Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, book #3
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Source: purchased hardcover AND audiobook  ;0)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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?

Wow, you guys...this may be the best series finale I've read in...well, ever. Or at least since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. ;0) But seriously, I couldn't have asked for more from Laini Taylor. Well, except maybe more Karou and Akiva alone time, but they're on the cusp of a war that's spilling over into our world, so I kind of understand the reluctance to let loose with the swoons. =)

But is it really the end? I've seen a lot of speculation over the ending and how open it is...for more story, that is. There's definitely some resolution to the story, so fret not about the conclusion but about the possibility of more angels and chimera....just maybe from a different vantage point. There were so many new characters introduced in this final installment that it makes perfect sense to continue the story through some of their eyes. Or even from the perspective of characters we've come to know throughout the series, just not as deeply as Karou and Akiva. Or maybe Taylor's pleased with how she left things in Dreams of Gods and Monsters and we'll never see these characters again. I might cry at that thought if I didn't know I could revisit these books any time I please.

Everything I loved about the first two books was present and accounted for: beyond gorgeous prose, strong characters that evoked equally strong emotions in me, and an amazing story to match. This final book is long, but between the audiobook and the hardcopy, I finished it in about two days, listening while I was at work or in the car and picking up where I left off as soon as I could at home. (Khristine Hvam narrates the audio, and if you've never experienced her narration and awesome accents, this series is the place to won't regret it.) In the beginning, I questioned the importance of some of the newer characters, wondering at how necessary it was to include their arcs and whether the overall plot was suffering from so many different perspectives, but once things started coming together little by little, it was clear Laini Taylor knew what she was doing by peppering this last book with peeks at these new characters. Everything came full circle and though many new questions popped up over this world throughout this final book, I feel like I got my questions answered, that the resolution I was hoping for was here in this book.

I'll admit, not all of my hopes for this story were realized, though. I'd hoped that a few things that were fact in previous books might come into question again and be proven false now that the angels and chimera were on the brink of war, but even though those hopes weren't met, I'm still ridiculously happy with this conclusion. It was also torture watching and waiting for Akiva and Karou to make amends, but it was worth it. Plus, I had my favorite secondary characters -- Zuzana and Mik -- to entertain me in the meantime. All in all, a solid ending to one of my favorite series. I'd say Laini Taylor's only misstep was in giving me hope for a spin-off series. ;-)

And here's what my copy looked like after I'd gotten through with it:

And that's me being conservative with the tags!!! =)

GIF it to me straight:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2.5)Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #3)

About the author:

I am a writer-artist-daydreamer-nerd-person, and simultaneously a mom-wife-sister-daughter-person. I can do a lot of things at once, like for example: I can sleep and dream and also lie very still, all while also breathing and ever-so-slowly growing ten distinct toenails.

I write books for youngish people, but they can also be read and enjoyed by oldish people, aka grown-ups. You know grown-ups? They tend to be a little bigger and hairier than kids. But not always.

I live in Portland, Oregon, USA, with my husband Jim Di Bartolo, who is an amazing illustrator and who I'm always begging to draw me things, and with our wee droll genius, Clementine Pie, age three.

Some of my favorite things are books and bookstores and breakfast food and mangoes and chocolate, and cake stands and table cloths and old houses, and going places (like libraries and other countries), and dreaming up stories, and making stuff (like cupcakes or peculiar dolls), and playing with Jim and Clementine, and taking pictures, and falling asleep (so cozy) and waking up (exciting!).

Find Laini:

Website | TwitterPinterestGoodreads


  1. So glad you loved this Jen! I was actually very disappointed, because I never was able to connect with the new story elements and characters, and was dismayed when they overtook the climax. I was also sad that some of the elements and threads from earlier books were overwhelmed by the new stuff, and read as anticlimactic because of it. Taylor did say on twitter that she has considered more story but is exploring other things first (There's a picture of the tweet on my review). But maybe that's not the full story. Sometimes authors say things that change. In any case, this was an ambitious book and I did like many parts of it! Great review.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Whoops! I just re-read what I wrote and realized there were way to many errors to just let it go! I was just so excited commenting about this PHENOMENAL series LOL!!!!
      I'll just say You are so right! Amazing series, my favorite hands down. Laini Taylor is a genius and Khristine Hvam is Outstanding.
      Great Review!!!! xoxox

  3. I love this series and the final book, so I'm glad you did, too! Even when there were little things that I questioned, it could not ruin my love for this book! I too would have loved more Karou and Akiva, but I'm happy with how things ended!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist




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