Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Review: Strange the Dreamer

Title: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Source: Purchased
Format: Physical

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Welcome to Weep (goodreads).

Strange the Dreamer was exactly what I expected from Laini Taylor. 
Plot: I'm going to be super difficult with the rating, I think if I were being honest I would give Strange the Dreamer 3.75 stars (yep, I'm that difficult). But in the case of this book, it was definitely an "it's me, not you" situation. 

Strange the Dreamer was a beautiful book, I swear Laini Taylor makes creating a fantasy world look easy, which is an impressive feat. I loved how Taylor slowly unraveled the tumultuous relationship between the gods and people from Weep and the lengths each side took to survive. For how much I loved the actual content, I don't know if the pace was for me. It took me a while to read this book, and that just wasn't because of the intimidating 530 pages; I thought that it was a rather slow book and I kept getting distracted every 30 pages or so. I will be anxiously awaiting the sequel and I just hope that I have a better time with trucking through it. 

Characters: Strange the Dreamer was told from two perspectives, the orphaned junior librarian and the orphaned godspawn. By having both perspectives, Taylor was able to make both sides of the war sympathetic and help the reader understand what was at risk. I was especially interested in Sarai and her four other godspawn siblings who were doing all that they could to survive without alerting the citizens of Weep to their presence. Of course, there was a romance between our two main characters, but it wasn't a romance I was interested in. I understood their quick attraction to each other, but it didn't have the same beauty and allure as Daughter of Smoke and Bone had.

Worldbuilding: Taylor's world was flawless, which I think we've all come to expect. I loved the mystery behind Weep and the minimal history she gave about the gods - it was just enough to have me wanting to learn more. I honestly could praise her lush worldbuilding for days, but I'll let you be the judge of it.

Short N Sweet: Strange the Dreamer was a marvelous fantasy book that was just a wee too slow in my opinion, but that's my only minor complaint!


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