I had been waiting to read the final installment in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series for a while – aparently my initial library hold got lost somewhere in Neverland, so I had to place an entirely new one. I shouldn’t gripe too much though, since it is nice to finally have read a series where all of the books are actually out (unlike that one I’m still waiting on…coughGOTcough…) The short wait was worth it, because this was a great ending to a great trilogy.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters was quite a bit longer than the previous two installments, and it sure felt like it took longer to read. 613 pages packed with lots of action, plot twists, and characters old and new. Instead of wasting breath on a full summary of the story, here’s a synopsis in a nutshell: Jael, emperor of the Seraphim, has taken select troops through a portal to Earth to seek weapons. All the world watches the arrival of this “heavenly host” while at the same time, the bodies of monsters are found near the Sahara desert. Angels and demons? Yep. On the other side of the portal in Eretz, Karou and Akiva make a fragile peace between their two small armies, and prepare to bring the fight to Jael. Add in some personal character struggles, Storm Chasers, fallen worlds, Faerers, Stelians, and a huge bruise in the sky called the Cataclysm, and voila, you’ve got this book.
- New characters. The addition of new characters in this book was refreshing and gave me a chance to be frustrated (a good thing). Eliza was an enigma; I couldn’t wait to figure out just what her terrifying dream encompassed and who the heck she was. And once I found out just who she was….whoah. I definitely wasn’t expecting that! In addition to revealing Eliza’s true character, the book also reveals Razgut’s past. The reader finally gets to find out why he is a “fallen” angel.
- A realistic struggle between two armies who were trained to hate one another. Chimaera and Seraphim must make a fragile peace in order to bring down a common enemy: Jael. I enjoyed the difficulties both armies faced as they shifted their worldviews and came together to fight.
- Karou and Akiva. Together. Finally!!
- A not so happy ending. Yes, Karou and Akiva finally get together. He finally reveals his true, beautiful smile, they kiss, and they make a home together, in heart and in life. But….there is still another fight coming. A fight against the real monsters that lurk on the other side of the Cataclysm. I love that while the main characters get their bit of happy, not all is necessarily right with the world. There is more to come.
- Honestly, there was really nothing bad about this book, but…it did feel a bit messy at times with all the plots going on at once and the shifting back and forth between Earth and Eretz. Minor though, compared to the overall awesomeness.
5 out of 5 – I would love to have this book in my collection, and I would definitely read again. Would recommend to any fan of non-traditional YA fantasy.
“It was a new idea for him, that happiness wasn’t a mystical place to be reached or won — some bright terrain beyond the boundary of misery, a paradise waiting for them to find it — but something to carry doggedly with you through everything, as humble and ordinary as your gear and supplies. Food, weapons, happiness.” Akiva p.445
“Warm with wonderment, a smile so beautiful it ached. It crinkled his eyes, and shaped his beauty into another kind of astonishing, a better kind, because it was the astonishment of happiness, and that reshapes everything. It makes hearts whole and lives worth living. Karou felt it fill her, dizzy and delirious, and she fell a little deeper in love.” p.543