Monday, 10 July 2017

Review: Strange the Dreamer - Lyrical, Magical and Utterly Captivating

28449207 





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.



Why did I not read this sooner?

So this was the first book I ever preordered, over TWO YEARS AGO. As soon as I read the description (or basically as soon as I saw Laini Taylor's name on the cover), I knew I would love it, and I placed an order straight away. Then the publishing date was pushed back - and then again - and I slowly lost interest. I thought this book would never arrive and I kind of forgot about it untill it appeared on my doormat in April. 

I went to Laini Taylor's signing later that month, having not read the book  - I know, shock, horror - and thankfully wasn't spoiled but I loved the evening. Laini was so lovely and everytime she talked about Strange the Dreamer I was so intruiged. When she signed my copy, she was so kind and asked me all about my life and what I study at university, and I vowed I would read Strange straight away But I didn't. Life got in the way, and honestly, the size and apart epicness of the book terrified me a little. Big books sometimes kind of scare me. I forgot about it again.

Then, this month, life got really hard and very stressful, and I really needed a book which would pull me away from the stuff I was going through. I needed to immerse myself in a completely different world. I remebered the lovely Cait at Paper Fury saying how immersive this story was. So I picked this book up.

AND GUYS. GUYS. It was so incredibly beautiful. So beautiful. This was a world-changing book for me. I lived and breathed this book, and it is without a doubt my favourite book of the year so far.

Lazlo Strange might be one of my new favourite characters of all time. He is kind and gentle, and slightly shy, and I swear the moment I read the line about his nose being broken by a falling library book, I fell in love.He's just such a lover of stories, and I relate to him so much. As for the other characters, I don't want to say too much, and spoil things, but I adored Sarai too, and I thought her character development throughout the story was excellent. Too my surprise, I even loved the villans of the story. They weren't cliche or predictable, but surprising and complex, and that was so refreshing.

This one is kind of a slow burn, and I can understand that that makes it a book that not everyone will love. If you're looking for action and fast-paced scenes, you won't find them here. What you will find are beautiful descriptions, particularly of the city of Weep. As you read, you will be transported onto winding city lanes, filled with cakes on windowsills, children laughing and the business of the local markets. Lazlo and Sarai's stories slowly intertwine, and perhaps the best part about this book is seeing their stories come together. Laini Taylor is a master at foreshadowing as well as world building, but most of all at pulling the strings of a story together. I had to pause at various moments and wonder at how Laini Taylor planned the story so brilliantly. I'm so glad she spent that extra year on the book, because you can see just how deliberate and carefully crafted every word is.

One of my favourite things about this book was the theme of dreaming. Laini Taylor perfectly creates that wonderous, odd atmosphere of a dream, and these scenes were beautifully threaded together with the waking scenes in weep.  As I said before, I don't want to give too much away, but the last 50 pages of this book were brutal. So fast paced and I was terrified for all my precious character babies. I can't wait to see what happens in the next volume, The Muse of Nightmares just became my most anticipated book of 2018.

How do I finish this review? Why with a F.R.I.E.N.D.S gif that perfectly sums up my feelings of course! ^-^
Image result for friends love gif






Quotes:
  •  “You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable," she pleaded. "Something beautiful and full of monsters."

    “Beautiful and full of monsters?"

    “All the best stories are.” 
  •  “It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming.”
  •  “You think good people can't hate?" she asked. "You think good people don't kill?"[...}"Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It's just that when they do them, they call it justice.”
  • “He read while he walked. He read while he ate. The other librarians suspected he somehow read while he slept, or perhaps didn't sleep at all.”




 


(5 stars)



Strange the Dreamer is my fave book of the year so far. Have you guys read it? What did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments! <3
Love,




33 comments:

  1. I've had this book since March but I haven't read it yet. It sounds super amazing, though. Just haven't found the time for it yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so wonderful, Stephanie! I bet you'll love it! <3

      Delete
  2. Ugh. I've had this book since it released. Still. Have. Not. Read. It. Do you know why? I still haven't read Dreams of Gods and Monsters! Yikes! >_< I'm a terrible Laini Taylor fan... *digs own grave*

    Glad that you loved it! I just need to find the right time so that I can really give it the time it deserves... probably at the end of the year when I finally finish my studies for the year and can dedicate a full day or two to reading DoGaM, and then this one. :)

    Cass @ Words on Paper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are not a bad Laini Taylor fan, Cass - it took me like 3 years to read that final book lol. You should totally read DoGaM, but you don't have to to read this one? <3

      Delete
  3. I'm so glad you loved this one! I've been meaning to pick it up for FOREVER since Laini Taylor is my favorite. I absolutely adore the quotes you shared so I'll have to prioritize this one. Fabulous review <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to hear you liked this one so much! I still haven't read this one because I suck. I totally understand your thoughts about trying to read big books.
    Deanna Reads Books

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ohh lovely review, I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed this book so much, and that friends gif, perfect choice ahah :) I'm hoping to read that one soon! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a brilliant review! I admit that I tried listening to the audiobook when it was first released but couldn't get into it so I had to put it aside, but I think that has more to do with listening than the actual book itself. I hope to give the physical copy a go soon. I've heard such amazing things about it. :)

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hope to start this one soon. I am so glad to see how much you enjoyed it. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I haven't read this yet, but it's on my wishlist.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This sounds like a great book! I can't wait to try it out. Lovely review. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aw, I'm so jealous you met Laini. She sounds so lovely.

