Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor

UK hardback cover of Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

In 2014 I discovered an amazing series. It began with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which created an entirely unique world and intriguing story to with it. It was then followed by Days of Blood and Starlight, which managed to keep exactly the same tone, world and characters yet still advance the plot in new, exciting ways. Then comes Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Sigh. You’ll see.

Plot summary: 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. 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 theatre 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 was desperate to read this book. I’d fallen completely in love with the first two books in the series and had high hopes for this installment. After all, it’s usually the second book that disappoints readers in a series – the third, the finale, is usually a safe bet. Thus I allowed myself to get excited – I knew it would be good

It’s not. It’s actually pretty horrendous. I expect that it only seems so horrific to me because it’s had to fall so far from my lofty expecations, but let’s just say that it’s landed with a hefty thud. 

The world has lost none of its power, however. Dreams of Gods and Monsters features the same detail and ingenuity that made its precessors so great. Even the story itself, for the majority of the novel, is interesting. There’s action, tension, new twists… it’s pretty great. Perhaps slightly too much wandering around, but only slightly.

However, a new set of people are introduced in Dreams of Gods and Monsters and play quite a large part in the story, but they’re brought in far too late for such a big role and I just didn’t care about them. Every time the narrative switched over, I got irritated and just wanted to go back to Karou. The story of the war and her dream for a better life was surely the point of the entire series and it seemed to get a little lost. 

At 95% of the way through, I loved where the story was going. There was a new twist that was absolutely fascinating and a perfect way to resolve the issues between the Seraphim and the Chimaera. I absolutely could not wait to see how it all worked in the next book, as it was just too much to deal with in the remaining 5%.

So I finished the book, googled the released date of the next book and… there isn’t one. Just an announcement on Laini Taylor’s blog about how happy she is to have finished a trilogy.

What? No. It’s not finished. It just ends. Alright, so the war has been wrapped up, but a new storyline is introduced that’s dark and interesting, but then it just… stops. I don’t understand. It wasn’t even necessary to introduce the new twist for the original story to be resolved, so why bother if you’re not going to do anything with it? 

I know it sounds like I’m sat here going ‘Waahhh, I wish there were more books!’ but that’s not it at all. I can’t actually explain how much of the story is missing unless you’ve read the book and suffered through it for yourself.  It honestly reads like the author came up with all these great new ideas but then couldn’t be bothered to explain or develop them, so just shrugged her shoulders, shoved them in anyhow and patted herself on the back for ‘finishing’ the series.

I put down this book genuinely upset – I’d invested a lot into these series but then I was completely let down. I had that tight ‘denied’ feeling in my stomach as it’s just… not good. 

This book was:
 Read another review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters at Love is Not a Triangle.

Comments

  1. Ugh, sorry you didn't like this one. It's always a big letdown when you start a series that you really enjoy only to have the books end with a sour note!

  2. Jimjamjenny says:

    Nooooooooo! I still haven't read this one, but introducing major characters in the last book in a series should never happen, I don't think I've ever seen it done well.

    Sigh. Oh well. I am still going to read this at some point, but maybe going in thinking that I might dislike it will actually mean that there's more chance of me liking it, if that makes any sense at all?

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