REVIEW: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Dreams of Gods and Monsters pretty much starts straight off from the previous book, Days of blood and starlight with Karou having killed Thiago and Ziri now in his body with nobody else apart from Issa and Haxaya. Haxaya is now in the body of Ten so they don’t arouse any suspicion, Ten had to go. Jael has forced himself on to earth and people around the world have started to praise him as the second coming. Akiva and Ziri disguised as Thiago have come to an agreement to join forces and not everything about this alliance has been easy, let me tell you that.
Enter our new protagonist, Eliza Jones. Eliza Jones is a 24 year old researcher in Washington DC where she is working as an intern and getting her PhD. As a young girl, she escaped a cult that worshipped the angel Elazael, they believe her to be Elazael reincarnated. Recently, she has had visions of monsters coming from the sky and when a recently abandoned camp of the chimera is found, she realises that her visions are coming true and seeing the corpses triggers more visions.
The angel Liraz is attacked by Haxaya who is in Ten’s body as Liraz killed her in a previously incarnation. Ziri in Thiago’s body rescues Liraz and reveals who he is to her and they begin to form a bond. Ziri hates the looks that people gives him including those of Karou, so he needed to tell somebody the truth and decides that person to be Liraz. Haxaya attacked Liraz with her hamsas and now determined to stop any attack like this from happening again in their army, Akiva figures out how to make the seraph soldiers immune to the effects of the chimeran hamsas. Akiva and Karou touch for the first time and feel each others warmth due to this.
The seraphim find their hide out in Eretz and attack. Ziri leads the charge but eventually is lost in the chaos. Liraz forces Akiva to go with Karou to earth instead of her as she will continue on the fight for all of them if they don’t come back. Akiva, Karou, Zuzannah and Mik and a chimera soldier come to earth in the hopes of getting Jael to flee earth and bring Jael back to Eretz. On their way to get Jael from the Vatican, they come across Eliza speaking Seraphim as she has now been outed as the long lost child from the church of Elazael. Esther, Karou’s fake grandmother helps them out in the Vatican but once Karou and Akiva have gone to find Jael, it is revealed that she made a deal with Jael for the mining rights of Eretz and throws Zuzannah and Mik out of her hotel room. Unknowing to Esther, Mik steals the last of her wishes, proving that indeed she was lying to Karou who asked for them before this incident.
Zuzannah tries to get a message to Karou about what Esther did, but fails at doing so, so the plan goes ahead. Karou and Akiva attempt to infiltrate Jael’s lodgings but are expected. Razgut of course told Jael everything about Hamsas so tries to take down Akiva with a chimeran hamsa but alas it does not work as he is now invulnerable to them. Using a spell, Akiva sets an incendiary charge on Jael and force him to return to Eretz unarmed along with all of his soldiers.
Whilst that is going on, Zuzanna and Mik wish for Eliza to become her best possible self and she regains her memories as Elazael and becomes a seraphim once again in front of their eyes. She tells them of the story of how she came to earth and the creation of Eretz. Akiva and Karou find a portal that was not destroyed and fly through it back to Eretz and find Thiagos body hanging with it desecrated. Thinking that Jael’s soldiers have won, they feel grief and hurt for all those that have been lost, but it is eventually revealed that it was a disguise so that if Jael had come through victorious, he would not question a thing. Liraz managed to convert the rest of Jael’s forces over to their side and thus Jael is imprisoned, Liraz was very busy it seems because she also managed to save Ziri’s soul and gleaned it from Thiago’s body. She is not hopeful though as she wasn’t sure that she done it right and gleaned his soul into a bottle instead of a thurible but both Liraz and Karou and glad to realise that it worked and he is resurrected from a piece of his body that Karou took from his original body. Eliza tells Zuzanna and Mik of another portal and they return to Eretz in time for celebrations. This is when Eliza tells the rest of the gang what happened to her.
Now here is the bit that was kind of tagged on to the story and is seen as not needed by many. Whilst all of these previous events have been going on, it is revealed that our favourite seraphim, Akiva has been followed by the stelian missionaries that were planning to kill him as he has been tearing the fabric of the universe apart by not tithing after his spells. Though upon meeting Akiva, they realise that he is the son of Festival, a stelian that was taken by Joram. In the previous book, it was revealed that Jael had been the one to kill her. When Akiva eventually tells them this and that he has no idea of what damage he was doing, the stellians decide to give him a fair chance but he must learn of the stelian ways in order to live. He agrees but knows that Karou had plans of resurrecting the chimera in the thurribles and puts their plans on hold to be together. She visits him when she can but she knows that they both have bigger destinies and must get on with them even though they love each other to pieces. This is how Eliza fits in as well as she was a part of the prophecy that the Stelians believe and that they must face and battle the beasts that threaten Eretz together.
So this last part was sprinkled through out the series, I found that was easier to leave it until the end of this review to bring it to the light, as it just feels like Laini Taylor tacked it on to the end of the story because she had to fill up the word count. Though it’s great to find out why Akiva is so different from the rest of his kin, I feel like this was not the way to do it as it was just added to the end of the series. Though we did know about the Stelians in the previous books, I feel like if this part of the story had come in sooner, it would have made more sense and would have not left the reader thinking what the hell. It’s like we had the end to the series which should have been the true end but another end stuck on top of that to tie up the loose ends. I would rather have had a happily ever after than this ending as it was not needed.
As always Laini Taylor, provides the reader with exquisite writing and poetry of words that should not be missed, though the ending was not quite not what I wanted, this series overall is such a great one, and I thoroughly recommend it with all of my heart.
4 out of 5 stars.