Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

29486766The 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.

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Thank You Hachette Australia and Netgalley for allowing me a copy to read and review.I don’t think I’ve ever been more full of wonder when reading a book then during Strange the Dreamer. I finished it over a week ago and I am still just contemplating. THAT ENDING! I wanted to cry. I wanted to break something. I needed a hug. Love, love, loved it! You’re a brilliant woman Laini Taylor and your imagination is phenomenal, but damn you, that epic cliff hanger has caused me one of the biggest book hangovers I’ve had in years.

At the start of the story we meet Lazlo, dubbed Strange the Dreamer, as a small energetic orphan boy with a vivid imagination and love of stories. We get to see him grow and find himself a safe haven with a job as a junior librarian, where his love of stories and desire to learn all he can of the lost city of Weep flourishes. Lazlo becomes a mild mannered, intelligent and kind hearted young man. A twist of fate sees Lazlo going on the adventure of a life time, taking his lifelong dream by the reins and traveling to find the answers his heart truly desires.

Straight from the start I felt a strong connection to Lazlo and Sarai (The Muse of Nightmares) and I grew to love many more characters along the way. The Characters were deeply developed, most likeable, some lovable, some scorn worthy and with one to be feared.Laini’s writing is beautiful, her world building is intricately beautiful, the underlying plot is beautiful, the whole gosh darn book right down to the cover, is beautiful. Actually beautiful really isn’t even a good enough word. This story has it all; mystery, adventure, magic, romance, forgiveness and revenge.

I was in Weep. I ran with Lazlo straight towards danger. I felt my hands pass into the Mesarthium. Strange the Dreamer is an enthralling story, cover to cover you can’t step away. I give it Five “just go and read it” Stars.

The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus)

The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus) by Rick Riordan

Goodreads Synopsis:

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

My Thoughts as a Fangirl:

I LOOOOVED IT!!!! I finished reading this book a few days ago and haven’t been able to bring myself to review it. I don’t know how to do this book justice. This book is brilliant. Well done Mr Riordan, you are awesome. I was thrown into a state of emotional shock and haven’t been able to pick up another book and move on yet. In the Heroes of Olympus series this is the fourth book, but if you read the whole Percy Jackson Saga it’s the Ninth. Please Mr Riordan get that final book out as fast as you can, I NEED it. I think I’ll have to reread ‘house of hades’ a few times between now and August to hold myself together.

My Thoughts as an adult (with a son who will be introduced to these books when he is the right age):

Thank You. Thank you for giving us heroes who deserve to be heroes. Thank you for giving us heroes from different backgrounds. THANK YOU for giving us heroes who have been pigeonholed as naughty kids. Heroes that are dyslexic and have ADHD. And THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving us a homosexual male hero, who is uncomfortable in his own skin and who feels he doesn’t fit it or belong. If more authors were to slip these things into their books, hidden so well the way you have the world would be a better place.

The story was full of action, adventure, love and accepting the truth. Enemies had to come together and new friends were made. There was comic relief in the form of Bob the titan and Little Bob the cat, which was needed after the intense maturing all the characters go through. A definite pleaser for teen or adult. There were struggles overcome and every one of the heroes shined and came into their own. Riordan has given us heroes to be proud of, all with different talents, all using them working together for the greater good.

Five Stars. Bring on the final instalment!