Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor: A Review

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor: A ReviewDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
on 8th April 2014
Pages: 613
Format: eBook

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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?

I’ve been anticipating the release of Dreams of Gods and Monsters since I finished Days of Blood and Starlight. I adore this series and I admit am guilty of trying to get all my friends and family to read it. One of the things I like most – not including Laini Taylor’s gorgeous writing style and fantastic characters – is that I never know what to expect next.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters picks up where the previous book left us. Jael’s army has come to Rome and revealed to the humans that angels exist. Karou and Akiva are trying to lead their people – Chimera and Angels – to victory whilst at the same time being reminded of their past relationship at every turn. New characters with their own mysterious secrets bring drama to the story leading in a climax I never saw coming. And throughout it all – Zuze and Mik are there doing heroic deeds and adding a touch of their own personal sparkle to Chimera and Angels alike.

Karou is trying to do what she thinks is right. Right for the Kirin she was born as. Right for the human world she adopted during her second life. And right for Brimstone – the father figure she loved and respected as though he was her own blood. But at times it seems like an impossible mission. It’s a delicate balance not letting her romantic feelings towards Akiva unsettle her position with the Chimera. Their stolen moments together were beautiful to read and I loved how Ms. Taylor grew the tension between them. I also loved how this book is a collision of their pasts and presents. Karou returning to the caves she was originally born in but also having her “grandmother” assist her and her friends. Akiva’s magic and its origins combining with his love for Karou as well as having to lead the army against his uncle. It’s a family affair – and it might sound like a disaster but Ms. Taylor makes it work so well together.

New characters are introduced and whilst their motivations and relevance are not always apparent, they are integrated brilliantly into this novel. Eliza Jones, a twenty-four year old who has been running from her past for years. Now a research fellow and doctoral student, Eliza thought she could live her life her way. She’s not going to let her nightmares of monsters – or her horrible co-worker – take the freedom she fought so hard for. Eliza is one of those characters that I enjoyed reading about because despite her past, she now lives in a world ruled by science and rules. But the horrors she witnesses and things she experiences are things she just can’t explain. Whilst it may not be initially clear her role in the the battle between Angels and Chimera, Eliza is a great addition to the series.

I adore Zuze and Mik and I was delighted that they featured so prevalently in this book. They are adorable and bring out the best in each other – but also in others too. It’s hard not to be caught up in their infectious enthusiasm and love of life. But we also get to see a deeper side to the pair. A war is not without its casualties and both Zuze and Mik get forced to face the reality to the fanciful world they stumbled into.  Brave, faithful and intelligent – we get to see the best this pair have to offer and I would love to do samurai-monster training with them and become as dangerous as Zuze is feisty. 

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is an amazing conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. All of the characters have grown so much and continue to do so throughout this book. The plot is both unique and thrilling. I never knew what to expect but the twists and turns felt right and authentic to the characters and the worlds in which they live. I will continue to recommend this series to everyone I know and will rush out and read anything else Laini Taylor decides to write.


Favourite Quotes:

And that was why she was angry. Because they weren’t giving her a reason to be angry. Feelings. Were. Stupid.

We are the beginning, he heard inside his heard, and it felt like prayer. We have always been. This time, let it be more than a beginning. 

“You are a conniving, deceitful hussy. I stand in awe.” 
“You’re sitting.”
“I sit in awe.” 

Zuzana sensed a t-shirt design coming on. Be a Samurai because you never know what’s behind the freaking sky.


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