Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Plot Summary:
Karou has taken the rebellion from Thiago with the help of Ziri and walks a very thin line with the rest of her comrades. Meanwhile, Eliza's past returns to haunt her and is trying desperately to figure out why the Seraphim and Jael have come to Earth. For Akiva, he has to find a way to convince the remaining Misbegotten that by joining the Chimera they will be able to end Jael's tyranny and reclaim Astrae. For Zuzana and Mik, they remain at Karou's side to help her resurrect Chimera who were slaughtered by Thiago for defiance.  When Akiva returns with the Misbegotten, tensions are high especially when they are told that chimera and serigraphs will be fighting side be side. Although Akva and Karou are holding on to their dream with both hands, things start to fall apart when insurrections arise and allies betray them. With a plan in hand, Akiva and Karou will have to go to Earth to stop Jael from bringing earthly weapons to Eretz, but with one small catch: no more blood will be shed and that proves difficult with Liraz who wants Jael's head on a platter. What should have been a rock solid plan, turns to dust when Akiva is pushed into the Earthen portal with Karou, leaving Ziri and Liraz behind to fight off the Dominion, which leaves him devastated. However, with Karou by his side, they must sneak into the Vatican to convince Jael to leave peacefully, which doesn't exactly goes to plan. Lastly, when Eliza's past is exposed, she spins out of control and the only ones who can save her are Zuzana and Mik. Who exactly is Eliza and why is she linked to all of this. Moreover, after using Sirithat, the Stelian Queen, Scarab, is on a mission to find and destroy Akiva because his powers have the ability to not only bring an end to the Continuum, but release an evil that is laying patiently in the dark. 
 
Critical Evaluation:
HOLY COW! EPIC! Thank you jury duty for keeping me locked in a room with nothing better to do than devour this final installment. I was kinds of worried, at first, that if Taylor introduced any more characters, my head would spin. However, Eliza's story is essential in tying the series together. I will also admit that I am so unbelievably happy that Eliza, whose ancestors originated from a biblical story that's only recognized in Ethiopia, is, indeed, African. Honestly, as much as love YA fiction, it's still hard to find stories where there are important characters that are of multiple ethnicity so BRAVO Laini Taylor for including a part of biblical history that readers may not familiar with. Although the characters in this story relate to Christian mysticism (angels and demons), Taylor doesn't bash readers over the head with the idea of heaven vs. hell. In fact, what she does is pose the simple question of other realms being spliced together, unintentionally, through time and space. When readers find out about the faerers and the cataclysm, everything will make sense. More important, readers will learn the real reason why the Serpahim and Chimera loathe each other and it is a bit unsettling. Although the Stelians are seen as ambivalent and selfish, they actually bear a burden that forces them to not pick a side because they are trying to pick up the mess that the Magi started thousands of years ago. I did find myself hurrying through the book because I just wanted Akiva and Karou to have a happy ending; however, Taylor's decision to include final part of the story with the Stelians I think was a great way to not leave any loose ends. Granted, readers will be left for another installment, Taylor actually leaves enough room to begin a whole new series that could easily pick up where Akiva and Karou left off. Great story and I did tear up when Akiva and Karou finally went home together. Amazing trilogy and I can't wait to see what Laini Taylor has planned next!

Information about the Author:
According to Amazon.com:
Laini Taylor is the author of the National Book Award Finalist Lips Touch: Three Times, as well as the novels Blackbringer and Silksinger. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter.

Genre:
Teen Fantasy, Teen Supernatural Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Dreams of Gods & Monsters:
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  • Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Awards & Recognition:
From Amazon.com:

*In the final book of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Taylor revives the strong interweaving of reality and fantasy that gave the first story such cross-genre appeal."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[An] ambitious, gorgeously edgy drama lit up by its coruscating characters and prose."— Kirkus

"New revelations, characters, multiple love stories, and constant plot twists and suspense will not disappoint Taylor's many fans."— Booklist

"For all the well-made trappings of fantasy and horror, the patchwork amalgamation of myth and legend, the machinations of plot, and the colorful menagerie of ensemble characters, this story remains, at heart, a romance-clear-eyed, tender, and satisfying."—The Horn Book

*"Though readers will be loath to leave this world behind, the trilogy ends with a sweet buffet of just deserts; the best balm for the bereft may be to start the series again from the beginning."—The Bulletin (starred review)

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Deborah Takahashi
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My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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