    I'm really glad you loved this one. I need to read it ASAP.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so glad you liked it. I found it a bit slow for the most part but it may be because my expectations were way too high. Daughter of Smoke and Bone blew me away.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've seen lots of love for this book but haven't read it, but I think I might need to! It sounds different and kinda magical and just unique from a lot of the other stuff out there. Plus the synopsis just has me wondering what's going on. :) Glad you enjoyed it so much!

    Have I mentioned I love your background? There's something about seeing lots of books in bookshelves lol...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I totally agree, the writing of this book is just so jaw droppingly gorgeous I cannot deal! So glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. YES YES SO MUCH YES!! *flails wildly with appreciation for this gorgeous tale* The writing was so lush and vivid I just was sooo sucked into the entire world. I MEAN WOW.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ Lazlo is the most precious bookworm boy of them all. <3

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've got to get to this one soon!

    ReplyDelete
  16. haha! I was JUST replying to your comment on Ari & Dante.. WHY HAVEN'T I READ STRANGE THE DREAMER YET?? WHYYY??? your review makes me want to bang my head against the wall harder!! :)
    and how WONDERFUL that you met Laini and that she was so nice!! and now your book is signed. ok. I so jealous now I can't even :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I keep seeing amazing reviews for this book and I don't know what's taken me so long. I've always been fascinated by dreams and the premise just makes this one sounds super intriguing. Your review makes me want to cave and buy it. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm so glad you liked it. I can't wait to read it myself.
    Aneta @ Angelic Book Reviews 

    ReplyDelete
  19. You've gone and reminded me I still haven't read this book. I loved Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and so I am full on intimidated by this book. I've heard good things but then another blogger I trust wasn't a massive fan so I'm scared to pick it up and get reading. Add in the fact I've not fancied reading anything fantasy in a little while and I'm worried I'll never pick up that preorder copy off of my shelf. Glad to hear you liked it and hopefully I will find the motivation to read soon.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I always think the same thing when I read a book that has been on my TBR for a while. I have been trying to knock some of them off lately and I realized that I need to read this one, too! I am really excited now that it is one of your favourite books this year. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, I'm practically just like you on this one... except I haven't read it yet! I preordered the book and picked it up at Taylor's signing (so I hadn't read it yet, obviously). I LOVED everything about Taylor and the author event, but now I still haven't read the book. You have convinced me that I need to pick it up immediately.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete
  22. OH MY GOD TWO YEARS AGO??? No wonder you gave up on it. But I was so pleasantly surprised by this as well, I adored her writing <3

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love her books and still have not read this. I feel like I have to have time to savor it and that has not happened!
    Check out my new site: Jen Ryland

    ReplyDelete
  24. So I haven't read any of her books... ik shun me but I'm about to change that! i saw this one at the library and I think I'll get it next time I'm there!

    ReplyDelete
  25. So I haven't read any of her books... ik shun me but I'm about to change that! i saw this one at the library and I think I'll get it next time I'm there!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Totally agree with you! It's funny, I didn't know if I'd like it either, but I ended up winning a copy, and LOOOOVED it. It was a bit slower to start, but wow, the writing blew me away. And I adored the characters so, so much. Fabulous review, I am so glad you loved it too!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Everything Laini creates is just magical. I started reading the ARC I was lucky enough to receive and after the first few chapters, I preordered as well. I knew it would be one of those books that I would fall in love with but it still blew me away. I found it a little slow to start but it was just so lyrical and lovely and she's now an auto buy author for me after loving her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series as well. Wonderful review Megan, thrilled you loved this one too <3 <3

    ReplyDelete
  28. I just finished reading this book over the weekend and it completely blew me away. Definitely one of my favorite reads of the year so far for all of the reasons you mentioned. If I can ever stop flailing about the book long enough, I need to write my review too. Your ending gif does perfectly sum it though. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I also loved this book! I know being quite lyrical and different it's definitely not for everyone - I get that - but I always love seeing people enjoying the same books I have!

    I also cant' wait to see what happens in the sequel - that ending was quite crazy!

    Love the quotes you used at the end. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I haven't read anything by Laini Taylor yet, and I sometimes feel like I am the only person! But I SO WANT to read this one. I keep seeing it in bookstore and on blogs, and it looks SO GOOD. I am so excited to read it, especially after reading your review. I hope I love it as much as you do!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I've heard nothing but great things about this book, so I am so glad you enjoyed it so much as well! It sounds like such a powerful but relevant story. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    ReplyDelete