Audio Book Review: Dreams Of Gods And Monsters by Laini Taylor, Narrated by Khristine Hvam

Book: Dreams Of Gods And Monsters by Laini Taylor, Narrated by Khristine Hvam

Published April 2014 by Hachette Audio|Length: 18 hours, 8 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Daughter Of Smoke And Bone #3

Genre: YA Fantasy

In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she’s ever known.

When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat–and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves–maybe even toward love.

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera, and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

I’m really glad to be finished this series!  I know people really love Laini Taylor, but I don’t know if I’ll be picking up any other books by her.  I started off really liking this series, and I liked this one, but it really fizzled out for me.

I really liked Eliza’s story, and I thought she was a nice inclusion to everything that was going on.  At the same time, though, I’m not sure why she was introduced now.  I wish we had seen more of her throughout the series, and it would have been interesting to have her balance out everything else that happened in the first two books.  We are building up to everything that happens in this book so maybe this is the best place to introduce her.

As usual, Khristine Hvam did an awesome job narrating.  I’m pretty sure I would have given up on the series a long time ago if I hadn’t switched to the audio books.  Even listening to the book, I struggled to get through it.  This is not a short book- it’s well over 14 hours, and there were quite a few times where I found myself not paying attention to the book.  I’d spend a couple of hours here and there listening to it, but I could only listen to it for so long before I had to listen to something else.  It’s not Hvam at all, because she’s why I switched to the audio.  I just wasn’t engaging with the story as much as I wanted to.

It was interesting to see what was going on with earth while Karou was trying to save the world, and I think that’s why Eliza is so important.  From the moment we met her, I knew she was going to be important, and I wondered what her connection to the chimera and the angels were.  I wasn’t expecting the story we got, but I really liked it.  It was unexpected but in a good way.

The world is such a unique one, and there are a lot of memorable characters.  I liked Karou, Zuzanna and Mik, though I could have cared less about Akiva.  Ziri was pretty cool, and I really liked him and everything he was trying to do.

3 stars.  I loved the narration, and I loved the addition of Eliza.  I had a hard time getting through the book, but the world and the idea are pretty unique.

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Audio Book Review: Days Of Blood And Starlight by Laini Taylor, Narrated by Khristine Hvam

Book: Days Of Blood And Starlight by Laini Taylor, Narrated by Khristine Hvam

Published November 2012 by Hachette Audio|Length: 15 hours, 21 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Daughter Of Smoke And Bone #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was declared a “must read” by Entertainment Weekly, was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, and The New York Times called it “a breath-catching romantic fantasy.”

I liked this one!  This is one of those series I keep meaning to finish, and I never seem to get around to it.

For this one, I switched to the audio book because I tried reading it a couple of times but never got very far.  I really like the narrator (Khristine Hvam is one of my favorites), and I figured I’d give the audio book a try.  I thought Hvam did a great job narrating, and she was great at bringing Karou to life.  I’m pretty sure I would not have gotten through the book this time if it weren’t for the audio book.

I really liked the world, and how much this book added to it.  We only got a glimpse of Karou’s world in the first book, and we got a lot more of it in this one.  We see more of the war between the seraphim and the chimera, and we get more of the conflict between the two.  It had this huge mpact on Karou’s life, and she lost her family because of it.

I understand Karou better (and why she might ally with Thiago, and not want Akiva around) but she wasn’t the same Karou we see in the first book.  I get why, with everything that happened, but I think I was expecting the same Karou we see before.  It will be interesting to see how Karou changes in the next book.

I really wish I liked this book more.  I’m not sure why I couldn’t get into it, and it makes me a little sad because I really do like the world and the characters.  Maybe it’s just not my thing, which is fine…I just wish it were, since I know how much people love Taylor.

3 stars.  I liked it, especially the world that Taylor created and the narration.  I wish I had more to say about Days Of Blood And Starlight but I don’t.  I’m curious to see how it all comes together and to see how it ends.