Monday, May 12, 2014

A Story of Love and Hope

"Once upon a time,an angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts
and started the apocalypse"
--Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods and Monsters


Genre: YA Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Pages: 613
Publication Date: April 8th, 2014
Source: Bought
Goodreads Description

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?

Note: There are *spoilers* from the previous two books but not from Dreams of Gods and Monsters

First Things First... I just need to start off by saying that these titles are my most favorite...EVER. No freaking joke. The titles of these books are the most beautiful, most poignant, and most eloquent of any book even in my opinion. AND THESE COVERS?!?! I have an obsession with masks. Both times I've been to Venice, I walk away with at least one mask. I find them mysterious and intriguing and beautiful. And while not all the covers feature masks, the face paint of the second book is just as beautiful, and the face horns with the eye makeup on the third book is just awesome socks. Legit. The titles + the covers = the most beautiful and visually pleasing series of all time...ok...now that that's out of the way...

The Writing Laini Taylor has a talent that is unmatched by very few other authors in my opinion. Her writing is palpable and visceral and it makes you feel. Her story just bleeds off the page and incorporates itself into your soul. Ok, I'm being dramatic but THAT is just how much I love the writing and how much it affects me. I made the best decision ever of re-reading DoSaB and DoBaS (again!) before DoGaM and it just reiterated even more how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE these books!! Gah! I just can't! The intricate weaving that is the blanket of this story continues in the final book and Laini Taylor does not disappoint in the beauty of her words.

The Story This is not a drill people. We have the final book of the series and the conclusion is not won easily. A LOT happens in this book and let me tell you just why I love this. I dislike when the final book of series feels like a race to the finish. Just because it is the last book does not mean everything needs to wrap up neatly or quickly. I loved that this final book didn't skimp on plot development or action or the slow burn of anticipation in regards to not only the romance but the climax of all the drama we've been reading about for 2 books. I found the same type of conclusion with the Razorland series' final book Horde by Ann Aguirre (review here in case you know of the series). Horde and Dreams of Gods and Monsters wasn't "just" the final book. It was a continuation of the story we've been reading out. It was MORE plot and NEW characters. I loved this. I don't want the final book of any series to be solely a wrap-up. That defeats the purpose of a third book to me. Write an epilogue in a duology if you don't want to write a complete third book. I am so utterly happy with all of the crazy developments and while tangents some of them might have been, I will not be displeased with any and every part of this world.

Karou...KAROU!!! You guys, I love this girl! She is just such an amazing character who feels real and honest with her reactions and emotions. I fell in friendship love with Karou because as crazy as it might make me seem, I really, really identify with her character. She continues to kickass and her growth over these three books is amazing and beautiful and real. She has hope and she loves those around her and I just LOVE her.

Akiva I mean...c'mon now. While I identify and love Karou, Akiva makes this story. He is not perfect but that is what makes me love him even more. Like Karou, his actions and emotions feel real. He makes mistakes, he does his best to atone for the past, and he continues to hope for a brighter future. A better future. A future that always seems impossible against insurmountable odds. He is just such a complex character and I really am at a loss for words as to how to describe Akiva and what and how much I love about him.

Liraz I had a feeling Liraz was going to surprise me after DoBaS and she went even beyond my hopes for her. She evolves as a character SO MUCH and I love love love her choices and who she decides she wants to be. That is all I'll say because I promised no spoilers.

Zuzana and Mik Again, let's be serious. Their banter. Their comic relief. Their awe of all that is seraphim and chimaera. The eyebrow raise. The fairy tale tasks. What is not to love about these two? And they continue to surprise me with their wit and make me laugh out loud. Even with all the angels around, this story would lack in light without these two.

The End No, no, no, WAIT! It's not what you think! So. While I loved all the plot point additions to the story, I will say I did feel the end was a little rushed and underdeveloped. I definitely understood what Laini Taylor wanted to do but I felt like the pacing of the inevitable conclusion, in hindsight, was slow moving in the beginning only to add another conflict when I felt things were finally wrapping up. I think Laini Taylor had a specific conclusion in mind and how she wanted to wrap things up and that made it feel a little disjointed at the end. I think a gradual, smoother transition into the info dumping at the end could have helped this.

VIP
This is one of my absolute favorite series and these books are beyond amazing. I love them dearly. I love this world. I want more more more but the conclusion is everything I wanted from this series. It is realistic as it is...hopeful...yes, yes I totally went there :)



2 comments:

  1. Gah...I really need to take the hint and give this series a try! I've heard nothing but good things about it, so I don't know why I'm hesitating! You make it sound SO GOOD! Lani Taylor definitely seems to have a very eloquent prose, and I can't wait to experience it for myself. Thanks so much for sharing and for giving me the extra motivation to start this series, and, as always, FABULOUS review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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  2. I can tell how much you love this series/book, and I just want to say I love it this much too. I also did a reread of DoSaB and DoBaS right before reading DoGaM and I just think this series is perfection. I thought this last book was a wonderful ending to the series, and I know what you mean by saying it wasn't lacking. I love that she wrapped up the story so beautifully, and I didn't care that that meant new people and stories. I love Karou and Akiva, and Zuzana, and Mik, and Liraz and Ziri and I just have immense love for Laini Taylor. This is easily one of my most favorite series EVER. :D

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