Another avenue to let out my inner book geek? Squee!
I have to admit, this book took forever for me to get engaged. Frankly, I detested the first half of the book. I was pissed off about certain characters becoming prominent and where it took the story. I hated the plot! Thankfully, a certain event had me smiling and I finally found myself happy with the story. I was back in the arms of old friends. Now, this isn't to say that the book isn't worth reading. Laini Taylor has created one of the most brilliant fantasy worlds I've come across, and that world expands in leaps and bounds in this installment. I was just personally uninterested in the way things panned out in the first half of the story. This has not been the case for other people I've spoken with, who were just as enamored with this book as they were with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Regardless, I am so happy that I did not give up on it because it definitely left me entertained from head to toe. As my Goodreads update states, "This book went from blah to amazeballs."
Karou finds herself in a similar environment, but she has taken over a role that I do not think she ever wanted. Especially because of the asshole who was in charge of things. And because of the people she lost in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. There is a darkness to Karou now where there once was light and joy. She and Akiva are practically enemies in this installment because of the misunderstandings and incredible tragedies of the first book. The journey they take in this installment was tearful and heart-wrenching.
I cannot express my love for Zuzana!!!!!! She is one of the best secondary characters to grace Young Adult Fiction and to experience her at the brilliant hands of narrator Khristine Hvam, was just downright enjoyable. It was Zuzana's presence that saved the story for me, and once she entered into the plot line again, I felt like I was home. I truly love how she and Mick added such light and harmony to dark and treacherous times. What an adorable couple! I adore them so.
This book is all about the war between the Seraphim and Chimera, but it is more than just the physical war that we experience. We see multiple perspectives on the impact of this war on both sides, how the tragedy and loss has become so prevalent that the need for vengeance has completely muddled the entire reason the war was started in the first place. People on both sides are seeking change and want to leave behind the atrocities and carnage. Akiva and Karou both have intense scenes where they attempt to bring down ruthless leaders, and I felt sick to my stomach during those scenes. The psychopathology of these twisted rulers is off the charts.
The ending - that tricky ass ending - was brilliant! I laughed at the devious scheme the characters were able to pull off, and it makes Dreams of Gods and Monsters so intriguing and exciting! I cannot wait to dive in.
“She thought of Akiva, the night he had come to her at the river, the crushing pain and shame in his face, and love, still love - sorrow and love and hope - and she remembered the night of the Warlord's ball, how Akiva had always been the right to Thiago's wrong, the heat to the Wolf's chill, the safety to this monster's menace.”
“Let's just get this out of the way so I can relax. Karou, your friends aren't going to eat us, are they?" No, Karou thought. They are not. She whispered back, "I don't think so. But try not to look delicious, okay?."