Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3)
Laini Taylor
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published April 8, 2014

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About Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. 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.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as – from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond – humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

My Review

At last! The final book in the series. This is my second read-through, and there were so many moments in this one that I really looked forward to.

There were also some pretty dark things I had forgotten about. Karou experiences some trauma that’s pretty graphic. See the trigger warnings below.

I think what I love best about this series is what it says about the power of love to heal a breach caused by hate. The story shows how destructive hate can be, not only to between two groups that hate each other, but the way nursing the hate causes its own corruption, too.

While the earlier books in the series introduce the idea of the star-crossed love and the two groups at war, DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS focuses on the process of healing that must happen in order for the warfare to truly end.

And okay, all that is really awesome, and I’m totally a fan, but the characters make the series truly memorable. Karou and Akiva. Zuzana, Ziri, Leroz, Issa, and Brimstone. All completely unforgettable.

So yes. I loved all three of these books, and I would probably read them all for a third time at some point. It’s the kind of story with the kind of characters that you just want to revisit every so often. The kind of story that reminds you about the power of love and the fact that it takes courage and work for those good things to triumph over evil, but it can and does happen.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 16 up.

Most characters are chimaera or angels.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content – Trigger Warning
Kissing between boy and girl. References to sex and nudity.

One scene shows a character trying to rape another character. It’s graphic and intense. There are some references to other rapes, but those are not shown on scene.

Spiritual Content
Chimaera and angels each have myths about their origins involving the gods and goddesses they worship.

Some characters have magic, though the magic comes with a price, usually a toll in pain. Other characters have coins that represent wishes, in large or small denominations.

Violent Content – Trigger Warning
Some descriptions of battle or fighting and situations of peril. References to war. References to some grisly murders and mutilation of bodies. Some references to torture.

One scene shows a character trying to rape another character. It’s graphic and intense.

Drug Content

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.