Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Posted May 8, 2014 by Lyn Kaye in book review, Lyn / 15 Comments

Book Review: Dreams of Gods and MonstersDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Published by Little Brown Books For Young Readers on April 8th, 2014
Genres: fantasy, young adult
Pages: 613
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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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?

I can’t believe this era is at an end.


For such a rough beginning (I wasn’t a huge fan of Daughter of Smoke and Bone), this trilogy turned out to become one of my favorite YA series.  Before I review the last book, I’ll point out that book 1 pushed me away from the series for a while. I read the second book some time after it was published, and it quickly drew me back in. The last book rivals Days of Blood and Starlight as my favorite Laini Taylor book.

I was happy with the progression of the storyline, and the development of the characters I have grown to love over a three year period.  There was only a handful of complications, but story-wise, Laini’s conclusion was solid and nothing less than artistic.

What worked

– I have to, once again, pause and marvel at Taylor’s writing.  The action and the poetry blend perfectly in all of her stories.  However, the DoSaB books displays how far Taylor has come as a writer and as an artist. Her imagination always results in some of the most beautiful tales I have ever read. I can’t even place her inside a category with other authors, because her gothic/Victorian/steam punk/spiritual hybrid of world building has no other peers. Expect nothing less when it comes to Dreams of Gods and Monsters.

– The characters the book made some epic and world-shaking development. After the finish of the story, a number of the players in the book made my “most favorite characters” list. Honestly, Liraz has now landed number one on the female side.  I always give a whole bundle of respect to a book with a high regard on character development and care.  As always, this novel is a Shakespearean stage of old and new individuals weaving in and out.  We watch the characters evolve and grow, shifting into legends. The mythology of the world strengthens and becomes alive and pivotal for the multiple plots weaving in and out of the entire arc. Even the terminology plays a whole new level of epicness.

– Speaking of multiple plots, I love how various schemes knit together for the entire arc of all three novels. Ranging from small to legendary, everything comes together at the end of the book. The ending was such a bittersweet blend of heartache and aspiration for a better world. I am deeply sorry to see this come to a close, since the storyline held so much promise for more stories.

– I can’t openly discuss it here because of some major spoilers, but DAMN, plot twists! Surprises and shocks became a main ingredient in the book.  There were times I had to put the book down because of some strong emotions and sentiment concerning the developing stories. Disappointment wasn’t something I would use to describe the final book here.  As for something a bit sweeter, OH MY GODS, the romance! Not Akiva and Karou, but the other romance. Best.Coupling.Ever.

– Water canteen.

– The conclusion. I never expect absolute sunshine and roses from Taylor, and she does not fail to deliver her heart-wrenching end to her series. However, it isn’t without a certain sugary and compassionate touch of perfection.

– The cover! Sweet!

What Didn’t Work

– I was slightly irritated that some of the consequences of the events were never really explains or showed. I can’t image anything less than utter fallout of human civilization happening after this book, but I suppose we’ll never know.

– Akiva and Karou. Oy. I do love them as separate people, but together, their romance just makes me feel, overall, uncomfortable! To me, Karou is more defined by her relationship with Akiva than her own merits. In Days of Blood and Starlight, she actually evolved quite a bit, and I feel that I knew her and that she developed a stronger personality. In the last book, there was some regression in her, and it was back to the whole “I’m Akiva’s!” routine.




Stunning, powerful, lovely, and heart-breaking, you’re going to have a book hangover after this one. At the end of it all, this book loved to hurt me, and I enjoyed letting it take my emotions for a joy ride. Standing ovation for Laini and her wonderful writing, her work, and her piece of imagination. Huge applause for some very remarkable characters, and a huge hooray for a stunning and break-taking romance.




15 responses to “Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

  1. Peeeh! Me too. WHYWHWYWHWY? I’m hoping for a spin-off and it kinda looks like there’ll be one. AND yes! The other pairing. Ohmyfeelssssss!!! Sometimes, you know, Akiva and Karou’s narrations became almost tiring. Ugh. But I did kinda love it during the epilogue even though I was slightly miffed by the whole dress-up/makeover thingy.
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  2. I have about three hours left on my audiobook so I skimmed a little, but I’m having some major eyerolling from all the Akiva/Karou moments, haha. I’m excited to see how everything shakes out, but I kind of want to go back to book two as far as their relationship goes 😉
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  3. THAT ROMANCE (not Karou/Akiva, who cares about them). I’m ALL ABOUT that couple. They are everything I never knew I wanted in life and I’m SO HAPPY they happened. This is obvious considering my major abuse of capslock.

    Speaking of Karou/Akiva though, I couldn’t take that shower scene seriously because I just kept thinking of Virko taking up the rest of the bathroom, trying to pretend not to hear them.
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    • Lyn

      Yeah, I’m not a big fan of Akiva/Karou love-fest. It was a little too much. Now, the OTHER couple – oh, might end up as my second favorite (nothing comes before Adele/Gareth). I started crying towards the end. Like, boo-hooing and everything. Like you said, it was ROMANCE.

      LOL!! Right! Have a totally semi-sexy scene with someone else just listening….awkward…
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  4. I’m sorry. I couldn’t read this review in all its glory because I’m scared of the slightest bit of spoiler for me. I’m terribly sad that I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet because the stupid store is still not carrying it and I haven’t managed to get to the next city over (which is nearly an hour away) to Books-A-Million where I know it will be. *cries* Ugghhh… I needed this book like yesterday. Hopefully getting it soon. I miss these characters like crazzzyyy.
    I’m glad you enjoyed! I hate that the series is officially over now also. 🙁 I will be savoring the read when I get to it that much I know.

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  5. So, I bookmarked this review wayyy back when I was gearing up to read DoG&M but I was also avoiding all the reviews before I went in so I apologize for the lateness of my comment. You’re not the first blogger I’ve heard had troubles with the first book in this series but I’m glad book 2 won you over and that you enjoyed this one too! I think your assertion on Laini Taylor’s world-building skills as being ‘gothic/Victorian/steam punk/spiritual hybrid is absolutely perfect. Between that and her writing style and the bloody brilliant character developments it’s impossible not to get swept away by this story. PS: Water canteen!!! *sobs* Seriously excellent review Lyn ^^
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  6. Totally agree about the consequences on humanity! I wasn’t a fan of the amount of plot arcs and how some weren’t adequtely wrapped up. I mean, the Sirithar/Nithilam thing was cool but entirely pointless! I was hoping for more focus on a war with the Dominion but we can’t have everything!

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