Dreams of Gods & Monsters
by Laini Taylor
Published on April 8th, 2014
by Brown & Co.
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Amazon | Goodreads
Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters, Strange the Dreamer
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?
The Daughter of Smoke and Bones series has been one of my favorites from the first page of the first book. I adore the beautiful-blue-haired-floating Karou and the handsome-loving-fierce-seraph Akiva. They are possibly one of my favorite bookish couples of all time.
This series is a mix of fantasy/contemporary/romance that is unique. Part of the plot takes place in the modern world and part in the alternate universe of Eretz. The story is driven by a love so powerful that changes the world.
“How do you just thrust “I love you” out into the air? It needs waiting arms to catch it.”
After the excruciating ending of Days of Blood and Starlight I just couldn’t wait to dive right in. Oh, Karou! I’m so glad you came to your senses, or that what’s between you and Akiva is much stronger than any misgivings and misunderstandings. Akiva is so sweet, so selfless, so ashamed of what he’s done and so willing to atone for it in any way he can. I don’t think that I can ever make justice to these characters, so I will not try. I love them. Period.
“The two of them were stoic and stone-faced and ten feet apart, currently not even looking at each other, but Zuzana had the impression of a pair of magnets pretending not to be magnets. Which, you know, only works until it doesn’t.”
Suzana, Mik, Lizar, Ziri, and so many other characters from the previous books join us in the adventure of Gods and Monsters. Suzana is probably one of my favorite characters ever! Her personality is so distinctly her. The loyalty and love that she feels for Karou and for the chimera cause is admirable. I’m so happy that she was prominently present in the last installment. We also get to know these characters a lot better and many surprises are in store for the reader.
“I love vengeance like normal people love sunsets and long walks on the beach. I eat vengeance with a spoon like it’s honey. In fact, I may not even be a real person, but just a vow of vengeance made flesh.”
The pace is not precisely slow, but the way the book is formatted made me want to skip chapters so I could follow Karou and Akiva’s story more closely. I’m not saying that the book is not good, not at all. But chapters are alternated between other characters as well. It’s like those movies where the story follows different characters and then it all makes sense at the end. In case you cannot tell, the book is written from the third point of view, that way we know what most characters are doing (and seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling) in different places. It works amazingly well here.
Oh, the writing! If you’ve read any of the books in the series (or my fan-crazed reviews), you know that I love Taylor’s writing. It’s so beautiful, lyrical, full emotion, and a sensory overload. A true treasure that I have learned to appreciate.
“It’s all I want, to be beside you, helping you. If it takes forever, all the better, if it’s forever with you.”
As with most things, Dreams of Gods &Monsters is not perfect. I feel that part of the plot, towards the end was unnecessary, unless Taylor intended to have a fourth book in the series (which I wouldn’t mind at all, by the way). Why unnecessary? Because it felt as if new characters and conflict was introduced with the sole purpose of separating Karou and Akiva. The ending didn’t really felt like one.
“And the stone table was between them, a barrier, but there could be no barrier to the smile that was her answer. It was another new species, and Akiva thought that he could spend a thousand years with her– please– and still be discovering new species of smiles.”
Overall, Dreams of Gods & Monsters is an amazing book and a worthy addition to an incredible series that I’m very sorry to see come to a close (*hint, hint*)