Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Release: April 8, 2014 
Source: Published 

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?

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the conclusion to a fantasy series, and penned by the incredibly talented Laini Taylor.

I have already voiced my disappointment with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Despite the issues, I decided to give the sequel a chance based on three huge factors:

Laini Taylor's writing is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. And addicting. 

The world is fascinating. 

 Karou is a strong and an amazing character (when she isn't mourning/??? Akiva) 

I read the sequel, loved it, and began to eagerly anticipate this final installment. It did not disappoint.

For those who have not read the first book, this series revolves around two star crossed lovers, and a war brewing between Chimera and Seraphim. Karou, a blue haired girl, has been raised by the Chimera Brimstone. He specializes in wishes, and his currency of choice is teeth. Karou helps by traveling through portal doors, until one day, these doors cease working, with only an ominous handprint left behind.

To give any more of the plot would be to spoil parts of the trilogy, so I will just say read the book. And if you did not like it, perhaps give the sequel a chance.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters opens up by introducing readers to a new character named Eliza. She has been haunted by dreams of the apocalypse and the arrival of monsters. In this book, while war is a central plot point, romance does take a more central role. Karou and Avika, the star crossed lovers of this trilogy, are trying to work together to establish a brighter future. A future where they might be together, where there is no prejudice and animosity between Chimera and Seraphim. A brighter future for all of Erez.

There's a battle, most definitely. There's a sort-of show-down between the main antagonist, and Karou and Akiva. However, this show-down felt somewhat anticlimactic and the ending felt too drawn out. Some will feel that the ending lacks finality, but in a way, the ending does open up to spin-off tales. I would be surprised if Laini didn't write more stories centered in Eretz. I appreciate that Taylor chose to address some of the issues in the aftermath of this show-down. Too many writers like to leave their story at "happily ever after", only to leave me with even more questions.

While this book isn't perfect, there's a magic to Laini Taylor's words. Dreams of Gods and Monsters was intense, beautiful,  and ethereal. Fans of the first two books, I believe, will be happy with this final installment. And if you haven't read this trilogy yet, I believe it is worth reading, if only for it's gorgeous writing.

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