Goodreads: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Published: April 8, 2014
Leading stolen rebel armies, Karou and Akiva seek to finally end a generations-long war between their people.
Taylor ends the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy as strongly as she started it, giving readers a book full of high stakes and powerful emotions. Everything fans loved about the first two books are present in Dreams of Gods and Monsters and with the same intense quality. Readers will re-fall in love with Taylor’s richly imagined worlds and characters and with her beautiful, dreamlike prose.
The pacing of Dreams of Gods and Monsters is better than in Days of Blood and Starlight, of which my main complaint was that it felt too much like a “middle book” with no clear goal in sight. Taylor quickly stops playing games with readers in this conclusion and gets to the point: the battle between the angels and the demons, and the poor humans that are caught between. Action is everywhere in Dreams of Gods and Monsters, as plot threads weave together and plans are made and executed. Readers will be unable to put the book down, desperate to know what happens next—and who lives or dies.
Taylor likewise stops playing games with her characters, and Karou and Akiva quickly get their act together. They finally realize that there is too much at stake for them to prolong their petty fights. Other characters adopt a sense of carpe diem, as well, and a lot of unexpected but brilliant and seemingly right relationships develop. Whole new sides of well-known characters are revealed, but they seem natural, as if they were always there but hidden. Taylor is not manipulating her characters or directing them, but simply discovering them.
Most compelling, however, is Taylor’s finely tuned ending. Readers will get part of what they want, what they have been hoping for throughout the series, but they will not get everything—and that too seems appropriate. Taylor has been chronicling a war, and wars do not end neatly, with everything wrapped up in a bow. One task ends in Dreams of Gods and Monsters, but the rebuilding of a world is left—and an even bigger fight is introduced. This leaves the series open-ended, with the potential for not just a sequel, but a whole second series. Personally, though I would love to read more of the characters’ lives, I hope that series remains unwritten, left to readers’ imaginations. After all that has happened to Karou, Akiva, and their friends, the hint of inconclusiveness seems right.
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy is YA literature at its finest, featuring a mature fantasy style that is beautiful and fierce and never watered down. Taylor takes readers on a gripping journey through two universes that will make them laugh, cry, and long in turn. Highly recommended, and a perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a very, very good story.