Title: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: April 2014
Two Sentence Synopsis: An army of seraphim comes through a portal to Earth and it’s up to Karou and Akiva to join forces and defeat the brutal angels. Slowly, Karou begins to trust Akiva once again and hope that their dream of peace on their home world might come true.
Review: Wow, this was a chore to get through. It’s always a shame to not enjoy the third book in a trilogy. I’m a pretty quick reader and this book took me six days to read. A book of the same length that I found interesting I could have read in half the time. I hate not finishing books, but I was tempted to just put it down and move onto another book. I persisted, though, and now I’m way behind on my Goodreads challenge. Hopefully I can make up for the lost time.
The biggest problem with Dreams of Gods & Monsters is the frequent info dumps. So much information is piled onto the reader that could have been done without. There’s no denying that Taylor can write beautiful prose, but many of the passages should have been edited way down. Even after giving myself a couple hours to think about the book and digest it, I’m still having a difficult time really wrapping my head around it.
The whole romance between Karou and Akiva bored me. It began to get a bit interesting, but that feeling didn’t last very long as it stretched out way too long. I did enjoy Eliza’s character, but I felt that her origins were danced around far too long and the whole thing with her rival at the museum seemed unnecessary. I also enjoyed the idea that Liraz changes and begins to accept more people into her heart. I even enjoyed her and Ziri ending up together. Actually, I cared about her and Ziri and Mik and Zuzanna more than I cared about Karou and Akiva. That’s not supposed to happen. Yes, secondary characters and romances between them should be interesting, but the reader shouldn’t be more invested in secondary characters and their romances than the main characters.
I think the biggest weakness, however, comes from the lack of a real conclusion. Sure, the big, bad, evil, warmongering seraphim is defeated, but there’s a new problem that’s been hinted at throughout the book, but by the end they’re only working to get ready to face this new challenge. And this is the final book in the trilogy. There are ways to write cliffhangers where the narrative doesn’t wrap up neatly and the characters are working towards a new goal…but I don’t think this was executed as well as hoped. You can’t just drop a massive, multi-verse destroying threat and then not conclude that plot point. It would be like the MCU building up to Infinity War and instead of having the Avengers and everyone else deal with him, the movie involves the characters getting ready to deal with him and then MCU never releasing another movie about those characters. I found it way too frustrating.
The secondary characters were really what pushed my rating from a 2 or 2.5 to a 3. I wouldn’t not recommend it, especially to readers who have read and enjoyed the first two books in the series, but it definitely wouldn’t be my first recommendation.