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on 27 March 2015
It was always going to be hard to end a series like this, whose first two instalments Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight, were so incredible I struggled to find words to describe how much. Worry not, as Laini Taylor did an exceptional job with Dreams of Gods and Monsters with more incredibly written prose and a beautiful ending (although I’m still sad it had to end—I could read this series forever).

After the Jael and his ‘angels’ landed in St. Peter’s Square, the world is left wondering and in wonder. Karou is trying to broker peace between the Misbegotten and Chimaera, while Akiva and Liraz are still reeling from the bloody events in the throne room. As always, I don’t want to say much about the story, but you can look forward to stolen wishes, a devil on television, speaking in tongues, healing pools, and Zuze and Mik making the best entrance ever.

Reading it was bittersweet. I didn’t want this series to end, and each word just made me love all the characters and the divinely crafted worlds all the more. I loved how past intertwined with present, Taylor expertly weaving the story threads together to a very fitting end. I found all the beauty of the first two books here—the love and wonder of the first, mixed with the heartache and graft of the second.

While I enjoyed the new directions the story took, I almost resented parts of it because I wanted more precious page time with the original characters I’ve come to love. The introduction of a couple of new players, notably Eliza, distracted me, although I understand why the author did it. What I most liked though, was how the book presented the ambiguity of right or wrong. Revenge is a huge theme and I was nicely surprised by how it affected certain characters in the book.

I am being deliberately vague but I wholeheartedly don’t want to spoil anything. If you haven’t started or finished this series, then I assure you it’s definitely worth it. I will definitely be reading anything and everything Laini Taylor writes in the future.
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"Once upon a time, and angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts and started the apocalypse."

With chief bad guy and leader of the angel armies Jael and his seraphim army The Dominion cross into the real world (landing in The Vatican – naturally!) in search of the human weapons they need to end the war with the chimera, Elsewhere and the mortal world meet in spectacular style. Karou takes control of the chimera army, with a hope of rebuilding their shattered home world of Eretz, and Akiva rallies the Misbegotten warrior angels against their erstwhile leader, while humanity awakens to the reality of angels on earth.

Oh my poor little heart!

Dreams and Gods and Monsters is the epic and fitting conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. And it’s damn near perfect! The only thing that ruins the book is the ending. As in the fact that it does end, and I’m now left with a huge hole in my reading life that it will take a pretty amazing series to fill.

I loved the melding of magic and reality in DoGaM. Book one was a little more magic, book two was a little more reality, whereas book three has a lovely mix of the two. Jael’s PR war to win over the humans in order to secure our weaponary is wonderfully believable! There was still plenty of the incredibly lush and gorgeous world building I’ve come to expect from Laini Taylor, so vivid and descriptive I’d swear she’d been there and is recalling it from memory. At no point do her worlds seem contrived or jarring. There's nowhere where a dues ex machina pops up to save the day that hasn't had the mythical groundwork laid out for it. The next time I read a particularly bad example of that in YA, I'll return to this series to cleanse my reading palate!

This is the book where devil and angel come together too. The uneasy alliance between the chimera and misbegotten armies as they unit against the graver threat reflects the fragile trust rebuilding between Karou and Akiva. I was so happy to see this pair together again, even if they still don’t see eye to eye for much of the story. Laini Taylor is too good a writer to let their history be swept under the rug with a kiss, but with the future of both their races in their hands, they begin to start again. Both characters are battered, bruised and irrevocably changed. Gone is the carefree and mischievious Karou, now a strong and determined leader of what is left of her people. Gone is the stoic and vengeful Akiva, now fighting against the very system which created him. Stripped of everything we knew about them in DoSaB, what remains is the hope for peace that they once dared to dream of. The character arcs in this book, and the series, have been fantastic.

But as much as I love Karou and Akiva (one of my favourite YA couplings ever), they’ve been usurped in my affections by Liraz and Ziri. Nowhere is the uneasy alliance between chimera and seraphim more obvious than with these two. Angel Liraz is probably my favourite character of the series. The ultimate badass, she was willing to kill Akiva for his relationship with a chimera, so her gradual shift in seeing past the body that chimera Ziri is in to the soul inside is utterly beautiful. Anyone who had read the books can probably guess the parts where I was in tears! It goes to show how incredibly detailed and well written all of the characters are. Every character goes through the emotional wringer in this series!

Still can’t stand Zuzanna though!

I put this book down stunned, shaken and with a huge crazy smile on my face. I’m so sad to leave this fantastic and incredible world behind, but the journey from the beginning of book one to the end of book three has been nothing short of incredible. If you think you might have even the tiniest interest in this series, I urge you to read it. I promise you will not be disappointed!

