Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters
By Laini Taylor
Little, Brown, and Company, 2014
Reviewed from ebook
Audience:  Grades 9 and up
ISBN:  9780316134071
Publication Date:  April 8, 2014

Days of Blood and Starlight left us in a cave with chimera and seraphim in an uneasy peace, Mik playing the violin with Zuzana by his side and no mention of the relationship between Karou and Akiva.  Dreams of Gods and Monsters backs up a little bit to give this moment more context.  Angels descend on earth.  It is a sight met with curiosity and wonder, but the seraphim are uneasy, and Karou and the chimera army, not to mention Akiva and the Misbegotten know what Jael is really up to.  Meanwhile, Eliza, a runaway from a religious cult, is wondering how this angel invasion relates to her, the supposed chosen one of her former faith.  She ends up in Morocco studying a mass grave of chimera hosts, and inadvertently meets Zuzana and Mik, who manage to heal her after running a bait and switch on Karou's nefarious "aunt".  Then there are problems between the Misbegotten and Chimera as they try to unite to fight a common enemy, another brewing seraphim and chimera romance, rifts in Eretz that could bring everything crashing down, and more small plot lines that will confuse, delight, and enrapture readers.  

It's all a little much.

But it's like eating a death by chocolate cupcake.  It's too much, but it's glorious and you can't stop, and is that another cupcake?  Yes please!

Just know this:  If you enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Days of Blood and Starlight, you will be satisfied.  You will be drunk on chocolate cupcakes and begging for more.  You will question the ending because it's resolved but open, and you hear that Laini Taylor is working on another project, when there is still material in Eretz that could be explored.  Maybe she is leaving that for the fan fiction writers, of which I assume there are many.  Not being a fan fiction girl myself, I don't know.  But I might have to check it out in the future.  

Looking back on the whole series now, I would have to say that I am pleasantly satisfied with it.  In so many series, there are multiple ways that it could have worked out, and while that is the case here, I feel that it was always running toward this type of ending for Karou and Akiva.  The final book delved deeper than I imagined it could, but I loved it.  I loved learning more about the seraphim and the war they were fighting on the edge of Eretz that had nothing to do with chimera.  I loved learning about the first fall to earth, and seeing all the minor players in the final book get what was coming to them, especially the "aunt".  Oh, I hated her!  Just remembering the whole thing now makes me want to go back and start over.  

I'll be looking forward to whatever Laini Taylor has in store for readers next.  Until then, I'll just have to gaze longingly at the amazing vacation photos on her blog.

Happy Reading!

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