Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. 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. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky?
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.
At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter? From Goodreads
I have been so eagerly awaiting the final book in the series, and now it's here! I absolutely couldn't wait to read it, but I was so sad that the trilogy would be ending! But I'm so pleased to say it's the most perfect ending to the most perfect trilogy!
Jael has gone through the portal with his horde of Dominion, and with the assistance of Razgut, has the people of Earth believing their angels sent by God to prepare them for and help them with the apocalypse. To help them, Earth needs to have over it's weapons. There is no way Jael can get ahold of guns, he will wipe out Misbegotten and chimaera to extinction. Despite the lack of trust, Akiva and Karou have joined seraphim and chimaera in a tentative, unlikely alliance now they have a common enemy - Jael and his seraphim army. But is the peace they so desperately want possible when each side wants the other's blood? Will Karou and Akiva find their way back to each other? Who will survive when the very sky is attacked?
Oh my god, so much happens in this book! Yet I should have been expecting it, considering the previous two books. But it's SO, so good! Such an incredible novel that I don't even know where to begin!
Seeing the chimaera and seraphim together was just amazing, despite the issues they have. It's the only way there's any possible chance Jael can be defeated, and necessary, but you can't read the beginning of their alliance without being so full of hope that Akiva and Karou's dream - that was born in the Requiem grove back when Karou was Madrigal - of peace between the two species can be found. You're so desperately hoping as you read, despite the terrible things that occur, not just for chimaera and seraphim, not just for Akiva and Karou, but for Ziri. The amazing, self-sacrificing beautiful soul that is Ziri, who has given up his life and his body to inhabit the body of Thiago. A body, a person he cannot stand. A person he has to constantly pretend to be, to act like. Create change, bring about the starting of what could be real peace between the two species, but without giving the game away that Thiago is not himself. The power and viciousness, the actions and words he has to do and say... he hates absolutely every second of it. The only thing that keeps him going is Karou, knowing who he is, knowing what he's going through. I felt so desperately sad for Ziri and the position he's found himself in. He did it for Karou, to save her life, and now to save the people of Eretz, but his selflessness doesn't come without such a dreadful price.
Akiva and Karou... quite possibly the most romantic couple I have read in YA fiction, ever. There's is such an epic love story, not just in their struggle and the obstacles in their path, but because of Taylor's incredible writing. Taylor easily captures the passion and longing, the heartache and despair that the two characters can communicate with just one look. With just a look, you're brimming over awe at their love and desperation that they find a way. Just a look - and so much more goes on between those two! Taylor can take emotion and describe it in a way that is so beautiful, but so real! There were certain passages I would read over because of the beauty of the language, the beauty of the moment, and something inside me declaring, "Yes! This is love! This. Is. Love!" It seems too small a word to consider Akiva and Karou's personal aspect of the story "romance". It's not romance. It's the whole world, the whole point; the power that fuels the hope, the dream. It's epic. It's perfect.
I have to mention Zuzanna and Mik. I love them. I think everyone probably loves them. They bring such light to what is mostly a dark series. Humour, but also such loyalty and faith and willingness to do whatever they can. These two play a bit more of a role in this book, and they really shine. They have got to be my favourite secondary characters of any book. Such courage, such love. They're just wonderful.
And then we have the things I can't talk about in any great deal without spoiling the story. The incredible Eliza. The hugely powerful Stellians. The bruised sky. This book will have you guessing at every turn, and you will never get it right. Such an original, unique, unpredictable story. My heart was in my mouth more times than I can count, and it broke several times over. High stakes, so much danger, more emotion than you can shake a stick at, and the most incredible ending I've ever read.
The story that started in Daughter of Smoke and Bone comes to a complete conclusion in Dreams of Gods and Monsters. But Taylor has laid down the possibility of a further trilogy/series. There is so much scope for these worlds, so much yet to do and discover. It would disappoint me no end if the trilogy ends like it did, and we don't see any more of these characters. There's more story, a new story, to tell. And I sincerely hope Taylor shares it with us.
Quite possibly the best trilogy I've ever read. If you're waiting on Dreams of Gods and Monsters, you have such a thrilling ride ahead!
Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for the review copy.
Published: 17th April 2014
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Laini Taylor's Website
My other reviews from the series:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book 1)
Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book 2)