Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: Strange the Dreamer

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Release Date: March 28, 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 to 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?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

Wow. Just wow. Am I in love with this book? Absolutely, yes.

If you're looking for fast-paced action, this book probably isn't for you. But if you want a beautiful and in-depth world, amazingly complex characters, really cool magic... You are in luck.

First, this book does not feel like a YA book at all. Reading it, I felt like I was reading adult fantasy. One of the two main characters is also twenty years old, so this could probably be categorized as such (the other is seventeen so it does fit in YA). I could see some people who are not used to reading adult fantasy becoming bored and putting it down. But I urge you not to. Strange the Dreamer takes a little while to truly get going, because there is so much world building and character development done in the first 150 pages. Personally, this is the type of book I would usually listen to as an audiobook. And knowing who the narrator is (Steve West, he's amazing), I'm pre-ordering right away so I can listen over and over.

That's all I want to do. I want to devour this book again and again. I want to go back and reread and find all the little clues about the reveals that I missed. Because I know they are there. Was I completely shocked with everything? No, but I definitely had some surprises. 

So let me actually, you know, talk about the book.

Lazlo Strange is... strange. He's always got his head in a book, always dreams about the mysterious city of Weep--the ancient city whose true name disappeared fifteen years ago.

Really, I'm having trouble telling anything without spoiling. So my friends that hate romance, fear not. There is but a small amount of romance in this book, and it is not the focus of the plot. My friends that love romance (me included), I think you'll enjoy the little bit there is. Let me be honest. It's kind of insta-love. But the way it's done, it really works. In fact, itt wouldn't really work another way.

And the ending. I can't even. I'm dying and I just want to go back and reread over and over until next year when Muse of Nightmares comes out.

Honestly, it starts out slow. But if you are expecting it and can get through it, you will be happy you did. I absolutely loved it, and I cannot wait for the next book.

Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Writing: 5 stars
World: 5 stars
Feels: 5 stars

5 stars

Note: I received a galley of this book at ALA, and that in no way sways my opinion of this book.

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