Strange the Dreamer
Author Laini Taylor
Publisher Little, Brown Books | 2017
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? (from Goodreads)
This review is spoiler-freeeee! 🙂
Sigh. SIGHHHHHHH. I so wanted to love this book. There’s so many 5 star reviews and almost everyone seems to rave about it, but I just… wasn’t blown away. Maybe it’s because I had such high expectations that I was just doomed to be let down. When I finally got the library notification that it was checked out, I was suuuuper excited and started the next day. And the beginning started out OK, but then it just became a STRUGGLE to read. IT WAS SO SLOW. Literally nothing interesting happened for the first 40 percent of the book and I had to talk myself into reading bits at a time. I would put off reading more than a couple chapters to do literally anything else (to be fair, there was a Marvel marathon on TV AND I also started a new Netflix show), but I finally buckled down and read the last 35 percent in two big chunks just to finally be done with it. I will say that the ending was immensely better, and I will eventually pick up the sequel, but overall I just wasn’t that into this.
“As a boy at the abbey, stories had been Lazlo’s only wealth. He was richer now. Now he had books.”
Plot pacing aside, I did really like Lazlo. He’s such a good character and he’s really sweet and curious and I found myself constantly rooting for him. He has such an interesting dynamic with so many of the characters, and his interactions with Sarai were adorable. The twist at the end was definitely unexpected and I’m not sure how it will play out in the sequel but I’m curious to find out!
The other characters were interesting as well. I liked Sarai and wish we got a little more of Ruby, Feral and Sparrow. I feel like the end fell a little flat because they should’ve like… done…literally anything… to help but they did absolutely nothing, which was kinda dumb. I really really really don’t like Minya at all! I can see how she feels but she just seems to go out of her way to be spiteful and controlling.
“Beautiful and full of monsters?”
“All the best stories are.”
So overall, I was really let down by this. I guess I should’ve been a little more prepared for this outcome since Daughter of Smoke & Bone was another three star rating that I found to be really overwhelming and frustrating to read, and I couldn’t get past the first half of the sequel in that series. Maybe Taylor isn’t the author for me. I will pick up Muse of Nightmares later this year though and I hope I end up liking that one a lot more!