Dreams of Gods & Monsters

by Laini Taylor
First sentence: “Nerve thrum and screaming blood, wild and churning and chasing and devouring and terrible and terrible and terrible –“
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Others in the series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight
Content: There’s a lot of violence, and some mild swearing. Nothing as dire as the previous book, but it’s still hard to take, emotionally. It’s in the teen section (grade 9+) at the bookstore, but I would give the series to an 8th grader.

I’m at a loss where to begin. I suppose it’s with you reading the other two books before this one. While Taylor refreshed my memory (very eloquently) about the other books, you are missing a ton by not starting at the beginning of this story.

Also, by saying that even though this is a 600 page book, not much is extra. (M disagrees with me: she thinks Taylor could have cut out a couple of the subplots and the Epilogue and it would have been better.) Taylor picks up immediately after the events of Blood & Starlight and gives us the Apocalypse via angels. We’re introduced to a new character, Eliza, a PhD student in biology, who is on earth while everything in Eretz is falling apart. There’s something about her — I won’t tell you what — and even though she’s new to the book, she fits right into this elaborate and crazy world that Taylor has created.

There’s so many threads going on in this book, I couldn’t even begin summing up. And Taylor manages them all mostly deftly. She does introduce a new conflict when there’s 100 pages left, and it’s much too tidily wrapped up (or at least dismissed), but other than that, there’s so much too love. Mik is fantastic (there was one point where I was laughing and cheering; he and Zuzana MAKE the book), and Karou is incredible. In fact, that was the one thing I truly came away from this book with: the women rock. Seriously. And in so many different ways. They’re villains and tough and tender and loving and hurt and compassionate and just so, so complex. It’s fantastic.

The whole series is. The only thing I can say that was truly bad about this is that it’s over.

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