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Dreams of Gods and Monsters | What YA Reading?

September 26th, 2014

Dreams of Gods and Monsters

by Laini Taylor

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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?

 

Seldom is a series so beautiful, so moving, so exhaustively excellent, that it leaves me absolutely breathless. Seldom is a series such an incredible whirlwind of ups and downs, questions and answers, facts and uncertainties, that it leaves me at once fully satiated and famished for more. Seldom have I turned pages this quickly or stayed up this late into the wee hours of the morning because of a single book.

Seldom have I encountered an author such as Laini Taylor.

Doctor Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

If grins could crack, mine would.

In Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Karou reestablishes herself as the kick-ass heroine with whom we all fell in love in the trilogy’s first book. She regains her confidence, rebuilds her reputation, and comes back with a vengeance. I don’t feel the particular need to discourse on the quality of the character development these transformations entail, but let it be said: these transformations entail character development of high, high quality.

The world building is, as always, top drawer. Not only is Eretz illustrated handsomely, but when seen from Taylor’s eyes, Earth too becomes a foreign planet, chapters skipping from Morocco to Washington D.C. to Rome. And the fantasy’s history is, of course, rich with legends and truths, all beautifully told and beautifully haunting.

Taylor’s writing is something remarkable in and of itself. Every sentence is a masterpiece, each word carefully chosen to carve a path straight to her readers’ hearts. Frankly I found myself underlining paragraphs in my hardcover– something I rarely allow myself to do.

It is a sad thing to love in the midst of war, and yet Taylor manages to transform this fragile hope into something shining and strong. The whole of Dreams of Gods and Monsters is in truth quite exhilarating; I became giddy and high off of the characters’ innate and omnipotent hope. They all refuse to be broken, and it’s wonderful.

I can still scarcely believe that Laini allowed her readers to be this happy. When reading series finales, expecting disappointment has become second nature for every reader; if one of your favourite characters hasn’t died, decamped, or parted ways with their soulmate  yet, it’s usually because you haven’t turned the last page. But Dreams of Gods and Monsters demurs; it will not conclude in misery. I wouldn’t say it’s a happy ending– because that wasn’t an ending, not really– but it was pretty damn close. And I am over the moon for it.

Never have I been so amazed with Laini Taylor. Everything about Dreams of Gods and Monsters, from the plot’s most crucial turns to the wording’s most minute detail, was executed to the nines. I’ve said it before in regards to her work, and I’ll say it again: 5 stars. Aces, Laini. Aces.

 

I’ll keep you posted,

 

PS: See my review of the trilogy’s second book here.

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