Book Review Time: Dreams of Gods & Monsters | Laini Taylor


Dreams of Gods & Monsters | Laini Taylor

Book Details

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Hardcover: 624 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Goodreads Synopsis

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. 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.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?Review-2

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

Dreams of Gods & Monsters marks the third and final installment to the epic fantasy series by Laini Taylor, who proves once again that she is a remarkable author of striking prose and beautiful settings. Her characters are well-developed, especially Karou, and the relationships she builds among them are captivating and wonderfully powerful.

Mik and Zuzana prove to be one of the cutest couples in YA as their love story remains present and memorable despite being a subplot to Karou and Akiva’s torrid romance. They as individuals are also fun and spunky and easy to love. They aren’t the only characters that shined in this book. Liraz makes strides in bettering herself and Ziri matures into a strong and capable leader while maintaining his goodness. Both Liraz and Ziri share engaging narratives as they learn to love themselves and to live with their mistakes.

“Soldiers and children do as they’re told. Children grow out of it, but soldiers just die.”

As the other characters are making leaps and bounds in character development, Akiva and Karou remain fundamentally the same. The only thing that changes is their relationship, which was fractured in the previous book. I enjoyed Karou and Akiva’s narratives but their continuous pining and angst was shockingly bothersome as their reunion was prolonged for far too long, especially since distance was no longer a factor separating them. While I still enjoyed reading from their point of view, I couldn’t help but be annoyed by how much their thoughts focused on each other rather than the deadly situation at hand.

This book is not without its themes of discrimination and coexistence, and I’m very happy to see that those messages were not lost amongst the heightened angst that was rolling around in this installment. In truth, the very ending of this book was a little disappointing (and unexpected) as Karou and Akiva’s yearning for one another remains strong and frustratingly present until the very last page.

“Happiness wasn’t a mystical place to be reached or won–some bright terrain beyond the boundary of misery, a paradise waiting for them to find it–but something to carry doggedly with you through everything, as humble and ordinary as your gear and supplies.”

I thought this was a very strong conclusion; however, I have to admit that this was not the ending I expected or envisioned. The previous book was rife with tension stemming from conflicting world views, clashing cultures, and battling factions. Two races were at war with one another and there was a great amount of bloodshed and loss. It was a heavy book filled with death and violence, competing ideologies, and complicated relationships.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters didn’t maintain this suspense as well as its predecessor. The plot felt stagnant and less progressive. Not much occurred between its explosive beginning and anticlimactic ending. There were a few nail-biting battles, but not a war that was expected to happen among the seraphs, the chimera, as well as the humans. The seraphs posed such a terrifying threat at the end of the last book, and yet, their intimidating presence was reduced to background noise for most of this book. They became an army of immobile warriors put up in the Vatican, waiting for something to happen. In short, the foes were boring.

Also, I wasn’t much a fan of the Eliza storyline. Her chapters took me out of the experience and so, I was surprised by how important she was to the plot as a whole. I wasn’t invested in her history or her role even when her true identity was revealed.

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

I know it sounds like I didn’t like this book, but I can assure you that I did. I think I just went in with too high expectations. Dreams of Gods & Monsters is an engaging story with fantastic characters, vivid descriptions, and impressive world-building. Some subplots and characters seemed unnecessary or were wasted, but overall, this was a good conclusion to an epic romance and adventure.

My Rating:4 stars

12 thoughts on “Book Review Time: Dreams of Gods & Monsters | Laini Taylor

  1. I loveee Laini Taylor’s writing! I’ve recently read Strange the dreamer by her AND IT WAS SO GOOD AN AMAZING! I really need to continue withe The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy but it’s been a while since I read the first book and I think I need to re-read first haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Her writing is exceptional. Even if the story might not be that good (which hasn’t happened), her writing is just so captivating and rich. Strange the Dreamer is such a gorgeous book, inside and out. And a re-read of DOSAB wouldn’t hurt! The first book is AMAZING.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am really glad you enjoyed this book Azia, but sorry it didn’t quite live up to your expectations. 🙂 I guess sometimes there are just books that can’t post live up to our sky high hopes for them. I saw another review for the last book in this trilogy that had a lot of the same thoughts you did, especially on the ending and how it wasn’t all the reviewer hoped and it does make me wonder if I re-read the series would I feel the same way? I read the book right after it was released which I think was quite a while ago now, definitely time for a re-read I feel. 😀
    Anyways great review, and even though this book didn’t quite live up to your expectations I’m really glad you still enjoyed it. Do you plan to read Strange the Dreamer soon? Or have you already read that one? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Beth! It was a very good book, but I allowed myself to have too high expectations for it. Having such high hopes rarely works out for readers haha. But even though the ending wasn’t what I expected, I still can’t help but notice how wonderfully crafted the entire story was. So, I might not have enjoyed it as much as I wanted to, but it was still a very good read. And yeah! I read Strange the Dreamer months ago 😀 I just haven’t gotten around to writing the review for it. What’s new? LOL. One day I’ll catch up on those reviews *shakes fist angrily at the sky*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and yeah that happens to me a lot. Luckily nines out of ten I love the book but there’s still the odd one I don’t enjoy as much. 🙂
        Yeah say what you will about the book Laini Taylor is still an incredible author, and I think I’m always going to love the style of her books even if the story isn’t quite what I’d hoped it would be.
        Oh I’m glad you’ve got around to Strange the Dreamer at least. I’ll keep my fingers crossed you get to that review soon, good luck with it I guess I should say. 🙂 ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, Laini has earned a spot as one of my favorite authors of all time, mostly because of her exemplary prose. Her stories, so far, are also top-notch fantasy. So, yup, she’s amazing haha
        Thanks, Beth! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG I’M READING THE SECOND BOOK NOW!!! So I kind of skimmed your review, sorry. I just don’t want to be spoiled IN THE LEAST xD Laini is so amazing and I’m hoping the trilogy really is as awesome as you say (for me) because I’m way too invested in this story and characters T_T If something happens to them, I don’t know…
    Like, Akiva and Karou are now fighting and separated and he’s pining and being angsty and just UGH MY HEART ❤ I have high hopes for a happy ending, though, I just enjoy the drama a bit too much xD
    I know what you mean when you say you've liked this, even though there was a lot of negativity in your review. I sometimes feel the same. But I'm so happy you were still able to give it 4 stars! I'm hoping my rating is a bit better. *fingers crossed*
    Lovely post, Azia! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YAY!! How do you like it so far?????? I love the second book. It’s definitely my favorite of the three. Laini is such a fantastic writer. Her descriptions are so lyrical and arresting. And her characters are always one-of-a kind. The drama of the second book was the best type of angst. I might not be much a fan of angst anymore, but I could definitely make an exception to that book haha
      Yeah, it was still a very good book. My expectations were just sky high. I might not have liked a few elements but I could still notice how well-written and enjoyable it was 😀 I hope you end up loving it! Can’t wait to read you review on Days of Blood & Starlight! Thanks, girl ❤


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