Monday, July 21, 2014

Gold Star Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters
by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, book three

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? (Description from

Attempting to describe the beauty of Laini Taylor's writing is near impossible.  She is truly an artist and the visions of stories that she shares with us are incredible.  So, every time I review one of her books I feel as if you all must get bored with my gushing...does that mean I'll stop?  NO WAY. It means that I'm just going to keep effusively chatting about her books until I convince every reader I know to read at least one of her books! 

But, let me be more specific about this particular book. It's going to be a little hard, since it's the final in her epic trilogy and I don't want to ruin it for those of you who have yet to finish it... so...what can I say? I thought that Taylor was very clever to introduce a new character who has prophetic dreams to the series.  It allowed readers to explore more of the world building necessary to truly understand the angel/chimera conflict and to contemplate the past, present, and future of Eretz.  

The delicate balance of truthful pessimism in a war torn world and the hope for love in the future can only be done this well by truly talented writers.  The many facets that make up each character allow Taylor to credibly put them through the emotional wringer and then bring them back to the places that we readers want them to find themselves in the end.  In other books when circumstances and relationships can change so dramatically for characters sometimes I just cannot feel the reasoning behind and thus it will feel disingenuous to me, but Taylor never seems to disappoint me this way.  

Lastly, I just have to say that while I was floored with the ending of this book and even at the 600+ page count felt like I was amazed that she managed to wrap things up well... there is such a distinct possibility for a whole new book or series or SOMETHING to come after. I cannot but hope, truly, truly hope that she gives it to us someday!! 

This book is more than worthy of a gold star.  I would almost give it two! 

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile Magazine, Book purchased for my collection

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