Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dreams of Gods and Monsters Book Review + Discusssion

613 pages in this book. A lot of pages compared to the other two, but it was mostly worth it.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the last book in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. If you don't know what this book is about, it's primarily about Akiva and Karou's attempt to bring together the chimaera and seraphim in order to destroy the new emperor of Eretz, Jael. That's the main plot, but there are other subplots that start and finish in this last book (including new characters). With that being said, I thought the book flowed easily and tied up nicely in the end. But... there were some minor things that I didn't like.

As always, the first half (the pros and cons) will be full of spoiler-free information. When you see red lettering, that means I'm doing my discussion, which include spoilers.


Some subplots were completed, but not fully completed as I would like it to be 

Thought the book could be condensed by removing unnecessary chapters

Ending was satisfying (which is good) but felt like it lacked something in order to make the ending even better



  Book is written beautifully

Creative chapter names

Nice development with certain characters

Very visual in describing a scene/setting 

Point of views not only from the chimaera and seraphim, but also from humans too

Satisfying and sweet ending

Discussion (with spoilers)

I liked the beginning of the book with introducing Eliza. I thought it was interesting to bring a new character for the start of the finale book. The mystery involving her was engaging and her role was very integral to the storyline. But man, when she "changed" in that short bit with her seraphim tongue-speaking voodoo language, it was very weird. Anyways, I liked that hinted relationship with her and Scarab towards of the end of the book; it wasn't expected since I always thought Gabriel and Eliza had something going on. GARBRIEL! I wished Gabriel had more of an appearance since he didn't have a major role in the story. I thought he was amiable and caring and felt like he's character didn't have a close end. I also thought the ending of Morgan's character could have been more. Morgan was a jealous, attention seeker, callous asshole who deserves the future repercussions of his actions. I wanted to see him suffer just a little bit more (I sound evil saying that). Same with Esther and Razgut, but I guess their fate is sealed. I felt like there was a lot going in the book that wasn't brought up into very later; like Melliel and the other Misgotten being held in prison by the Stelians. What ever happened to Eidolon who kept saying vague answers about the sky's feeling to Melliel? She just disappeared. Some characters that were introduced were not mentioned ever again, a negative that I find in this book. 
Even with many vanished characters, there were great characters. I absolutely loved Zuzanna and Mik. Not only were there a perspective from the chimaera and seraphim about the alliance and the rebellion of Jael, but there was the point of view of humans too. It was awesome to bring them to Eretz; their perspective displayed the brilliance of Eretz (the magic, the creatures, the whole entirety of it). It just makes me so happy, because they want to help Karou and they care for her and the alliance and the cause and... THEY'RE SUCH GREAT FRIENDS. Sigh. Plus, their humor was a nice contrast to some dark, serious stuff (yes, stuff) in the book. Remember when they, as well as Eliza, rode on the stormhunter with epicness and Mik proposed! That was so magical.
One character who completely changed for the better was Liraz. I loved her character development: angry and pretending-to-not-feel person to a caring and understanding one. Through out her transformation, her bad-assness was still maintained, making her too cool for school. Also, I loved that her and Ziri, at the end, are together. At first, I thought a love triangle was forming between Karou, Ziri, and Akiva. But it wasn't, and I loved that. Liraz grew as a person, and Ziri moved on and felt himself (since he was Thiago). Ziri broke my heart when he knew he would never be with Karou, but it made me smile when he was still willing to help bring the chimaera and seraphim together. Speaking of Karou and Akiva, I liked how it took a while for them to be comfortable again; it felt like they were going through some tough times, which ultimately felt tangible. It was nice that Dreams of Gods and Monsters wasn't saturated with romance-- there was just enough. When the two finished confronting Jael in the Vatican, and they turned invisible and flew to the sky, it was such a touching moment. It almost like I was watching a scene in a movie, I mean, they were holding and kissing each other as they ascended. In my mind, it was a beautiful sight. 
I have to applause the author, Laini Taylor, for seamlessly piecing everything together. A lot of things happened in this book, but as a reader, I felt at ease whilst reading. I can't imagine how difficult it was to bring the character, main idea, and subplots smoothly. I also have to applaud Taylor on her writing. Her writing was effortless and very detailed and full of imagery. I remember in this one scene where the only-then portal was sealed and the battle begun down in Eretz, it felt like I watching a scene in X-Men or something. 
The ending was too happy to me. Maybe I'm just nick-picking or maybe I've read to many sad endings. Well, I did thought the end was sweet-- Karou and Akiva's dream is turning into a reality! But there was something missing in the end. I don't know if the ending should have had more pages or it was rushed. There was something lacking, but otherwise, the ending was satisfying. Hey! You know, I'm glad it wasn't a Mockingjay or an Allegiant ending, so I shouldn't be complaining.

*Discussion Has Ended*

Over all, I enjoyed Dreams of Gods and Monsters very much. Although there were some negatives, it was a good closer for a good series.

4 out 5 stars

Friday, August 1, 2014

Saga Volume 1, 2, and 3 Review + Discussion

After hearing about Saga from many booktubers, I decided to check it out. I wanted to get into comic books and expand my horizons of just reading YA. So, I picked up Saga Volume 1, 2, and 3 from my local library and started reading them (and it was definitely awesome).


