Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor
What power can bruise the sky?
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 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.
*synopsis taken from the paperback version because the hardcover one was soooo long
As you may recall, I read the first two books in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy late last year and LOVED them. I finally got around to buying the third one (in hardcover, because they’re just too pretty to not have a matching set!), and read it last week.
While it was really good and tied up a lot (yet still left room for a spin-off or two), it wasn’t my favourite ending to a series.
The trilogy is fantastic – in more ways than one. Like the previous installments, I loved getting to know the chimera/seraphim ways of life, and the characters, of course, are brilliant. Zuzanna and Mik continue to be comedic relief while still holding their own in the face of danger; Ziri plays a bigger part and shows some interesting development; Liraz is still badass; and Karou and Akiva still just need to kiss already.
There is the past, and there is the future. The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other. We live poised on that second as it’s hurtling forward—toward what?
Taylor also made the intriguing decision to add a couple of new POV characters. It’s rare that a third (and final) book would spend time on random people, but they ended up playing important roles, so it can be forgiven. It was hard, however, to get into their chapters when I was wondering how it was going to all work out. But I shouldn’t have worried – at 613 pages, there was more than enough room for all the loose ends to be tied up.
I don’t know what else to say without spoiling ALL THE THINGS, but I will say that while I was satisfied with the ending, I also felt vaguely unsatisfied. I can’t put it into words exactly how I feel or what I wish had happened, but I’ll admit that I was sort of expecting an unhappy ending for at least one of the characters (I know I’m in the minority when it comes to unhappily ever afters, though).
For some reason, as soon as I finished it, as I was trying to fall asleep, I compared the end to Breaking Dawn – a lot of build-up that was resolved too quickly to have a real impact on my emotions. I think I expected to cry and then was weirdly disappointed that I didn’t?
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.
There was also a lot more mooning this time around – pages of Karou and Akiva looking longingly at each other but fate kept getting in the way of them actually making a move. I could have sped those parts up a bit, if only to get back into the real action, but Taylor’s writing is still so lush and gorgeous, it’s easy to let her sweep you along.
I’d still recommend reading the whole trilogy, just make sure you have a lot of time on your hands when it comes to this behemoth!