Dreams of Gods and Monsters: A Book Review

Posted June 26, 2015 by Carlisa in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Dreams of Gods and Monsters: A Book ReviewDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on April 8, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, YA
Pages: 613
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

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?

I FINISHED THIS TRILOGY. In three weeks, I might add. And it’s a monster. The second was the longest of the year so far at 518, and then the third (this one) was even longer at 613. BUT I did it, all in June (in compliance with my Summer of Series goal). But, yes, I did. And I’m proud. And I loved this series. So much. I hold this characters is my heart.

But let’s talk about the third one specifically: Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I really enjoyed it. Like basically everything good I’ve said in the first two books (here and here) are true here too–great pacing (not as good in this one as the others), character development, humor, things I don’t see coming. All great. But in this one, I was a little let down by the ending. Not a lot…just enough to bring it from 5 stars to 4. Let’s talk about it. Also gifs.

The Good

There is so much good in this novels and this one specifically. First I just have to talk about Zuzana. In the first review, the only bad thing I had to say was I missed the secondary characters (mostly Zuzana) in the second half of the book. So I was so excited to see that in the second book, Laini Taylor had retroactively knew what I wanted and brought Zuzana in abundance. And then in third book, she was present even more. And I decided that’s she’s my favorite character. Sorry, Karou, you’re at a close second but I love Zuzana more. She’s the ultimate best friend and just hilarious. Look at this quote: “Laugh achieved. Maybe she couldn’t make Karou’s life–or love–less complicated, and maybe she didn’t have any helpful hints when it came it, oh, angel invasions or dangerous deceptions or armies that clearly just wanted to start killing each other, but she could do this at least. She could make her friend laugh.” Oh my gosh, I just love her so much. Also she has what Taylor calls a “eyebrow master class,” where some lady raises a judging eyebrow at her and Zuzana demonstrates how an eyebrow raise is truly done. I tweeted about it and got retweeted by Laini Taylor herself, no big deal or anything (GUYS, I’M JOKING. THAT’S A VERY BIG DEAL).

So, yes. Zuzana. My favorite character and the ultimate best friend. She’s just so well-developed despite the fact that she’s just a secondary character. Also she and Mik are the cutest.

Second, the writing is just so beautiful. Beautiful writing = beautiful imagery. And imagery is very important in this book as the characters are so unique and everything is so visual. It’d be interesting to see this as a movie, I think. But literally her writing had me in tears at two points. I was at work both times, so when I say “in tears,” I mean my eyes welled up and I sniffled a little. If I had been home it would have been more like this:

Okay, moving on. There’s more good I could talk about, but I feel as if I’d just be reiterating what I already said in my first two reviews…so go read those.

The Alright

There wasn’t anything bad to me in this novel, but there were a few things that I just thought were alright. Like: the pacing and the ending.

I noticed the pacing in the first two novels and I thought it was awesome. Each chapter end, part end, perspective switch seemed so deliberate and it made me just want to keep reading and reading. In this third one, I didn’t notice that as much. The first 300 pages took me four days to read (which is a long time for me)…so I just felt like it was slow-going. The second half it definitely picked up, though, and I read the last 300 pages all yesterday. So it wasn’t bad, just not as fast-paced as the first two.

And then the ending. Again, in no way was the ending bad. I closed the book with a very satisfied, happy feeling. It just seemed like Taylor built up, up, UP for a certain ending and then that ending didn’t happen. View Spoiler » So kind of anticlimactic. But, everything worked out well and there were no holes or quick fixes to tie up the plot. It just wasn’t what I was expecting, what I felt like the first 450 pages were leading up to.

But, please, if you like fantasy at all read this series. It’s a beautiful mix of normal and fantasy, humor and tragedy, love and betrayal. It’s just so good and I need to buy it so it’s on my shelves, like, now.

The Quotes

  • “The two of them were stoic and stone-faced and ten feet apart, currently not even looking at each other, but Zuzana had the impression of a pair of magnets pretending not to be magnets. Which, you know, only works until it doesn’t.”
  • “There is the past and there is the future. The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other.”
  • “It’s all I want, to be beside you, helping you. If it takes forever, all the better, if it’s forever with you.” OH MY GOSH CUTEST MOMENT AWARD

The Gifs

And now I share some of my reactions while reading the entire series.

But mostly, I was this: