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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3)

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)I was so excited to dive in to the last book of this trilogy, but also apprehensive, because the second book was not as magical as the first, and I was concerned about the third following in that path.  And there's the rub: I was right to be apprehensive.

With seraphim invading the human world, our heroine Karou and hero Akiva find themselves trying to force the remaining Misbegotten seraphim and a paltry bunch of chimaera to get along long enough to save both Earth and Eretz.  But here's the thing...Taylor can't seem to be satisfied with that as a plot.  Instead, she starts throwing in new ones, like a looming cataclysm and a backstory that hasn't been mentioned until now and worlds-threatening monsters that don't ever actually end up getting resolved.  And while some of this is cushioned by another burgeoning romance between Liraz and Ziri (THANK GOD, because I couldn't put up with any more of his pining) and of course Karou and Akiva trying to come together once again, it just felt like too much, especially because the story didn't really just end, it just kind of trailed off.

I'm not really sure there's that much more to say about this.  There were some excellent moments in here--the confrontation in the Vatican comes to mind, Eliza's return to her true self, Mik and Zuze and the stormhunters as well--but overall I'm not sure they could really redeem a book that felt kind of scattered.  It definitely didn't have the magic of the first book, the snap and sizzle and all of the tropes made over and new again; instead, it felt much more like a generic fantasy story, and one that didn't come to a soaring or even a crashing conclusion, but instead just sort of petered out.  While Karou and Akiva were wonderful and even Liraz got some redemption (but what the heck was up with Haxaya?  Something else that was never explained) there were just too many holes and dropped strings here to make me really like it as a book.  Ultimately, the first book was the best of this series, and it was a bit of a downhill slide from there.  I'm interested in Taylor's more recent book, but this series ultimately didn't deliver what I had really hoped it would.  It read a lot like the upwards-of-a-million-word-long RP a friend and I have had going off and on for years--and while it might be fun to write your own melodrama and jump from plot to plot and have things dropped, there's the potential of it all coming back together again later.  I kept hoping things would come together here, but they never did, and that was a disappointment.

2 stars out of 5.

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