I actually finished Dreams of Gods and Monsters (YA Fantasy 613 pages) by Laini Taylor on Thursday of last week but have only had the chance to sit down and write the review tonight.
“What power can bruise the sky? The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy comes to a thrilling 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.”
This was the third book in the trilogy with Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight. The first book was assigned reading for my Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and the second book was so good that I was eagerly anticipating reading the third book.
I think it’s safe to say that Zuzana is easily my favorite character in this entire series. She is loyal to her friends, especially to Karou, and she accomplishes huge tasks with the sole purpose of taking care of her friend. Loyalty and dedication are big things for me, and that’s probably why I reacted so positively to Zuzana as a character. She is ridiculous and amusing and works to learn other cultures in order to bridge the gaps between the chimaera and the seraphim. She appreciates the wonder and the amazement of Karou’s world and she has very human thoughts, such as her desire for warmth and chocolate and cleanliness. She is smart and works hard and she doesn’t take the easy way out when it’s presented. Also, I can’t stress enough how hilarious Zuzana is and how much I appreciate her sense of humor. Books that can make me laugh are always a good thing 🙂
I’m probably going to give away some spoilers from the book and the series as a whole now, so if you haven’t read the books and you’d like to be surprised by what happens, you should probably stop reading here.
I was a bit confused for a while as to what role Eliza could possibly have throughout this book, since introducing a brand new, unknown character in the last book in a series seemed a little bit odd to me. As the story progressed, I got the sense that she was going to be some sort of link to the seraphim, but I really couldn’t figure out how that was going to work. I liked Eliza’s interactions with Morgan because he was such a well-written, slimy character. It was actually quite easy to dislike Morgan a great deal. He was an example of so many people I’ve met throughout my life. I could tell that he was slimy and how terrible things were going to be for Eliza with Morgan having any sort of power in her world.
Zuzana and Mik’s wish in order to help Eliza was actually really brilliant. I was truly impressed with how careful and thoughtful they were with their wording in order to use their wish for the most benefit. I’m actually a solid fan of Zuzana and Mik in general. They are a great couple and I like how they are two very average humans who are doing extraordinary things with very simple tools. Like Mik taming a stormhunter with his violin. And Zuzana taking charge of Eliza, even when she was just being a very unsettled woman who was babbling incoherently. They are both such great people.
While I do understand why it was important to show that the new chimera and seraphim worlds would be fully intermingled by having Liraz and Ziri partner like Karou and Akiva, I felt a little bit cheated that the one character I was hoping would turn out to be asexual fell into another romantic relationship. It seemed to me that everyone in this story had to be partnered off and that only by having a partnered relationship could any of them be chosen to help save the world. But I’m pretty used to things like this happening all throughout my entertainment venues, so while I was disappointed in Liraz developing a love interest, it was clearly hinted at throughout the last parts of the second novel and definitely at multiple points throughout this novel.
I think one of the last things I’ll say about this book is that it was really long. I didn’t read as quickly through this novel as I did through the second novel, nor did I enjoy this one nearly as much as I enjoyed Days of Blood and Starlight. It’s still an interesting read because of the concepts of good and evil and how the human world is biased to see evil as good if it comes in a specific package, but this book just didn’t grab me as much as the second one did.
Overall, I think I would rate this book as a high two or a low three on my rating scale. I’m glad that I read it and I’m certain that I will reference this book again, but I don’t know how much I’ll actually reread this book from the series.