Dreams of Gods and Monsters

13618440by Laini Taylor
YA Fantasy
4 of 5 stars

The rare trilogy where each book expands and improves on the previous one! I finally read the first book over a year ago, and I LOVED IT. I loved it so much I put off reading the next one until the end of last year—and I LOVED IT TOO. This was unheard-of. Naturally, I didn’t get around to this book until now, because of “end-of-trilogy” anxiety. This ending was pretty much perfect (a bit long, I think, so sometimes the pacing felt off to me).

Karou, Akiva, and the side characters (of which there are too many to list) captured my heart from the get-go, and what was added to this cocktail of amazing adventures and character arcs? Incredible world-building—like, my brain felt like it was expanding world-building. The first rule of fantasy is that if it’s on Earth, it is Secret. Vampires, werewolves, faeries—they do NOT reveal themselves. Our main-character-human interacts with them and that’s it. Most of the plot involves keeping it all a secret. But from the first chapters of this book, seraphs go to the Vatican. WHAT. It’s broadcast on live TV—world leaders have to handle the appearance of real angels in their midst—Karou and company face the reality of “oh…so now chimaera will be the demons if they reveal themselves, that’s great…” and not only do we have to deal with Jael’s evil army in Eretz, we have to find a realistic way to deal with him on Earth, with Earth’s religions and myths getting all tangled together with aghast scientists.

I loved this! (Because it was done so, so well). This book felt like the introduction of bigger and bigger stakes and finding ingenious ways for the characters to handle them. There is nothing more enjoyable than reading a book that walks characters into situations that have you going “well, they won’t get out of THIS!” and then they do so using a tactic you didn’t consider.

This series gets major points for good characters (especially non-cardboard side characters, something I worried about in the first book), world-building and originality. Also beautiful descriptions. Highly recommend for any fantasy lover!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Dreams of Gods and Monsters is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski – Another beautiful fantasy trilogy with an incredibly satisfying third book! Kestrel and Arin were tied together by fate when Kestrel accidentally won Arin as a slave. Their two countries are at war, and their growing feelings for each other threatened to tear everything apart. Check out this series if you love clever characters and twist after twist. See my review here.
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – A trilogy with an amazing ending! Alina and Mal can’t have peace until the Darkling is vanquished, but Alina’s power as the Sun Summoner is gone, and without it they don’t have a chance. This did not go as I expected and I highly recommend it, even if you didn’t like the second installment in the series.
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – Part one of a duology, in an alternate timeline where the Axis Powers won WWII and a group of rebels is trying to kill Hitler. Yael’s time as a Nazi captive had her undergoing terrible experiments which left her the ability to skinshift—change her appearance at will—and she is determined to avenge her loved ones by killing the Fuhrer herself. You’ll want to read this in one session! See my review here.
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – Echo is just a thief in NYC trying to survive, until she becomes involved in the war between Avicen (birds) and Drakharin (dragons) and their quest to find the Firebird: the one thing that could end the conflict. See my review here.
  • Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat – And finally, another trilogy with an amazing ending! (Very similar to The Winner’s Trilogy but for mature readers). Damen and Laurent have formed an uneasy alliance and are trying to keep their respective kingdoms from destroying each other. Neither of them can predict the lengths the Regent will go to in order to secure victory, and it will push both of them to their limits. Much strategizing and romancing ensues. See my review here.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

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