If you have not read Saga, it's about two ex-soldiers, from different planets and moons, who fall in love, and eventually have a baby. Essentially, Saga focuses on this family and their mission to find normalcy for their child during a tie of galactic war... OH MY LANDS DOESN'T THAT SOUND AWESOME?!!!

I decided to not do an individual review of each volume since I pretty much have the same opinions for all. Combining them all into one review makes it simple, and a fast one too. Also I would like to mention that this is a non-spoiler review until I....

It's okay, it's alright. I'll discuss highlights with spoilers in the Discussion part of this post (you'll see it in red, don't worry). Just scroll down the discussion if you would like to be spoiled.


Explicit illustrations that can be uncomfortable to some readers



 Very good storyline

Story telling is great

Love the narrator; Since it is told after the events in Saga has passed, I like how the narrator drops subtle hints about a certain character or a place 

Interesting charcters

Emotional shenanigans 

Humorous and clever moments  

Shows different point of views of not only the family, but other characters as well

Discussion (with spoilers)

To make this organized, I will discuss by each volume.

Saga Volume 1:

Can we talk about the opening scene? LOVED it! A lady with wings giving birth with her man, who has horns by the way, helping her deliver? And the fact that they're on the run makes the story really interesting. I adore Marko's and Alana's relationship with each other. They fight, they kiss, they're like any shipped couple! 

Oh boy, the introduction between the Robot-Guy TV head Prince and his partner was sooooooo uncomfortable; it literally scarred me for life. When the Horrors showed up with the full of page of them looking at you, the reader, totally awesome. I liked Izabel and her role in helping the family out, ultimately looking out for them. It was hilarious, and kinda worrying, when Marko was shot and he said, "Please tell Gwendolyn I loved her..." and Alana was like "who the heck is Gwendolyn?" Such a funny scene. Towards the end of the tradeback when the family is being fired by the Landfall soldiers and Alana shoots the soldier who shot her husband was such a badass moment.  And The Will saving the slave girl just broke my heart; it made me feel like The Will isn't so bad at all. At the very end where Izabel and the family finds the tree house, I found it so cool when Marko's parents showed up at the end with their warrior gear-- it was so awesome. 

Saga Volume 2:

I really liked seeing the flashback of Marko and his parents when they were younger; it was a nice opening. Marko's dad was caring, warmhearted, and so cool-- I mean, he knits! In the short time we get to see him, he interacted with his granddaughter like a natural. And the relationship between him and his daughter-in-law was in the works of blossoming... too sad, too sad (you know what I mean).

He's so cute. I hope to have a father-in-law just like him.
When Marko and his mom goes to find Izabel and they encounter that big, very big guy with his massive...yeah... no comment. But I do like to say that Marko's mom, Klara, is such a bad ass! I hope that as an older lady, I can kick ass like her. It was interesting, as the reader, to be introduced to Gwendolyn. Although I do love the family that Saga revolves around, it was awesome for Gwendolyn to team up with The Will (to hunt down the family, unfortunately). 

These kinds of pictures, the ones looking straight at the reader, are my faves.

I liked the action between the family and the Gwen-Will-Sophie (the slave girl they saved). It was epic and felt like I was watching a sci-fi film. I thought the end of this volume was perfect. My reaction was: "Oh no! Robot Prince Guy, do not catch the family!!  Don't you there you erotic robot! AHHHHH." 

Saga Volume 3:

There are new characters in this tradeback that I like: Upsher and Doff. They are amphibian-like creatures, none that we ever saw in the previous volumes. I liked their character development as they question if Marko's and Alana's relationship is worth covering for the planet's sake or theirs. This couple adds another dimension in the chase to find the family. 

Wonderful couple. Excited to see them in the future.

Alana is very much like us readers. Fangirling over her favorite author from her favorite book, I mean, I would definitely react that way too. Mr. Heist warmed my heart by letting the family rest at his place. Mr. Heist's death broke my heat; he and Marko's mom had something going on too. The Will's illusions of his lover, The Stalk, very much reminded me of Rick's illusions of Lori (from the Walking Dead). I suddenly felt sympathy for this character, knowing he's continuously in mourning. In this volume, I also feel something towards the Lying Cat with her, I think it's a female, facial expressions.

To me, I like these two characters.

 Again, with the previous volume, the end was action-packed. Even Hazel mentioned it in her narration. The fight between Marko, Gwendolyn, and Alana at the top of the lighthouse was something similar to some scene in a sci-fi film. My heart stopped for a second when Alana was pushed by Marko. I was like, "NOOOOO. THE BABY!!!" But then she comes flying, holding Hazel. SO COOL. To me, it was such a plot twist when The Will's sister comes to visit him at the hospital. Previously, I thought she was a man, but she wasn't, and the readers get to see that The Will has a sister named Sophie. SOPHIE. The little girl that The Will named..... ahh. It breaks my heart (in a good way of course!). The last page of this tradeback made me so joyful: Alana sporting long hair whilst Baby Hazel, who's a little grown up, is standing. SO CUTE.

All in all (is that a phrase?), I enjoyed Saga. As a person who is just starting to get into comic book, I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Action-packed, emotional feelings, bad-ass scenarios, and unique characters, what can a reader need more of? 

4.5 out of 5 stars