REVIEW: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

I finished Dreams of Gods and Monsters towards the early hours of this morning, a swarm of suffocating darkness enveloping me as I read the final line: my throat dry, my fingers numb, the vast abyss of emptiness awaiting. It took me a few minutes to register what I'd experienced: 613 pages of brutality and beauty, laced with deadpan humour and insufferable gloom. I'd experienced a war led by two fantastical beings… and it was incredible.

Author: Laini Taylor | Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton | Pages: 613 | Source: Bought |

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.

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.

MY THOUGHTS: The emptiness is something I think all readers have experienced. It's that feeling of uncertainty that follows the indelible ending of a favourite book. It's that painful, underlying question that plagues you for days afterwards; it's the: what do I do now? And that question can burn and can singe. Dreams of Gods and Monsters will undoubtedly leave you in this state: the state of wanting and needing. Laini Taylor's world is as breathtaking as ever in this final instalment and I never knew how much I'd miss it until I reached this point.

“Once upon a time, there was only darkness. 
And there were monsters vast as worlds who swam in it.”

Two years ago I was introduced to a blue-haired art student based in Prague – the girl who moved like a poem and smiled like a sphinx. One year later, she returned, as resilient as ever, this time based in a giant sandcastle, creating monsters to send through a hole in the sky. Another year gone, and she's back again – entwined with the same intrigue and mystery as I remembered. And, after reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I can confidently call Karou one of my favourite protagonists. She's no longer the naive, young girl who sat on the floor of the Devil's lair playing with teeth – she has grown into something far bigger. Karou is riddled with complexity and littered with intricacy; it's the small details of her character that show how much the author must care for her. And, ironically, there's just something so indelibly human about her and Akiva.

Laini Taylor writes characters with this astounding delicacy. She notes every precision and delves deep into their past before writing out their future. If anything, it's within Dreams of Gods and Monsters she does this best. Karou, Akiva, Zuzanna, Mik, Liraz, Issa and Eliza were all written with charm and with force – each as unforgettable as the next. To introduce a new character in the final book of a trilogy is a risky move, but with Laini Taylor I always hope that the turn of a page will bring a new face.

But, of course, I'm not going to stop talking about characters without expanding on Zuzanna and Mik. It's impossible not to adore them. Zuzanna alone is endlessly fantastic and it's her and Mik who stop the human population from seeming so incredibly bland. The pair of them are constant bringers of joy, filling each page with laughter and chocolate cake… a lot of chocolate cake.

“Once upon a time, a girl went to see a monster menagerie 
where all the exhibits were dead.” 

As for the plot, I can't go into too much depth because of spoilers, but, in short: wow. Laini Taylor knows how to craft and layer a story, intertwining so many different elements. Really, Dreams of Gods and Monsters was so carefully considered and plotted. Not to mention the writing. The writing was as darkly beautiful as you'd expect from the final novel in this trilogy; Laini Taylor is a puppeteer  author who manipulates each phrase to evoke the strongest of feelings. It's no exaggeration to say I got a sever case of "Papilo stomachs" (if you've read any of this trilogy, you'll understand what I mean) multiple times throughout this novel. Not to mention, the sudden need to punch certain characters (or maybe that's my inner Zuzanna showing?).

In short, Dreams of Gods and Monsters left me starved of all feelings. I still haven't closed the covers of the book – despite finishing it hours ago – in fear of shattering a world that I care so dearly for. But, after I've posted this review, I will close the covers. I'll close them with a wistful smile. I'll close them with a wish of returning, a wish that echoes the familiar snap of a wishbone. 

Favourite Quotations:    
“Once upon a time,
an angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts
and started the apocalypse.”

In One Word?
Why? 
Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the final book in a fantastical trilogy. It's set in a world of wishes and nightmares, where there's no 'happily ever after' just the happy middle. Reality is twisted and distorted to the point that Laini Taylor could write anything implausible and I'd consider it plausible. Dreams of Gods and Monsters, and everything about it, is boundless.


8 comments:

  1. AHHHHHHHHHHH
    I just finished Dreams of Gods and Monsters and can't believe its over. I did think the ending was quite fitting a prophecy instead of a myth. Ohh why is Laini Taylor too good for her own good!

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! She needs to share her talent around! ;)

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  2. I havent read this yet so skim read your review but i can't wait! I LOVED dobas and definitely think this will be a brilliant conclusion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! If you liked DoBaS, you'll probably like this one too!

      Delete
  3. So glad you enjoyed this. I still need to read the first book never mind the third! Thank you though, because I think that posts like this that you and Hawwa have done have inspired me to pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
    Happy Reading !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe, Hawwa and I have been pushing everyone to read the series! It's just so brilliant!

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  4. I read the first two books in the series a little while back, and I saw the third book yesterday and just couldn't buy it! Because I know if I read it, I'll never be able to return to reality. That series is sosoososo beautiful.
    Awesome review!!!

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. It's literally the most gorgeous trilogy I have ever read.

      Delete

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