Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: April 8th, 2014 (Little, Brown & Company)
Synopsis: Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.
When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. 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.
But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?
The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as – from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond – humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.
“Once upon a time,an angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts and started the apocalypse.”
Jael has brought his army of seraphs to the human world, trying to take advantage of perception of angels and demons in an effort to gain weapons to bring back and use in the war. Meanwhile in Eretz, the alliance of Misbegotten and Chimaera is coming together united in their purpose against a common enemy. This uneasy alliance is the only chance at building some semblance of a peaceful future. Even as Karou and Akiva work to save their world, a mysterious enemy hunts Akiva and a larger threat approaches.
The world building was fantastic as always and I really enjoyed seeing more of Eretz and learning about its history, even if it was quite late in the series for it. The real action took quite some time to begin, but there was plenty else going on until then to keep the reader’s attention. There was a huge info dump and a bunch of new characters introduced close to the end of the book that I wasn’t too happy about, but more on that later.
The characters were the real star of this book. Now that I look back upon it, while the plot itself was pretty good – there were some unexpected twists too, what really stood out were how the character arcs have progressed. Akiva and Karou of course are the main focus, with their dream of a peaceful integrated society potentially within reach, but the secondary characters play crucial roles in this book too. There was some interesting character development, particularly for Ziri, Liraz and surprisingly, Razgut as we get to know more of their history. Akiva and Karou’s romance had me a little worried going into this book, wondering how it was going to be depicted, but I loved the way it was handled. It was very slow to progress, but it felt so much more realistic this time as compared to the first book.
The lack of a real climax however, was disappointing. The first two books did a great job of building up the tension, and I was eagerly anticipating an epic battle of some sort, and it just…didn’t happen. Not to mention, the conflict concluded with about a 100 pages still remaining. I said this about the second book as well, but this was way too long. It was not boring or unevenly paced by any means, but it could have definitely been condensed a lot. I felt there was one subplot that could have been removed entirely without affecting the story at all. New characters and plots were introduced too late into the series (we only got a few glimpses of it in the second book) for me to really become invested in that storyline. If this was really that important, it should have been brought in much earlier.
“It was not a happy ending, but a happy middle – at last, after so many fraught beginnings.”
Dreams of Gods and Monsters was a satisfactory ending to this series. I liked that quite a few things were left open ended, and the book wasn’t just wrapped up in a typical happily ever after scenario. I’d say this feels like there might be a spin off planned, but considering this book was released nearly 7 years ago, I think it’s a moot point now. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I would recommend this series for fantasy fans.
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: