Sunday, 20 July 2014

Review || Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor ★★★★☆
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?

This trilogy, you guys, oh man.

I have been waiting for this conclusion since the winter. It had sort of become my unofficial Christmas tradition to sit down with a book from this series over my winter break and just devour it. So when this release got pushed back to April, I was really disappointed.

And then, when it was finally in my possession... I put it off!

First, let's be real, this book is massive. At over 600 pages it is intimidating to say the very least. But there was also the fear of, "What if I don't like it?" paired with, "But I don't want it to be over!"

I got over myself and devoured this in 4 days. I felt pretty proud of myself.

The writing in this book is just as gorgeous as I've come to expect from Taylor. Her descriptions are poetic and beautiful and sometimes down-right heart-wrenching. This book does not disappoint in the feels department. Tears were shed, more than once.

Taylor has done a magnificent job making you care deeply about this cast of characters. Not just about Kaoru and Akiva, but for those closest to them as well. Ziri and Liraz both stole my heart in this book and then made it ache. Taylor really understands the phrase "hurts so good". Ugh.

However, this is not my favourite book in the series.

It's a great book, and a good conclusion, don't get me wrong. But it's probably actually my least favourite of the three. (The list goes: Days of Blood & Starlight, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and then this one, if you were wondering.)

That's not to say I disliked it. Not by any means. I gave it 4 stars and it genuinely deserves it. I enjoyed it a lot. But I had some issues with it that weren't fully resolved.

This book introduces some new characters and new depth to this world. And as interesting as it was, I struggled the whole time I was reading the book with how necessary it was. Now, I fully respect Taylor's authorial intent on this one, but it just didn't do it for me.

I feel like, for the most part, you could've removed most of that and not really lost anything. Sure, you would've had to rework a few scenes and resolutions, but I don't think the story would've been any poorer for it.

As I was scanning Goodreads reviews--as I am want to do after finishing a book--I saw the phrase angelus ex machina show up in a review. And that perfectly describes some of the problems I had with all these extra complications. I don't think the book was any more compelling with all the extra lore.

And truthfully, I feel like some of it, especially the epilogue, was just there to make Kaoru and Akiva angst some more about not being together. Again, it just didn't do it for me.

That said, it was still a great book--and a great series. One I would highly recommend (and one I am looking forward to adding to my bookshelf)!