I took advantage of a late start snow day to stay up way too late reading this, and I was sad to have to say farewell to the world of Eretz and to Karou and Akiva and their friends. I love the way she wrapped an intense love story up in a tale of such epic scope, giving each rich development. The low moments were devastating and the happy ones satisfying for being so hard fought for, and the ending was everything I dared to hope for. You know those books that you clutch tightly to your chest and feel all swoony over? Yep. That.
The central story was strong. Do we judge beings based on their looks or their actions? What makes a monster or an angel? Will Akiva and Karou ever have a chance to fall in love? All of these are considered and in beautiful language.
However... and this is a big however, Taylor drops in a new character, which for those who have read Strange the Dreamer, will feel all too familiar by the end. And the country that Jael has salivated about conquering, suddenly shows up. AND there's a whole 'nother level to this whole thing that gets dropped on us near the end of the final book. Where the first two books seemed to have a pretty tight story arc, this felt like Taylor wanted to include every idea for a story she'd ever had. I would still recommend it to those who have read the rest of the series, but be prepared for several Deus ex Machina moments to get us even close to an "end."
This was so beautifully written and intricately plotted. I know as I read there were a few issues met my way. But you know what? I don't remember or care. I gulped these books down like they were the last fresh water on earth. Delightfully indulgent and just...fun
A mostly satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, although the mechanics of the resolution in the final chapters, particularly with respect to Eliza, remain a little hazy to me. The plot devices used to keep Karou and Akiva apart for the duration of the novel also felt contrived and transparent to this reader. However, overall I quite enjoyed this entire series, and appreciated this original and enchanting fantasy world. I'll definitely read more by Laini Taylor.
Overall, a really satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy. Laini Taylor writes so beautifully that you just want to linger over some of her sentences. I will say that this was a) VERY long, and b) included the introduction of a new character who proved crucial to the book's conclusion in a way that felt veeeeeeery convenient to me (I would compare it to the sudden introduction of the concept of horcruxes in the 6th Harry Potter book -- it's so much more satisfying when the problem-solving elements of book series have been present in all of the books, rather than just tossed in at the end). Those minor complaints aside, however, I think this is a conclusion that all fans of this series can be happy with. So glad I finally read these books.
Finally finished this brick of a book!! Took me a looong time.
Maybe it was because I took too long to read it, but Dream of Gods and Monsters felt pretty dragged out. I remember I finally reached the climax, and everything was finally coming to a close, and yet there was still ~200 pages left?? I kept reading (obviously) and it really should have just ended there. There was only one storyline left in those 200 pages, and it was a rather unnecessary storyline...Well, I was interested in that storyline, but it completely didn't tie into the main plot. I thought that it would come into play, but it never did. Instead, it was absolutely separate, and not only was it rather irrelevant, its timeline didn't even match up with the main storyline (it lengthened the novel by 200pgs??)
In this novel, Taylor's excessively flowery language because even more prominent. I would say at 30% of each page is skippable because they are just metaphors, usually about how much fire there is whenever Karou and Akiva are within sight of each other. But it's manageable and I didn't mind that much.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the entire series! Sure, my ratings for each novel decreased slightly as it went on, but it definitely was not a waste of my time. I do not regret reading it and would definitely recommend it to those who like novels such as the Grisha trilogy or Throne of Glass to give it a try.
The last book was okay. It seemed a little drawn out with the extra characters story lines they added. I could have done without it.
Dreams of Gods & Monsters is the final book in Laini Taylor's gorgeous Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy and I have absolutely no excuse for taking two-and-a-half years to finish this series. Except that perhaps I knew somewhere in my cold, black heart that I would be disappointed by this ending to the series. Which isn't, in fact, an ending to the story.
So there's the characters that you love, an the angstbucket that is the entire story to date. And then Laini Taylor adds a few more characters you're gonna love, and subplot AND a side plot because why not. I felt pulled in so many directions, I actually cared less about Karou and Akiva than almost everyone else in this book.
And there are some heart-tweaking sacrifices. And then some undoing of those sacrifices, because apparently The Doctor was in Eretz that day.
And while I appreciate happy endings, one of the things I adore Laini Taylor for is yanking my heart through my tear ducts. So when she plays take-backsies, I kind of wonder what happened to one of my favorite authors. And then when she introduces pretty much the plot for another trilogy in the final chapters of this trilogy-ending book, I felt like there was some marketing and sales pandering.
And THEN, worst of all guys, she did the Lord of the Rings never-ending ending.
(also known as the Battlestar Galactica never-ending ending).
So I basically finished this novel out of sheer spite, but it was difficult and awkward and I didn't understand why it was such a slog compared to the first two.
I recommend it to anyone who needs to know how the series ends, and doesn't have the same plot tics that I do. It's not a BAD novel, I just had higher expectations than I perhaps should have.
One of the best YA fantasties I have read. Works as a standalone, but obviously set up for the tale to continue (there are two additional books in the series) which are well worth the investment.
What a great third part of an amazing trilogy! Zuzana and Mik saw Jael begin his "shock and awe" campaign on Earth at the end of the second book. In this installment, we see if the Misbegotten and Chimaera can form an alliance to stop them. Uber-cool addition of Eliza with a retelling of the Fall that Razgut kept alluding to in previous books. Taylor's mixture of fantasy and reality (as we know it) is compelling, captivating, and spellbinding. I tried to savor it, but had to turn it back in for the next reader. Ah well, I'll just have to go buy the set--it's THAT good.
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