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Cuddlebuggery Book Blog > Paranormal Romance

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor 
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By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

***There may or may not be spoilers here. It all depends upon whether or not you’ve read the last two books, and if you want absolutely nothing about the end revealed or not. I keep things vague, and do not give away any details, but mentioning the conclusion at all could potentially ruin things for you.*** 

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She lived in a city of wonder, behind an inauspicious door, in a refuge for beasts. She ached from something missing, but cherished her strange life just the same.

This girl eventually found love in a killer, who left her adrift yet also helped her find herself. She was given joy and had it stolen. She abandoned comforts to raise an army, to atone for her sins. She sacrificed what she could and wished for the impossible. Her heart ached and her mind hated. She dreamt of worlds as she destroyed them.

The Shadow Prince

Honestly, I was really hoping that The Shadow Prince would bring something new into the Greek mythology genre, because I was getting sick of being bombarded by ALL THE PERCY JACKSON THINGS. (I liked the series in its time, sure, but really. Enough is enough.) And look, Persephone myth!

In short, despite my misgivings about the romance aspect, I was looking forward to reading this.

That said, this is decidedly a DNF review. I had to stop at around the halfway mark feeling kind of like this:

I’m not quite sure where my main issue was, but I think it started with the characters. Despain does do a nice job of differentiating between her dual PoVs, to her credit, but both of the protagonists, Daphne and Haden, had voices that constantly grated on my nerves.

Daphne is definitely the better of the two. She seems somewhat(?) sensible and, I thought, maybe even likable after a long while of trying to get used to her.

Split Second

5 Reasons I Can’t Believe You’re Reading This When You Could Be Reading Split Second:

1. Trevor.

Trevor is amazing. He’s one of those all-around super-fantastic, incredibly nice guy book boyfriends (you know, the Levis and Hectors and Tuckers and have I mentioned how much I love this trend?) He’s kind of the best thing ever and should be enough to pick up the book right there.

2. Addie.

Oh Addie, sweet Addie. She’s just so damn nice. I can’t figure it out, she’s no where near the level of BAMF as my general favorite heroines (Cath and probably 100 others I’m not thinking of at the moment excluded) but there’s something about her that gets under your skin and makes you want to snuggle her up and smite anyone who hurts her with the fiery vengeance of a thousand suns.

Once Addie let someone in, she was impossible to forget.

Don't You Forget About Me

In 2013, I did something I never usually did: I didn’t review some books that I had read. It’s not that I didn’t like them because most of them were really good, some even my favorites of the entire year. But there was always something that got in the way or I got distracted or lazy or started drinking… you get the picture. So in order to feature some of these awesome books, I’ve decided to do a new mini-review feature. I’m hoping to be able to do this every few months or so depending on how much I read. This will leave me with more time to read and not stress about reviewing everything, but at the same time I get to share my thoughts with everyone. The best part? These books are already out! Yay!

Dear Books I Forgot to Review,

I totes didn’t forget about you!

(Hover over the covers for the synopsis and links!)

The Dream Thieves

Disappointing, really.

I think it important to point out that The Raven Boys, against my prior expectations, was to me a surprisingly enjoyable (if relatively safe) piece of YA melodrama, entertaining enough that I found myself looking forward to the rest of Steifvater’s series with, at the very least, the requisite level of interest necessary to set aside time enough to read her first of three follow-ups.

After The Dream Thieves, however, my desire to see this story through to its end has waned.

It isn’t that this novel is a truly terrible one.  It does not make any significant blunders whilst going about its merry way, nor does it strike me as overly offensive for one particular reason or another.

No.  This book’s sin lies in the fact that it is, above all else, dull.  It never, despite its many mysteries and unresolved storylines, proves interesting enough to be wholly absorbing, its world so thin in its ability to enthrall that the smallest real-world distraction can pull one away from its few charms.