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on 7 September 2015
It's been my experience that conclusions to trilogies are the weakest entry and this was no exception. The Eliza story took up too much time and the resolution involving her was unsatisfactory. The Jael plot line felt wrapped up too easily and quickly because of it. I would have preferred the space in the book allocated to his stellian family who could have had a more active role. It felt very much like room left for book 4. I had greatly enjoyed the style and world building in books 1 and 2 but in this one, I felt the overblown wordiness became grating and pulled me out of the story at times. However, still an enjoyable read and a great trilogy on the whole.
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on 20 August 2014
I love the first two books in this series and devoured them in a week. Therefore I was so excited to get my hands on this final installment. It started off slowly and I had hopes that this would quickly pick up...but it never did. New characters were introduced who, frankly, I didn't care about. So many chapters were devoted to the new character, Eliza, and I felt no connection to her at all. I honestly didn't care what she was doing back on earth as I wanted to know what was happening in Eretz. Every chapter that focused on her I just wanted to rush through and felt like a deviation to the proper story. I also felt her character development was jumpy and that it didn't make much sense and that she was only added in to be an 'information dump'.

I also felt that the relationship between Karou and Akiva was starting to get a bit tiring. There's only so many times you can read a 'should I, shouldn't I' internal dialogue before it gets repetitive and tedious. Their relationship doesn't seem to development much at all through this book and I didn't get the excitement from these two that I did in the last two books.

I found the conclusion of the story unfulfilling. I felt many characters didn't get their comeuppance and made me feel that these loose ends weren't tied off. Not much seems to happen through the course of the story and, unlike the other two novels, I really had to force myself to carry on reading. It took me about 2 weeks to get trough this book and on a number of occasions I was tempted to give up completely.

Rarely have I been so disappointing in the conclusion of a trilogy. I had initially felt that this trilogy would become one of my favorites but now I feel that it will just be relegated to just another series I read and will quickly forget.
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on 27 January 2016
As a whole this trilogy has been magnificent. A real pleasure to read, this final book takes the reader on a journey of war, peace, friendship and betrayal while every character walks the thin line of life and death. It was a fantastic conclusion to the series.

Beginning immediately where the last book left off, we find Akiva and Karou facing the ultimate challenge of uniting their people against the greater evil presented to them by the emperor. But after hundreds of years of war, can the angels and chimaera put their differences aside, or will their long bred hatred of one another be rooted too deep? But as destiny and prophecies are fulfilled what shape will the future take as lives are lost and the end of days draws nearer. Can Karou and Akiva win against the empire or will the world be changed forever…?

I finished the second book of this trilogy “dreams of blood and starlight’ well over a year ago so it took a couple of chapters for me to get back into the story, to remember the characters, their names and histories - and their past meetings and who had conflicted with who. Still it didn't take me too long to recall everything and I was quickly hooked back into the story.

I love Laini Taylor’s writing style. Her prose is magical and lyrical to the point it almost flows of the page. The descriptions are vivid and bring each scene to life with a breathtaking onslaught of sensory images which continued through all three books to astound and amaze me.

The old characters were all as loveable as I remembered and I liked the splash of drama and intrigue the new ones added to the story. The connections between each person (man/angel and beast) also read genuine and I was sad to say goodbye to these amazing characters when the book ended.

In terms of the story the plot was action packed and fast paced. There were many surprises, some ‘oh my god’ moments and ultimately, a very satisfying ending with a twist that I hope will one day lead to a further/spin off story.

Overall words cannot express how much I have enjoyed reading these books and they will forever have a prized place on my bookshelf. Liana Taylor is a first class storyteller and I look forward to reading her future books. I give a Dream of Gods and Monsters 5 stars!
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on 8 September 2014
Let me start by saying I did enjoy the last book but it didn't have as much as a wow factor as the previous two. I devoured the first two books of this trilogy and finished them within a couple of days where as the last book has taken me a couple of weeks. Dreams of God's and monsters picks up pretty much where days of blood and starlight left us. Jeal has learned of earth and plans to gain weapons and pretty much conquer whatever worlds he can get his hands on. With the threat of jeal the chimera and sephrium join together and decide the only way to defeat him is initially to join together. With the chimera and sephrium working together akivia and karou also have to work together. The love story from this point on is pretty much about them being able to rebuild their personal relationship with each other and a couple of longing looks. It is difficult to comment on the rest of the story without giving away the ending and here lies my first issue with dreams of God's and monsters. Considering that the main villain has come to earth to conquer and two warring sides of angels and demons have come to fight together to defeat a common enemy after decades of war there wasn't a lot of action. When the battles did come they were short and few and far between and when it came to defeating jeal it was more so persuasion than action that made the big scary warlord give in. My other issue was the ending or should I say more so the build up to the end, rather than giving the reader bits of information to build up to the overall conclusion of the story we are told everything at the end and its pretty complex. This may be down to the imaginative way the author writes as she has such a amazing and unique way of writing however it's a lot to take in when the book is supposed to be winding down. That being said it is an amazing trilogy and laini Taylor has easily become one of my favourite authors, the last book isn't bad it is very very good I was just expecting a bit more and was happy to say the two main characters get a happy ending.
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on 14 August 2014
I really enjoyed this book and it was a nice finish to the series. I am a bit sad that I won't hear more of Karou, Akiva, and Zuzana though as those were my favourite characters throughout the whole series.

