Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Book 3
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: 8 April 2014

In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she's ever known.

When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat--and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love.

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.

From the beginning of Daughter of Smoke and Bone I knew that Laini Taylor has a beautiful writing voice. Lyrical and expressive, I couldn't get enough of reading her prose.

Until now.

There are a couple of things that make this book not as good as the first two (which I LOVED beyond compare). The aforementioned prose is here in abundance - what I once thought I could never get enough of...well, there were places I was skimming. 4-Kindle-click-pages of description on a feeling of Karou's, a feeling that is then summed up in a single sentence? It was a mite too much in some places.

Then there's the brand new character, introduced out of the blue and only the vaguest conception that she's important to the overall story somehow. I spent the first quarter of the book reassuring myself that she had some important role to play. She just had to. After that I started skimming her sections. Blah, blah, blah - take me back to Karou and Akiva. Haven't they suffered enough by now? Can't they just have a freaking moment alone, to themselves?

For crying out loud! The tension of them getting together nearly killed me! Talk about suspense. Laini Taylor does love to put obstacles in their way - that's for sure.

Then there was the feeling that there was just too much going on! The war, Jael, the humans, chimaera and seraphim working together?, Stelians, Eliza, this, that and the other! Jeez.

By the end I didn't even feel like it was an ending. Sure I can imagine a bit out ahead for my beloved Karou and Akiva (and some other strongly shipped characters!!), but not too far because there's something so completely monumental thrown into the story near the end! I can't say much more without spoiling it, but I feel like I won't know the end of the story until I know the resolution of that. Honestly, I feel that if some of this story had been pulled out through some of the previous books, or something, it would have worked better. Here it felt crammed in and just too much.

I sound like I'm complaining a lot. And I am - kind of - but I had very, very, very high expectations of this book. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver on all of them. This is still a good book, and a decent ending to the series. I'd still definitely recommend the series to just about everyone. It's fantastic. It just got a bit away at the ending.

Grade: B- / C+

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