written by Laini Taylor
publised on April 8th 2014
last book of Daughter of Smoke and Bones series
Spoilers are whitened. You have to highlight to see it, so read this review at ease!***
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?
“How could you tell if your instincts were just hope in disguise, and if your hope was really desperation parading as possibility?”
Going back into the world of seraphims and chimaeras that Laini Taylor created was not a bumpless road, I admit, for I had forgotten almost of what happened at the end of the second book. Within few pages in on Dreams of Gods and Monsters, though, all the memories slowly came back. Dreams of Gods and Monsters started right away at the moment where Akiva (and Liraz, though unwillingly) tried to persuade the chimaeras (Karou, of course, and The White Wolf, Thiago, who wasn't actually Thiago anymore because the body was inhabited by Ziri.) to join forces with them, the Misbegotten, to defeat Jael and his army. Of course, to unite two creatures who have been a lifelong enemies clearly was not an easy thing to do. Would Akiva Karou make it? And how could they unite their people if the relationship between them was still so fragile, so strained and heavy?
At this moment, Jael had already 'came down' to earth, wanting to ally with human in order to conquer both worlds. With the advice of Razgut, Jael believed that human would make the best army with our 'weapon of mass desctruction'. Also, by then, we've got to know a new human character named Eliza, who somehow kept dreaming about angels and monsters... things like that. Is there more reasons behind this strange, weird occurence in Eliza's life?
"There are maps in me but I am lost, and there are skies in me but they are dead."
Despite having read the two previous books, Laini Taylor still continued to amaze me with her eerie, magical, flowing words. To dwelve into her world was such an enjoyable journey. The pace of Dreams of Gods and Monsters is achingly slow, but in a very, very good way. I have to keep my self from flipping the pages too fast because I didn't want it to end! The book was filled with messages of forgiving, of love reunited, of struggle, vengeance, loss and sacrifices. All elements blended beautifully, making it a truly satifsying ending to the series.
I've said that the Karou we met in second book wasn't my favorite person, because she kept assuming and not seeing reasons beyond what her eyes showed her, but in Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Karou completely owned herself back. We could see that she had changed from book 1 Karou, but at the same time, she was still herself. She was now both Madrigal the chimaera and Karou the human. What I love best about her was that she finally dared to 'follow' her heart, just like what Issa told her. LOTS of torturous, ache-in-your-stomach, jab-to-the-heart, pent up sexual tensions come from Akiva and Karou (YESH!) as the result of this. My internal fangirl here was so busy screaming and flailing. All those darker, depressing times from Days of Blood and Starlight were definitely paid off.
Liraz, in the book, was the character with the most progressive character development. This murderous, brutal angel mostly came out as annoying, for me, but then she gradually changed beautifully through some turn of events and she ended up as a really different person at the end of Dreams of Gods and Monsters. (Spoiler: I SHIP HER HARD WITH ZIRI. SRSLY. LAINI PLS WRITE A NOVELLA ABOUT THEM THANKYOU) Violin boy Mik and our lovely rabid fairy Zuzana, another favorite couple, kept providing the 'lightness' of the story in the midst of all violence, suspenseful tension between the seraphims and chimaeras, with their humour and witty, lovely, sharp remarks. And this time they actually contributed something big to the plot! Thank Laini for Mik and Zuzana <3
“You are a conniving, deceitful hussy. I stand in awe."
"I sit in awe.”
But what is a perfect, dashing book without one downside? The information dumpings on Dreams of Gods and Monsters was quite a letdown. It's not hard to be absorbed in them and understand the whole thing, but because this book is the last book of the series, it all just felt too much for me. About Eliza and her backstory, about Razgut and what actually happened to him in the past, about the Stelians and why they're chasing Akiva... There were lots to catch up. Nevertheless, my overall reaction about this book is just the same because Laini managed to incorporated those things in the plot carefully. I was happy, I was astonished, I was impressed, I was woo-ed once again seeing the effort of Akiva (Akiva? SWOOOOONS) and Karou in making Eretz a much beautiful place for seraphims and chimaeras. Their never-ending attempt to build a longtime dream, to see both parties live peacefully alongside one another. It was one of a hell journey, going through a lifetime and more, and that's exactly why the ending becomes so much more meaningful and beautiful for me.
Kudos to Laini Taylor for creating such a magical fantasy! :'''')
"I want you, at the end of all this. The dream, peace, and you."