I thought this book tied things up nicely and explained things in more detail so I understood the world more. There were a few bits towards the end which confused me a little or were a bit more far out but I went with it and I personally do not feel it detracted from the story.

The story starts up where the last one finishes in the dessert of Morocco. The Serpaphim have come to Earth and shown themselves to the humans in order to acquire arms to take back to Eretz to fight the Chimeara. This would be extremely disastrous and so the Chimeara team up with the the Misbegotton Seraphims to stop him.

There are a number of new characters who make an appearance in this book, some who only have a small part to play, while others like Eliza and Scarab, have bigger parts to play. I really liked Eliza and was so intrigued by her throughout the whole book.
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on 27 April 2014
I hugely enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy. If you're reading this review, I bet you did too, and I bet nothing I could say could put you off buying it. I absolutely couldn't wait to read it, and on the whole, this final book doesn't disappoint.

All the old characters make a return, along with some interesting new ones, and both the war-focussed and the romantic plotlines are satisfyingly resolved. This is an extremely long book (I read it on my kindle, but the hardcopy must be around 600 pages), but between the intriguing plot, engaging characters, and strong writing style, it never dragged - though I found it to be slightly less of a page-turner than the previous instalment.

This series has always trod a strange line between YA paranormal romance/urban fantasy, and the sort of full-blown high fantasy that George R Martin would be proud of.For me, the first book fell more into the former category, especially towards the end, while the second book prioritised war and history over forbidden love. This instalment falls somewhere in-between, combining scenes of relatively normal life on earth with full-scale battles in another world.

I enjoy both of those genres, but I prefer this series when it focusses on the latter, and gives the reader strange creatures and conspiracies in other worlds rather than concentrating on the romance between an angel and a (more or less) human girl. For some reason, the relationship between Karou and Akiva doesn't do much for me. He doesn't capture my imagination, and they never seem to have much chemistry. Things were better in Book Two, when there was real tension and distance between them and I started to warm to their story, but here, the author seemed to be manufacturing reasons to keep them apart, and it didn't really capture my imagination. It's odd, because the relationship between the two supporting characters, Mik and Zuzana, is always both touching and funny, and a new cross-species love affair that sprung up in this book really touched me too.

The more fantastical side of things continued to be very well done. We get more history, more folklore and more of the ongoing war between chimera and angels, along with lots of internal conflicts within the two sides. We finally get to see the Stelians, a different race of angels with a totally different culture and history and different powers. There are all sorts of revelations and drama. With the new ruler of the angels "off-screen" for 95% of the time and the White Wolf dead, it sometimes felt like we were lacking an immediately loathable villain. The latter really made the second book for me, so though I couldn't regret his well-deserved death, I did miss his effect on the plot. That said, Ziri's attempts to portray him to keep the army under control and the internal struggles it causes him were some of the highlights of the book. Generally, I really couldn't fault the fantasy side of things.

From reading some other reviews, I suspect I'm in a minority here, but one of my very favourite aspects was the completely new plot involving a genetics PHD student who has terrifying, literally heart-stopping dreams about the end of the world, in which the apocalypse is her fault, and who is hiding some initially undisclosed secret about herself and her family. The "what on earth is going on here" aspect of this reminded me of the sense of mystery I loved so much in the first book, when you didn't know why Karou was collecting teeth for monsters. And when the answers were finally revealed, the backstory and revelations it led to were amazing.

Overall, not quite a perfect book, due mainly to the sometimes lacklustre romance, but a really fantastic one all the same, and absolutely worth a read. A fitting end to a great series.
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on 2 May 2014
This series of three books has enchanted me from the offset, and the final installment certainly did not disappoint. I was apprehensive reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters as I've felt disillusioned by the endings of so many trilogies. The book tied up enough loose ends to satisfy my need for a definitive conclusion, but Laini Taylor does not sport with the intelligence of her readers by over-explaining every detail. Enough is left to the imagination to keep the sense of magic and wonder whilst still leaving the reader with a feeling of satisfaction when they finish the book.

As with the two previous novels, this book is beautifully descriptive without being overly flowery, and has enough action, romance and humour for it to appeal to a wider audience than just the predominately female young adults it is targeted at. I would recommend this trilogy to anyone who enjoys Phillip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, Deborah Harkness, JK Rowling or Neil Gaiman.
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on 10 May 2014
I really liked the first two books in this series, but i felt that this book wasn't in the same vein as the first two. The angels coming to Earth was a good move in my opinion, it bought the fight right to our doorstep. But i do not feel that Taylor explored this enough or other parts of the story, i felt that certain character's story could have been explored more.

Also the war between the angels and the chimera felt very real to me in the second book and there was a certain kind of desperation with the fighting in the second book that i did not feel was in this book. I was never worried about any of the characters dying and did not feel as connected to them as i did in the previous two books.

I did enjoy this book, but i do not think that it ended the series as well as i expected it to. A lot of things felt unfinished and i felt that the ending was very rushed.
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