by Laini Taylor
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 1 2 3 4 5
Series: Book 3 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series
Cover: This is probably my favourite cover of the series. I really like the bright yellow colour.
Writing: (1/5) Laini Taylor's writing was pretty and elaborate, but who really cares with the last book? This book was a whooping 613 pages and I felt like nothing happened. All the pretty writing was padding to basically no real content. This past year I went to liking pretty writing to thinking it was the bane of fiction. Why? Because pretty writing fools readers into thinking a book is good. How? The book goes on for pages and pages of pretty writing, but when you look back at the book or even a series, nothing happened. And I really mean nothing happens.
Writing is a tool. You're supposed to use it to convey what you're picturing. If you're spending lots of text trying to describe something, you're doing it wrong. Especially when a couple of simple sentences or even one could have sufficed.
For example, Laini Taylor kept describing the sky as "bruised". I guess this was supposed to sound poetic or something, but what the hell does that mean? What does the sky exactly look like? What was the point of saying it was bruised when all that really does is cause confusion? It's unnecessary.
And that's pretty writing. It's unnecessary. Look at any book that has pretty writing and scrap that away and look at the content. The story.
Because at the end of the day, fiction is about stories. Writing is a tool. If you want pretty writing, write poetry. With poetry, beautiful words are the point.
The author also has this annoying way of overusing cliff-hangers. No, it's not enough to have books end in cliff-hangers, let's make one chapter contain a billion cliff-hangers.
Another thing about this book that absolutely disgusts me is the author's refusal to capitalize the word God. If you have something against religion, that's not my problem, believe what you want, but I find this extremely disrespectful to people who do believe in God. And if you still don't give a damn, then at least use basic grammar rules. When you're referring to someone specific, you're supposed capitalize the word.
Setting: (1/5) I don't know what to say about the setting. It changed so many times that I didn't have time to catch where the hell we were before we moved on to another setting and point of view.
Plot: (1/5) Plot. Yeah I wish there was a plot. Instead of completing this series, the author does something I've never seen anybody do. Dreams of Gods & Monsters felt like an introduction to a completely new series. It didn't end this series, not really. So you read the book expecting it to be an epic conclusion to the series, and then the author introduces two new characters and they become a plot tumor. They start taking over the plot with this completely stupid and irrelevant plotline that ends up being what the whole book is about.
I think the author got bored with this series and didn't know how or care to end it. She actually had another series before this one, the Dreamdark series. It's a trilogy but the author never bothered to release the third and last book.
Main Character: (1/5) Karou is such a feeble main character. She's flat. What the hell is her personality supposed to be? In the second book, Akiva takes over being the main character and in this one this new character, Eliza, becomes the main character. I really, really feel the author gets way too bored with her characters. She keeps changing it around instead of trying to develop the characters and stories she already has. She adds more flat new ones instead of trying to develop the ideas she had into something with more depth.
Villain: (1/5) What an unsatisfying and pretty unbelievable way to beat a villain.
Other Characters: (1/5)
Akiva: Akiva goes to being basically the main character to getting shoved to the side. There's also this stupid revelation about him that makes him the most unbelievably and stupidly overpowered thing since Jean Grey.
Zuzana and Mik: I was wondering why these two got so much screen time. It didn't make any sense, they're pointless to the plot. Then I found out Zuzana was a fan favourite so author put her in more and then it made sense.
Liraz and Ziri: Liraz and Ziri's relationship makes no sense and why does every single bloody character in fiction just HAVE to be paired up?
Eliza: Her backstory is pointlessly disgusting, not to mention she's a totally pointless and random character that suddenly becomes the center of the story.
Scarab: Queen of the Stelians. While I think we wanted to know more about the Stelians, what we found was the stupidest thing ever. Not to mention Scarab's (stupid name) personality was all over the place. Was she a vicious overpowered queen (how overpowered she was was laughable) or an inexperienced girl I don't know.
Romance: (1/5) Akiva and Karou are so annoying, either get together or don't, stop wasting everyone's time. Which they did. Waste everybody's time. Every second they basically appeared on screen.
Overall: (7/35) One of the worst conclusions to a series I've seen. Don't pick this book up. Don't pick this series up and don't pick any more books from this author, because she's proven with this one and her previous, Dreamdark series, that she will not give fans a proper ending.