Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: March 28th 2017
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Page Count: 536
My Rating: 🐉🐉🐉🐉
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.
I began this book not knowing anything besides the fact that it should be beyond awesome so my expectations were super high. Strange The Dreamer has been one of the most hyped books of 2017 and after reading it, I completely agree with everyone’s love for it! It deserves all the praise it’s been getting so if any of you are unsure of whether you should pick up this book: PICK IT UP NOW!
“You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters.”
Once you start reading, you’ll easily dissolve into the enchanting world of this novel and become engrossed in all the characters and their stories. It felt like reading a story out of an old fairytale book, not at all appearing to be written in the 21st century. The point is, if you’re looking for a book to escape in for a few days, this is one book I recommend. Now I actually need to talk about the structure of this novel instead of just praising it with no support.
“The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around”
The introduction to this whole new world was done perfectly! It didn’t involve much of a plot but rather just built the world and the main character. I wouldn’t call it slow because all the explanations and descriptions and mysteries just made the book more appealing and gripping! The BEST PART was that there was thankfully NO INFO DUMP! What a relief! Almost every debut book I’ve read so far this year had this stupid way of introducing everything by shoving nonsense names and places and it gave me headaches and made me want to just dnf the books! So hallelujah! Not to mention the very terrifying prologue were someone we don’t know just dies and we don’t find out who or how that happened till the last few pages of the book!
The main plot is revealed after the first quarter of the book. New characters were introduced and different POVs from different settings were seen and it only made me want to keep on reading. Every time a mystery is revealed, 10 other questions appear and so I couldn’t even stop reading even if I wanted to!
Halfway through the book, I felt like the plot began to lag and nothing was occurring. There was a short section of the book were all anyone did was wait and wait and I got frustrated by that because I wanted my answers! But then the plot picks up again and people are in danger and the excitement returns!
The ending was a… cliffhanger. The last few chapters of the book were so rapid and intense and I couldn’t flip the pages any faster. A lot of unexpected twists occur and a lot of mind-blowing unpredictable things happen to the characters. Needless to say, but the ending will make you breathless and wide-eyed and you realize that a whole year is left for the sequel to be released!
“He drifted about with his head full of myths, always at least half lost in some otherland story”
The author creates inspiring and unique characters. I mean a boy who’s in love with fiction, myths, magic, and fairytales whose head is always lost in daydreams. A girl who screams moths into the air that can penetrate people’s sleeping brains and manipulate their dreams! How awesome does this sound?
“He read while he walked. He read while he ate. The other librarians suspected he somehow read while he slept, or perhaps didn’t sleep at all.”
Lazlo Strange is one character that nobody can manage to hate. He’s just so easy to identify with! You are either already him or will become him after reading this book. I fell in love with him as a character and I admired the way he devoted his life to something that he loved but everyone mocked. He never thought of himself first, he always sought ways to help everyone else around him. He might sound a little too goody two shoes to like but he’s sweet and generous and soft without being dull so you won’t hate him.
Sarai is a character you won’t forget. Her story is a painful sad one. You will find yourself pitying her ironic existence often. Her identity is kept a secret for most of the book and once you discover her powers, it’ll come as a huge shock! Her character development is clearly visible and you’ll love seeing how she changes from unsure and shy to confident and has her mind-set on her goals. She will appear dark and wicked on the surface but she is so much more once you get to read more about her.
What I didn’t like was how secondary characters went from being interesting and existing in the plot, to nearly forgotten and abandoned minor characters. For example, Thyon Nero seemed like a great character in the first part of the book and I got excited and hoped to see him become unlikely friends with Strange and start a friendship similar to that of Merlin and Arthur. That didn’t happen but after giving Nero a great back story and the potential to develop as a character, we barely heard from him again. All the other secondary characters had great complex personalities but they also barely played a role in the plot. More time could’ve been spent on these characters that could’ve become precious babies to us readers.
“You think good people can’t hate?” she asked. “You think good people don’t kill?”[…}”Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just that when they do them, they call it justice.”
There is no clear villain in the story and I found that awesome! Everyone’s just doing what they think is right and has all the reasons in the world to do what they’re doing. You’ll see that there’s a lot of grey areas and the best choice is still unclear. It’s so refreshing after reading books where villains are just evil because the writer wills them to be! The conflict in this story reflects a lot of what we see in reality now and it might confuse you but that’s just how most wars start.
I’ve read Laini’s other series Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I was so disappointed to not find a character that resembled Zuzana in any kind of way! She’s one of the most memorable characters ever and anyone who reads about her will adore her more than the main character even! Alas, there was no such humorously awesome characters in Strange The Dreamer.
MY. GOD! It’s as if Laini isn’t human like the rest of us! Her writing style and choice of words is incredibly baffling, completely mesmerizing and a perfect match for the theme of this book. In other words, it’s MAGIC! Her descriptions are deliciously vivid and all the images she paints are animated. Her words have the power to remove everything from your mind beyond the book you’re reading!
Although sometimes her descriptions could exceed a whole page and while that’s incredible and all, I sometimes got lost and forgot what the author was trying to describe in the first place. I feel like shorter descriptions can have the same magnitude and effect on the reader without losing the point of all the details.
My Rant: [🚨SPOILER ALERT🚨]
The moment I found out that Strange broke his nose when a fairy tale book fell on it, I knew he was going to become a favourite of mine! I adored his obsession with the Unseen City and no matter how much everyone told him that it didn’t exist, he still believed! I knew I shouldn’t trust orphans who knew nothing of their true heritage! I’m so curious as to how he managed to hide his blue smurf godness from when he was a baby. And are all the orphans raised by the priests also Smurf gods? What could Lazlo’s power be??
I found Ruby, Sparrow, Sarai, Feral, and Minya soooo cute and adorable at first! I thought they were just helpless children left alone and forgotten by everyone with no desire besides tasting cake again! Ruby was reckless and passionate and I really liked her character. Sparrow was more withdrawn and shy but I could easily relate to her.
I wanted to hate Minya but I really couldn’t. Her reasons for wanting the humans dead makes sense and is justifiable by what she had to go through at a very young age! I know she might seem evil and heartless but no, she does torture herself for not being able to save more babies from the Carnage. I want to know why she doesn’t age, is it part of her powers?
I really didn’t like the insta-love between Lazlo and Sarai! I mean they could meet in dreams and get to know each other and become the best of friends and I would love this book more. It just came out of nowhere and all of a sudden, they fall in love! Not cool!
The dream adventures they had were super cool and ecstatically beautiful! It warmed my heart seeing dreams being shown in this way and I really need more of that in my life! I laughed so much when Lazlo and Sarai were getting busy in dream world when all of a sudden he cuts the link by accidentally crushing one of her moths! And that was the only time I laughed while reading this book.
I totally forgot about the prologue and how a blue coloured girl just died till it was about to happen in the end of the story! Like whoa! How did I forget that someone would die?!? *slaps myself with book*I’m so amazed by how Strange becomes a hero and stops the Citadel from crashing down on Weep and then flies up to the Citadel to ask for Sarai’s ghost! Who are you Smurf god and what’ve you done with sweet Lazlo??
“Lazlo Strange: head in the clouds, world of his own, fairy tales and fancy.”
Overall, I adored this book and wouldn’t want anyone to miss it out. My only problems were small and are compensated by the rest of the book. It’s one of my favourite reads of 2017 so far. If you’re in the mood for a magical tale filled with monsters and dreams and creepy powers, this is the book to choose. I can’t wait to read the sequel The Muse of Nightmares.
Have you read this book? Lets discuss it in the comments below!