I..need to talk about this book right now….I wrote parts of this review at 3 am because I just can’t do anything else except just stare straight ahead, contemplating what I just read. Finishing this book feels…quite literally..like waking up from a dream within a dream.
My rating: 5 STARS
(If we’re getting really specific it’s more like…4.60…but right now I cannot give it anything less than a full 5 stars)
My blurb: This is a story about a dreamer, about the implausible and the plausible, about the impossible and the possible.
In short: this is a story you should experience.
I went into it knowing absolutely nothing other than a Lazlo Strange and a library. I hardly read synopses or the back of books so just imagine my surprise when we DON’T in fact spend all of the book in a library. And the surprises certainly kept coming.
Every single review I’ve read praises Laini Taylor’s magnificent writing. “It’s like honey”, “it’s like chocolate”, “it’s like vanilla cake powdered with icing sugar and drizzled with caramel”. Honestly I think everyone wrote their review when they were hungry.
Adding my own comparison to that list: it’s like a warm cup of milk with honey.
(or at least what I IMAGINE a warm cup of milk with honey would taste like…did I mention I’m lactose intolerant?)
Ok…now let’s get all the Doctor Strange jokes out the way…I know you want to…I acknowledged it so you don’t have to…Did we get that out of our system? Good.
The prose is rich and thick and I found myself reading every single word. And hello my dishwasher attention span usually just get intimidated when faced with page long description paragraphs. It’s a slow read, with a slow pacing and a slow moving plot but it’s so worth it to experience.
And while the world was beautiful and fantastical it did seem to loose focus of the story sometimes.
Is this about alchemy? Gods? Was it high fantasy?? Or steampunk?? Is the setting medieval? Or ancient? I. Don’t. Know. I finished 500 pages and I still cannot tell you to save my life WHAT was that. I can only tell you that whatever THAT was I loved it and I want more.
It has so many things mixed and so much imagination put into it…that my own imagination kind of struggled to keep up.
Well…I gave up trying to keep up at just the right time it seems.
The first part of this book…is slow. The plot seemed to have been as intimidated as I felt about the sheer size of this book that it just kind of…disappeared. And I’m glad I stayed on for the search of it because when it did find itself GODDAMN.
This isn’t about suspension of disbelief anymore. You just have to leave your disbelief completely at the door, tied with by a leash to a pole because this book has a big “Disbelief not allowed inside” sign.
Our main characterS. Yeah that’s right. Characters plural.
- Lazlo was my pure little cinnemon bun. Sure he buffs up halfway trough the book and I would have minded if it weren’t for his soft personality. He has muscles, look rugged but dreams up a moon shop so he can buy his lady ALL OF THE MOONS. He’s nose is crooked and he looks like he got into fights but my baby just drooped a book on his own face. The battle scars of bookworms are serious business ok.
- Sarai was also my poor little baby blue goddess. Yup you hear that right kids: a blue goddess (that is a pure baby and need protecting ok I REST MY CASE!). And that is about as normally mundane as you can get with this book.
Also I think we should all appreciate the genius that is my wonderful lesbian daughter, Calixte. WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT HER?? She has the most memorable quote ya’ll!
Now this book makes you ask yourself the question: Who IS the villan?
Is it Thyron Nero (Lazlo’s one sided rival)? Nope, he’s an asshole sure but he was abused and he’s under pressure to fix his whole kigdom’s financial problems. (also he’s just so surprised every time Lazlo is nice to him whenever he just wants to fight??? everything??)
Is it Minya (another blue goddess)? Well yeah she’s a creepy and malefic little child but she went trough a traumatic incident at a young age that left her scarred.
Is it Eril-fane (the mighty hero)? He did slaughter babies but he was sexually abused and did it to save his people. (and he’s now officially Lazlo’s dad…even though he’s kind of dating his daughter…)
I don’t know the answer to this question either. And I kind of like it that way. THAT people is how you write a 3 dimensional character.
The romance was…fine. It was instalove-y in the Laini Taylor way…aka the way that works. It was beautiful even though it moved a bit too fast. I didn’t find it out of place- I mean…I could hardly find a giant peacock that quotes Shakespeare out of place in this world let alone a simple romance.
I will not talk more about anything because I’m sure you just won’t believe me. No, seriously. have you seen all those reviews saying that it’s best if you “go in blind”?? YEAHhhh the truth is: WE’RE ALL BLIND HERE SUSAN! You go in blind, you get out just as blind as you entered mate. Nobody can even begin to describe it without sounding like a crazed old potato. I can literally invent a thousand things right now and you wouldn’t even know which was really in he book. Believe me.
Now onto the most pressing issue: I see people babble on about cake when talking about this book and I would like to just call out the false advertisement? There is no cake. The LACK of cake is specifically addressed. There certainly wasn’t enough cake to please me. I am sorry but it’s true. We all just have to accept this.
Overall: If you didn’t enjoy this book…well…you probably have no soul. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you the news but I would have imagined you would have known that your soul has left your body good sir. (Not that I have anything against souless individuals – you are more than welcome to be my friend!)
Some of my favourite quotes
“Unkind” said Ruza, wounded. His face crumpled. He pretended to weep. “I am fearsome.” he insisted. “I am.”
“There, there.” Lazlo consoled. “You are a very fierce warrior. Don’t cry. You’re terrifying.”
“You’re two idiots” said Azareen.
“Strange, you’re blushing.
“Of course i am,” he admitted. “I’m a perfect innocent. I’d blush at the sight of a woman’s collarbones.”
He bought socks too. He was begging to see the appeal of money. He bought four pair -a profligate quantity of socks -and not only were they not grey, no two pair were even the same colour. One was pink another had stripes.
“Well, you’re a singularly unhorrible demon, if i may say so.”
“Thank you.” Sarai said with play sincerity, laying a modest hand across her breast. “That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.”
…can I just say: I DID NOT SEE THAT ENDING COMING?! It’s literally in the prologue and i got so annoyed that I got sad and emotional in the end, which in turn made me even sadder, because I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN IT WAS COMING! It…probably has to do with the fact that I took a 2 week break after reading the slow part before I picked it up again. Congrats Laini you nearly made me cry with your literally predictable ending. Just…ignore my tears of anguish will ya.
Also now Lazlo is going to become the thing they all fear most right? And..we have to let Sarai go?? AND THAN MY HEART WILL LITERALLY TEAR RIGHT INTO TINY PIECES?? Yey great I can hardly wait for that fun party…WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK COMING OUT I WOULD LIKE TO SUFFER NOW PLEASE!!!
Also here’s a moodboard for this book that I did at 3 am because my mind was blown
And also HERE IS HOW LAINI TAYLOR ACTUALLY LIKED IT ON TWITTER! OMG CAN YOU HEAR ME SCREAMING!!!
*whispers* senpai noticeddd meeeeeee
ANDDD that hopefully concludes the biggest reading slump ever. Yes I attempted to get out of a major reading slump by diving headfirst into a 500 page slow paced high fantasy mammoth. As one does obviously.
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?
Did YOU read Strange the Dreamer? What did YOU think about it? Have you ever read a book by Laini Taylor before? LET ME KNOW!