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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Published: April 8, 2014
Pages: 613
Source: Bought
Rating: 4.5 Stars

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 review is spoiler-free

In short: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor gave me the sense of closure that I craved for this series ending, but still left me wanting so much MORE.
Oh Laini. You insane genius, you. You inventive creator of bat-winged gazelles, fire-eyed boys, and rabid fairies. You architect of a world - nay, universe - more epic and fantastical than could possibly be imagined. You crafter of some of the most cherished and unforgettable characters of any series. You unbelievable author of the most beautiful sentences and passages. I LOVE YOU. And I thank you. AND PLEASE WRITE A SPINOFF.

It's always difficult to say goodbye to a beloved series of which you have become so attached. You don't want it to end, you don't want to say goodbye to the characters, and there's always the concern that the ending won't be as satisfying and as epic as the series deserves. And I say this fully knowing that from what I can tell, a lot of people were dissatisfied with the ending of Dreams of Gods and Monsters.

Not me though. Laini Taylor took the finale to an insanely strange new level. It was completely unexpected and totally bizarre. And I really dug it. Here I was thinking I knew where Laini Taylor needed to take the story in order to wrap up the chimaera-seraphim conflict, and then BAM! I end up getting so much more than I had been expecting. An origin story! An ominous new baddie. I really can't say more if I want this review to be spoiler-free. But feel free to hit me up anytime you want to discuss the ending!

I guess my one small complaint is that this crazy new ending kind of undermined the original conflict of the series, the chimaera-seraphim conflict, which instead was resolved in a kind of anti-climactic fashion off-screen. I would have much rather seen the trilogy end with the solution to the original conflict and then extend the series to another book to deal with the new conflict instead of squishing it into the end of Dreams of Gods and Monsters. This seems to be the main complaint of a lot of readers, but for me, the excellence of the book largely overpowered my disappointment with this fault.

Overall, Dreams of Gods and Monsters gave me the sense of closure that I craved for this series ending, but still left wanting so much MORE. And thankfully, I've heard Laini Taylor mention a few times now that she definitely has possibilities and plans for a spinoff or continuation of the story and THANK GOODNESS for that! I just ain't ready to let go. And after that ending, it would be cruel to leave us hanging! No pressure or anything, Laini - you insane genius, you.

Previously, my reviews of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, and Night of Cake and Puppets.

Other Reviews:
Alice Marvels
Courtney Reads A Lot
Musings of a YA Reader

Author Links:


  1. I think I would have been fine with her introducing the new ominous darkness evil thing, if I had felt like the seraphim/chimaera war had been resolved properly. And if secondary characters had gotten some attention/closure. It WAS a cool twist, and I liked how you called it an origin story. I liked that she explained the existence of multiple dimensions and veil creation through this backstory.

    I'm glad people liked it. Because I kind of felt like a horrible person after writing my review. But it just really doesn't sit well with me that the chimaera/seraphim war was solved off-screen by some new all-powerful character. And then I'm sad that I never get closure on certain characters. But in a way it's a testament to Laini's writing that I'm so intensely disappointed... because she made me care sooooo much about her world and characters.

    Lauren @ Wordy Hughes

  2. I really need to read these - now that the whole trilogy is out, I need to get on it! That's great that you loved the books and thought the ending was great. I don't get to read a lot of series, but the ending is always a worrisome point.

  3. I'm so happy you loved this, Aylee! I was hoping to like it more than I did, but I still love her writing and I will definitely recommend this series to others. Like you, I felt like the new conflict overshadowed the old one, but I'd be up for reading a spinoff. How about now? I want it this instant! haha I have trouble letting go of beloved series too so I totally understand. Great review! And thanks so much for that link to mine! :D

  4. Wow!. Ok so I just finished the draft for my review of this one and reading your review is more or liss like a reflection of my feelings for this one! The crazy new direction the story veered off in did somewhat undermine the chimera/angels conflict...and like you, I would have rathered an extra book to introduce all this new stuff. That might partly be because I'd have been desperate for more books here regardless though hehe. But yeah, like you said I was adequately amazed and in love with the rest of the book, so it didn't bother me too too much! I *HOPE* Miss Taylor gives us more from this world though - I already miss Karou, Akiva, Ziri, Liraz, Zuz & Mik ♥ and like I you just want/need MORE!

    I'll pretty much read anything Laini writes now though, because as always, I was in awe of her writing style, her words just make me swoon and dream XD Amazing review Aylee ^^ xx

  5. I love how excited you get about this serie! And I am so glad this last one met all your expectations! I am even more curious about it now. I still haven't read it. I am excited to read this origin story that you spoke of. Laini Taylor is a genius, that is for sure.

    Great review Aylee!

  6. Haha I love this --> "I LOVE YOU. And I thank you. AND PLEASE WRITE A SPINOFF." Couldn't have said it better myself! I'm so happy you enjoyed this, even if the new implications of the ending did somewhat overshadow the series conflict between seraphs & chimaera. I agree, Laini is a genius, and I can't wait to see where she takes us next in this world. *fingers crossed it happens* Lovely review! :-)

  7. Unfortunately, I was one of those readers who was disappointed by the abrupt change of pace in the third installment. Not that I think it was a bad new conflict, but I'm of the opinion that if a new conflict that's so big, so major to the story (and the world itself) is going to be introduced, then it should be introduced earlier in the series than in the last half of the final book, you know? It wasn't given the significance it deserved because of that for me. But Taylor does like to make authorial choices outside of the norm. Like the whole, lengthy Madrigal flashback towards the end of book 1. I know that bothered a lot of people too, but not me in that case. I think perhaps I'm more willing to have my books be less structured in the beginning. But by the end I want to know where things are going!
    Still, I can also understand why you did enjoy the conclusion. And I'm glad you did.
    Maybe I'll feel better if there's a spinoff as well. :)

  8. Yes! I wish that this novel resolved the original conflict and then a fourth novel talked about the greater world and dealt with that. It was just sort of introduced a bit too late and nothing was really resolved the way I wished it had. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a spinoff. I also want a novella with Ziri and his special someone because we never got to really explore how that relationship started.

  9. I agree on that final conflict, but I did hear there's going to be an extension to the series (not sure where). But I thoroughly enjoyed the book, the writing is SO GOOD. Fabulous review, Aylee!

  10. I'm so relieved you liked this one and the ending isn't as bad as some people are making it out to be. I'm a little disappointed about the initial conflict not wrapping up properly, but the way it end up sounds phenomenal. Oh I want to read this one so badly. I'm green with envy that you have finished it up already. Lucky gal.