth novel in this series. Probably not gonna happen, but I would like to see the war against the monsters of the outer realm.

On a totally unrelated note, Akiva. Is. Such. A. Badass. Had to get that out there.

Karou- 4/5
Akiva- 6/5
Romance- 5/5
All of the romances in this novel were phenomenal.
Action- 4/5
Lost my attention once in a while.
Writing- 5/5
Overall- 4/5

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