Some of the books that I have been most impressed with over the last few years are Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone books. The last book, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, came out recently, though I was a little late in getting to read it, since I let my husband read our copy first. Given how much I was looking forward to the book, I think I deserve gold stars for this good deed. (And no, I will not revoke my gold stars just because I had about eight library books out at the time Dreams came out and I needed to read all of them and get them back to the library before incurring enormous fines. It was still selfless of me. Noble even. Totally gold star-worthy.)
In any case, Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a fantastic end to a marvelous series. It’s always great when a writer takes the narrative in a direction that you never saw coming, but that feels completely organic and natural and right. I can’t talk about too much of the plot of the book without heavy spoilers, but it both opened doors I had not realized were there and tied up threads that I knew were there in unexpected and satisfying ways. The worldbuilding expanded into new places that I hope (really, seriously hope) will be explored in additional books, though if not, I’ll still feel like this was a good place to stop.
One of the things that I have admired the most about these books is the humor in them. There’s wonderful romance, fantastic worldbuilding, high stakes, and devastating consequences, but threaded through it all are lines and scenes that literally make me laugh out loud. Sometimes cackle out loud. Out loud enough that you can hear me at the other end of the house and I once startled Zuul. (Who is, granted, startleable.) Being the last book in the series, this book has a lot more heavy lifting to do than the others, and is more serious in tone. But the chapter “Eyebrow Master Class” was one of the most hysterical pieces of writing I have read recently. I want to marry Zuzana. Or at least worship at her platform heel-shod feet.
In short, I’ve been saying for several years that these are among the best YA coming out now and the last book clinches it. If you haven’t read them, go now. Purchase. Borrow. Read.