Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor

Summary: 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. (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)

My Review: This book was…wait for it…strange. Like legit, though. Super strange.

I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t admit right here and now that serious fantasy/sci-fi is really not my thing. I’m somewhat of a lightweight. I’ll read around the periphery, and sometimes I even like what I read. I’ve read lots of “gateway drugs” to the world of fantasy/sci-fi, but sometimes it’s just too much for me.

I have several initial problems with this genre: 1) The names confuse me. I hate made up names that make no sense. It’s like an author has rolled a die and whatever comes up matching the quadrilateral triangle of the third alphabet they’ve made up they choose that letter, roll again, lather, rinse, repeat. I end up not being able to read the names and I’m just like…no. 2) I have a hard time imagining what’s going on. Okay, so this may show I’m not very creative. I’m a concrete thinker—I get it. But I can pinterest with the best of them and so I muddle through. However, if something crazy is going on and it requires me to have an extensive knowledge of all things weird and sci-fi and fantastic, I’m confused. And then I’m not even able to read the name of what is going on. You can see my problem. 3) Sometimes I just don’t see the point. I’m confused, I can’t read half the dice-determined names, and then weird stuff is going on…so I’m just confused. When I do get it (and maybe I’m not getting it, ya know?) I’m like…why? So what? Sooooo…..????

Now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, I have to admit that this book fully embraced all of the things above. Oh there were some characters that were okay, and there was some good tension here and there, especially with a villain who I assume is going to play more of a role in the upcoming books, but overall, I was confused about some of the goings on and some of the names were…ridiculous.

That being said, there were some really good things about the book. I did really like the idea of a mythical city whose name was forgotten. That was cool. I don’t want to give too much away because there were some good surprises. The story itself was somewhat confusing at times, especially in relation to the Gods and the history and you’ll just have to trust me on this lest I give too much away. There were some characters who were interesting, even if they could have used more fleshing out. The writing was decent although not remarkable.

I have been searching my soul and I think that I am able to overlook my own reader issues with the genre and give a fair 3 stars. There were some really strong elements, but there were also some weak things as well. If I were a JFic/New Adult reader really into this genre I would probably be interested in the upcoming books in the series.

My Rating: 3 Stars

For the sensitive reader: There was some language, although I think this was actually a pretty mild book. Sometimes JFic/New Adult pushes the boundaries because it is a little bit of an older audience, but the love scenes were tasteful the content was overall surprisingly clean.

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