The Iron Traitor

You know what? Julie Kagawa is an evil genius. If that wasn’t evident with the ending in The Iron Queen or even with The Immortal Rules, she definitely drove the point home with The Iron Traitor‘s ending. I’m a little stunned this time around because I’m left wondering how she’ll manage to end this thing in the next book. You’ll have to excuse me if this review seems a little scattered, but the last few pages blew my little socks off into next Tuesday.

It’s interesting that I’d have such a strong reaction to this installment because for the majority of the novel, I didn’t feel it was as strong as Kagawa’s previous works. The tone is more subdued, the witty banter is not as frequent and the overall novel just feels, for a lack of a better word, low. In hindsight, I guess that all makes sense because THAT ENDING.

Split Second

At this point in my reading career, I am utterly convinced that Kasie West writes books just for me. No one can dissuade me that she goes to her desk at the end of her day and says, “Now, what amazingly cute story can I write to make Steph Sinclair explode into a confetti parade of happiness?” The thing is, after reading a grand total of three of her books in one year, she has never failed me on this front. The humor is spot on, the characters are entirely lovable, and I know without a doubt when reading one of her books my feels are in good hands.

I was surprised to find that Split Second not only is told from Addie’s point of view, but her best friend Laila’s as well. This worried me because I obviously was going into this book looking for three things: Addie and Trevor, Trevor and Trevor.

Ashes to Ashes

I can pretty much bucket all of my problems with this book into two main categories: Melissa Walker’s version of the afterlife (which I realize is entirely personal) and the way the plot unfolds. This ended up being a little more rant-y than I initially intended, so I’ve included a healthy dose of Dean and his wonderful facial expressions to make it a more pleasurable experience

Issue 1: The Afterlife

In Ashes to Ashes, the afterlife is full of ghosts hovering around their unknowing loved ones as their presence heals the living, helping them to move on and therefore allowing the ghosts to basically level up to the next plain of consciousness where they will supposedly find peace and oneness with the universe. While I can get behind leveling up to peace and oneness, the hanging around watching the people you love be sad sounds incredibly depressing to me. We’re told it’s okay because normal ghosts (of course, Callie is special) are kind of like the Dolls in the show Dollhouse.

Shadows

Shadows is the kind of thing that’s just up my alley.  A kick ass protagonist, nephilim, enough sexual tension to cut the cheese.  Wait, I think I’m getting my sayings mixed up…

At one point I shook my iPad and was all, “Do you or do you not have memory issues?!”  then I yelled, “You’re not my supervisor!” over and over again because it just felt right.

I know amnesia is complicated and how much memory is lost works on a case by case basis and all that jazz, but Rafa was dropping tantalizing hints and making vague statements all over the place.  Yet Gaby is so frustratingly incurious. I mean, his hints were pretty obvious, but most of the time she brushed them off as if every guy tries to pick up girls by implying things about the girl’s life and personality that clearly aren’t remembered.  Last guy trying to pick me up was totally like, “Hey, when are you going to do that thing you do with the tiger and the mayonnaise?” and I was all like, “I have no idea what this means, but he’s hot so… splooge.”

Here is one of many examples I could have picked from:

“You’re really going to keep this up?” he asks when I sit back down.

Untold

This is an open letter to Sarah Rees Brennan demanding she be held accountable for my feels and I have asked James Van Der Beek here to express them for emphasis.

Dear Sarah,

Do you mind if I call you Sarah? As you have repeatedly done horrible things to my heart, I feel it’s only fair for me to address you as though we’re acquainted.

What. The hell.

No, seriously.

You have said before that your goal as a writer is to make your readers feel something. I generally find this to be a worthy, admirable goal and rest assured, you do an incredible job. Unfortunately you seem to have decided somewhere along the way to use your powers for evil and I just don’t understand why.

Untold had me ping-ponging back and forth between laughing out loud, crying my eyes out, frustrated to the point of screaming and at one point, actually hitting myself in the head repeatedly with the book.

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