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“Dreams of God’s and Monsters” – Laini Taylor

As always when writing about a book series, and in the case the last book in a series, there will most likely be a few spoilers. I like to put this warning first as I have been stung in the past reading blogs about say, Hunger Games, then the blog revealing a huge spoiler about another series [Allegiant]… so – consider yourself warned.

GoodReads Synopsis: 

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?

I pre-ordered this book from Amazon a few days before it was due to be released, mainly because I forgot when the release date was. When it turned up I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had been autographed by the author, which was pretty sweet if I do say so myself.

I really enjoyed this read. I was torn between rushing through and reading in just a few sittings like I did with the previous books and making the story last. It’s been a really long time since I enjoyed being in someone else’s world as much as this – the whole notion of it all. I liked that fact the Angels weren’t necessarily the good guys, but also not always the bad guys. And the same with the Chimera.

I enjoyed the co-operation between the two warring species, and what it could mean for the future of a world completely ravaged by war, and of course… Karou and Akiva – their storyline and what it could mean for them once all the immediate threats were dealt with.

I liked how Jael was dealt with – ultimately cutting the circle of killing between them, and the idea of putting him in a cage for all to see is something that I didn’t see coming.

There were some things about this story that I didn’t see coming, and I wasn’t too sure about at first was the introduction of other characters, and the role that they would play – Eliza, Toth, and  Karou’s “grandmother” for instance.

Eliza’s storyline was interesting, and kept you guessing until the revelation – with a little help from Mik and Zuzana – and then of course the ramifications of Eliza’s actions at the end of the storyline – which to be honest I didn’t wholly comprehend so perhaps a second reading would enlighten me a bit more.

I liked the fact that the ending of this story wasn’t “and they lived happily ever atfer” either, it was more of a middle ground where there was the potential for happily ever after… once the immediate work of resurrecting the whole chimera host, and Akiva’s stay with the Stelian’s to control his own power before he would be able to return to the Eretz mainland and carry on with his own life. Unlike other stories where the ending has a very definite “this is the end” this had the feeling that everything was quite resolved, and that you never know there might be something else in the future for this series as well, or even a prequel of those stemming the tides of the nephilam way back when.

This is a series that I have enjoyed from the first outing, and certainly up there in my favourite series lists, and would certainly recommend it to someone who wants to read something a little bit different, but also has magic, love, and fighting for what is right, not what is easy – something that we should take away and relate into our lives rather than accepting what is the norm.

There are two songs that this book reminded me of as I was reading through, one is Lana Del Ray’s “Gods and Monsters” – probably more because of the title of the song:

And Epica’s “Canvas of Life” from their latest album, “The Quantum Enigma” which is just stunningly beautiful – this song is quite haunting, especially the acoustic version:

Keep on being awesome dear readers,