Book Review Time: Strange the Dreamer | Laini Taylor


Book Details

Hardcover: 544 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 28, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forevermore

Revamped Review-2

It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming.

Exquisite. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this masterful tale created by Laini Taylor. This book is a graceful combination of rich images, well-written characters, and amazing storytelling.

Even though it’s been quite some time since I first read this book, I’m still pleasantly haunted by Taylor’s striking images and lively characters. Lazlo Strange, in particular, was my favorite. As a reader and dreamer, I felt it was more than easy to relate to Strange and his love for books and fairytales.

“He read while he walked. He read while he ate. The other librarians suspected he somehow read while he slept, or perhaps didn’t sleep at all.”

Taylor did an excellent job endearing Lazlo Strange to her readers with his kind and curious nature, and she did an even more excellent job of establishing a stunningly magical world embossed with gold and complex dreams.

Her characters were multi-dimensional and unique, especially the blue-skinned creatures of Weep. Despite being seen as heartless monsters, Sarai and her companions are much more than they seem. The relationship between the god-like creatures, Lazlo, and his human companions is intricate and faced with many challenges. Throughout the story it’s frequently shifting and forced to change based on circumstance. Lazlo and Sarai’s relationship, in particular, is both beautiful and tragic.

“There was a man who loved the moon, but whenever he tried to embrace her, she broke into a thousand pieces and left him drenched, with empty arms.”

Pace-wise, the story is pretty slow going. The action doesn’t really pick up until the end, which is very edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, explosive, and fairly heartbreaking. However, it takes a while to get there. In some places the writing could be very convoluted and superfluous; the descriptions are beautiful but also unnecessary at times. Also, there are some moments that stall the momentum of the story, such as a dream sequence that spans thirty or so pages. While very romantic and important, it was also pretty boring, all things considered.

Despite these issues, I can truthfully say this book is really a feast for the imagination. It holds gorgeous writing, striking images, memorable characters, and potent themes. And after that ending, I’m really excited to see where this story goes!

My Rating:

4.5 stars



12 thoughts on “Book Review Time: Strange the Dreamer | Laini Taylor

  1. Amazing review. I read it this summer and I’m still obsessed with Strange! He’s just so much like all readers. I agree with everything else you said about the writing and the plot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review Azia, and I’m so glad to see you enjoyed this book as well. I actually find it impressive that you read this one back in April but you can still remember enough of the story and the characters to write a review months later. Then again I suppose it says a lot about how amazing Laini Taylor’s books are that the stories stay with you months later. 🙂
    I loved the world building in this book, exquisite is a great way to describe it. It did mean it took a little while for me to get into the story but once I was in I was hooked. I didn’t really notice the slow plot when reading it (though looking back I do agree this was a slow book) but for me that’s just part of Laini Taylor’s writing you know? 😀
    Again great review Azia! 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! 😀 Yeah, I got so behind on my reviews that I just didn’t have the time to do it back then. I was also worried I wouldn’t be able to remember much because I forgot to take notes. But nope! Quite a few things stuck with me, so that’s definitely a good thing 😀
      Yeah, I was a bit bored at first, but the world-building and Strange’s character kept me hooked. But the slow pacing was all worth it in the end. And the writing was just beautiful.
      Thanks again, Beth! ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right. 🙂 Ohh, taking notes is probably a good thing if you do start getting behind. I should remember that if I ever get a little behind again. That’s the sign of a good book, and yeah the characters kept me hooked even when the book was a little slow. It just goes to show this was one worth sticking with. 🙂
        That’s all right. 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh your review makes it sound so good! Strange the Dreamer has been on my TBR list for the longest time. The magic and world building sounds fantastic. Though I do have a short attention span when it comes to unnecessary description. Great review Azia!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even though it’s pretty slow at the start and the descriptions can be a bit much, I’d still highly recommend it! Lazlo Strange is such an endearing character and the world-building is to die for! I’d love to see what you think of it if you ever decide to pick it up 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Azia!! I really like your review! It is so consise and to the point! Your ideas and opinions are always good! I have seen this book in the book store some many times! I am so going to have to read it! And the cover is just exquisite! Jesus so hard not to sucumb under the pressure xD

    Liked by 1 person

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