Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book Review- Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

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?
Wow.

That's probably the one word I can use to describe this book and series. As you'll probably notice, I've been reviewing a lot of end of the series, third books. Well that's cause a lot of series I've been reading as been coming to a close. Which, I'm sad to see, especially with this series.

First off, I'm just going to say I really have nothing but praise for this book and the series overall. And if there's anything I want to pound on more, its that Laini Taylor's writing style is beautiful. I've read a lot of interesting writing styles (Like in "Girl in the Arena" and "Blood Red Road") and I know I've said before I like Ally Condie's writing, but Laini Taylor's style in this book blows everything else away. Its so poetic and funny and real and...wow.

Of course, there's going to be flaws in this book and the series, but overall, there's not much I can say. The descriptions were beautiful, the emotions of the characters were real, and overall throughout this story this was a TON of character growth. If you just start with book one and read this one, there's a constant movement of character growth throughout most of the characters.

I say most because I didn't really see Zuzana or Mik grow all that much, but I kinda think they were already developed enough. It was nice to see different perspectives in this book, including theirs, and while they did annoy me a little at times, these two were also if anything, the comic relief. They were also Kouru's loyal "sidekicks" and they were felt like real people almost. Sometimes they were a little overdone, but I'm letting that slide.

Throughout this book I was kinda confused a lot because Taylor added in a complete new character and I was always terribly unsure about why she was in there at all until the very ending. Her perspective was a little confusing here and there, and I was never sure what to think about her.

Another thing that's always impressed me about this story was besides the complexity of its characters and the level of depth I felt Taylor achieved, was the unique story. Its certainly original if I'd call it anything. I haven't seen a story done like this. And some of the concept were certainly original and interesting. Some of the ideas behind them, when you strip them down to the barebones, not so much, but overall, yes. I really like the new worlds created for this story and the new take on angels and the chimera. I'm normally not really into "angels and devils" stories because I see most of them are kinda overdone, but this was far different. This didn't really have anything to do with our concepts of angels and devils (well it plays into the story but besides that), so I was pleased to find it was different.

I also thought that Karou's magic was really unique. I can't exactly recall if I've seen resurrection magic with teeth before. That's a cool idea. It reminds me of something else I know I've read, something a tad bit similar, but I've never been able to place my finger on it.

I know a lot of people have trouble getting into the first book because its a little slow before all the action starts, I really liked the beginning of the first book. It was really dreamy and kinda had a "romantic" feel to it (not really romance, but the way I read it felt like that). And I loved how it was set in Prague. I don't really see a lot of books here in America that are set in different countries, and I really enjoyed that it was.

The second book was exciting and interesting, and I thought that the different ways both Karou and Akiva approached the problems of their worlds was interesting and believable. I loved Akiva's sense honor and love, and how he was able to see through the pain he and Karou and their people caused and still believed that something better could come from it.

And I'm one for sappy endings, but I also really loved throughout the whole series the constant thread of hope and love. Because I think that despite the odds, despite their loss and their doubts, I loved that in the end, they still hoped for something better. And in our world that often can see bleak and depressing, I think that its a good message for people to take away. That there's always room for hope and that even when we can't see it, we have to dream sometimes the impossible in order for it to become possible.

But anyways, I just really loved this series and this book. And I could go on, but I won't. But overall I give the series and this book an outstanding five+ stars.

You can find this book (and the other two) on:
Goodreads

And look up Laini Taylor at her Goodreads page and at her wesbite/blog.

Sincerely,
Sareh



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