Published: April 8th 2014 by HachetteAU
Format: Paperback, 613 pages
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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?
This book will break your feelings. Shatter them, then stomp on the resulting little pieces. And you’ll love every moment of it.
Laini Taylor’s gorgeous story-telling will sweep readers away from the first page, and then excite, horrify, and generally agonise them until the last page is turned. Her writing is indescribably beautiful, mesmerising, managing to capture hearts and imaginations and allow us to immerse ourselves fully into the world she has created.
And what a world it is. While the world-building of the series as so far been among the best I’ve ever encountered, Taylor blows everything else out of the water with the revelations she includes in Dreams of Gods and Monsters. The world we were seeing before was but a budding flower – simple and beautiful and full of promise – which unfurls gloriously throughout this book with the richness and complexity of the rarest of roses. I won’t reveal any secrets, but I doubt anyone could be disappointed with where the story goes.
The characters have always been my favourite aspects of the books in this series, so I’m happy to say that they’re all so wonderfully crafted in this book that I have a hard time believing they’re not real. Few authors write characters like this: as people who have had rich and varied lives before we stumbled upon them in the book, and who will continue to live their lives long after we have left them behind. Even the characters with the smallest roles, like taxi-drivers and hotel clerks, emerge fully formed from the pages of the book. Can you imagine how convincing the main cast is?
I love Zuzana. I have all the feels for Zuzana and Mik. I love that this series doesn’t relegate the Best Friend into secondary-character status, and only have her around for general cheerleading purposes and to talk boys with. Zuzana and Mik play integral roles in the story, while keeping their sweet romance alive and providing all the characters with a living, breathing symbol of hope and love.
Akiva and Karou have been through so much, and the alliance of their two very different races constantly throws them together in this book. And my heart kept breaking every time they were near each other (and when they were separated, to be honest). I just wanted to throw them into a room (or a shower!) together and tell them they’re not allowed out until they have said all the things they need to say to each other. Their story isn’t new – there are a many paranormal stories around about two people whose very DNA decrees they can’t be together – but if all of them were written like this then I’d enjoy them a lot more.View Spoiler »There is one teensy tiny detail that annoyed me. Mik and Zuzana have been used as a symbol for hope in the series, as a symbol of everything that all the other characters could eventually have. Especially for Karou and Akiva, who watch them and feel all the jealousy that get to be in love, and be so free with that love. So once Karou and Akiva have talked (in the shower), once it’s clear that they both still want the dream they dreamt together (literally) a lifetime ago, I disliked the “romantic tension” caused by them never being able to even kiss. All the random and frustrating interruptions became too much. I can believe it once, maybe even twice or three times, but we get a series of increasingly unrealistic interruptions every time they want ten minutes alone together. It got to the point where it was unbelievable to me that Karou and Akiva couldn’t carve out a few minutes to be alone, and although I know the author was waiting until the very last moment to give us what we were all hoping for, it kind of ruined their relationship for me. This kind of narrative contortion puzzles me, because Madrigal and Akiva spent a month’s worth of nights together, but Karou and Akiva don’t even get to KISS? I’d have guessed it was a sex in YA thing, but Mik and Zuzana didn’t have the same obstacles. « Hide Spoiler
I know I haven’t really said much about the book here. But there’s very little I can say that I haven’t already in my reviews of the last two books, and without spoiling the story for everyone.
What you really need to know is that there is no way you can miss Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Fans of Taylor’s other books, especially the last two books of this series, already know what I’m talking about. I can’t say this strongly enough: there is something in this series for absolutely everybody, and if you’re hesitant because of the YA branding, because of the angels, because of the fantasy element, then read them anyway, because I honestly can’t think of anyone who mightn’t enjoy these books.