Book Review – Strange the Dreamer

Book: Strange the Dreamer – Author: Laini Taylor

Genre: Fiction, Adventure, Supernatural-ish

Description from Goodreads:

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?

My Review:

There are few things more frustrating than the words “To Be Continued” at the end of an amazing book. Especially when you didn’t know it was a series. And the book just came out 3 weeks ago. AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system…YOU ALL NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!

The world the author has created is amazingly detailed. Full of history and culture and so well described that even the most mythical of creatures seem realistic. This is a world that feels like it COULD exist, even as you are reading about flowers that can fly and castles that float. These are people you could know, even as they scream moths and fight ghosts.

The characters are completely genuine. I felt a kinship with the title character, Lazlo Strange. Seen as a bit of an odd duck, even around his fellow Librarians, Lazlo’s kind nature, sense of humor, and yes, love of books, endeared him to me. I also felt a strong affinity for Sarai, the other main character, who’s empathy allows her to understand both sides of the conflict and is understandably torn about choosing one or the other. In fact, all of the characters were written very complexly, allowing the reader to see bits of themselves in almost all of them.

I don’t want to go too much into the plot, because I definitely don’t want to spoil things for you. All I will say: You know that rare moment, when you are so completely caught up in a book that you realize you are physically leaning into it, as if that will somehow make the action happen faster, because you just HAVE to know what’s going to happen? I was like that for the entire last quarter of the book. The ‘To Be Continued’ is both a blessing and a curse, because I’m ecstatic that my time in Weep isn’t over, but I have no idea how long it will be until I can see it again.

This is my first foray into Laini Taylor novels and, if this one is any indication, I may have a new favorite author to add to my list. It’s not often that I finish a book and immediately rush onto my computer so I can post a review. This book, with it’s beautifully described world, amazing characters, and gripping plot, will stay with me for a very long time.

Similar Book(s):

American Gods – Neal Gaiman (More for the type of book than the plot.)

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