Little, Brown & Company | Hardcover, 613 pages
Publication Date: April 8th, 2014
Young Adult Fiction | Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
After months of starting and stopping this beast of a book, I finally succumbed and bought the audio and decided to listen and read at the same time. Because I figured it was the only way I was going to get through it without losing my mind. The time it would’ve taken me to get through my hardcopy is mind blowing. And considering I didn’t really have a great time with this book to begin with, I think downloading the audio is still worth the extra $25 I spent.
Dreams of Gods & Monsters is a book that’s on pretty much everybody’s hit list. That list that indicates which books we would sleep with, kill for, and sell our souls to the devil to procure a copy. I had high hopes for this book, to be sure. Unfortunately, those impossible expectations soon became the thorn on my side. Don’t get me wrong, Laini Taylor is an incredibly brilliant writer. Her words call out to the green monster hidden in every poor schmuck that ever wanted to write (i.e. ME). The first two books to this series can attest to that. This time, however, I’ve gone weary; tired of flowery words that seem to meander, loop around in a dizzying circle until she got to the point of her narrative.
The pitfalls of listening to a book rather than reading, is that you’re not able to skim and skip to certain points of a story. You can skip certain chapters but you can’t skip pages without fear of missing out. When a narrative goes astray, this is usually my recourse. But I couldn’t do this here. I can tell you that my mind unfurled its wings and took flight with glazed eyes on several occasions.
Laini Taylor repeated herself – over and over and over again. I can’t count the number of times I expelled a tired breath every time she tortured me with Akiva and Karou. The number of times they almost touched each other; the number of times they were in the same room trying not to look but can’t not look. And when they finally got together? I was thinking, why did you even bother? You created this tension, this thick desire between a couple of characters that your readers longed for. A wanting so desperate, it was inexplicable; the kind of wanting so complete, you can taste it in your mouth!
But maybe I’m being unfair. After all, it is a writer’s gift when you can convince your readers to feel such an empathy it was almost tangible. I can appreciate that, sure. What I can’t appreciate, however, is the torture I was put through as I watched them (repeatedly) painfully try to ignore the palpable tension every time they’re within seeing distance. Sigh.
Listen, this book could’ve been worse. And that’s unprecedented since I love Laini Taylor’s work; she’s an amazing story teller. She’s created such an intricate world that I can’t even compare it to anything I have read in my short life. But I grew bored with this book. The epic war that have been brewing between the seraph army and the group of chimaera/seraph was, unfortunately, anticlimactic. Karou’s plan to get Jael to leave Earth? So simple, and elementary that it’s not worth all the tension that was built up through the entirety of the book. Besides, the readers weren’t even given privy to the battlefield.
If I can put my feelings into a single word, it’s underwhelming. And considering who the author is and the heft of this madness, another word that comes to mind is disappointing. In the end, I was just so happy to be done with this book.