“And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.”
Lazlo Strange is an orphan who got the most beautiful and interesting mind, he was attracted to stories, fairytales, the books were telling him all their secrets and he just kept coming back. Everybody was calling him Strange The Dreamer because his head was always in the clouds, in the books about a city that no one was interested : The Weep City.
I fell in love with this book in the first pages, Laini Taylor’s writing was on point. She wanted tell us the story with a fairytale point of view, from a far away observation. She crafts a strong beginning like most tales start with Once Upon A Time, Laini Taylor made sure that her novel started with a bang. A strong beginning also includes an amazing intense atmosphere, where the reader can imagine himself being in the story, observing it like watching a movie in his head. The details of her world-building and the character’s introduction are her strongest points. It’s an experience I’d invite anyone to witness. Lazlo Strange is a character you want to to get attached to, because he has such an unique perspective of his life, of his place in the city. We have enough information on his childhood, when he grew up, the pace was believable and not weird transactions like some YA novels. As a reader, I’m very satisfied with all the the beginnings and half of the book, which is the introduction to this new world.
The other half of the book, I like it less. Now, my main worry was… how am I going to rate this book? For I love the beginning so much, I’d give it a straight 5 stars but the ending was completely disappointing? What’s the other half about?
The other half of the book we are introduced to a second character, Sarai, a goddess’child with blue skin who’s hiding away from humans because they don’t like godlike creatures, Godspawn they would call these creatures. They have magical abilities and Sarai’s was being able to enter the realm of dreams and transforms it as she likes.
Tha’ts amazing, I love anything related to sleeping and dreams (also one of my research projects) but I was disappointed in the outcome, or how they were being able to solve the big ”Weep” problem.
[Spoiler here, to read it highlight the text below]
Basically, in the end Lazlo Strange discovers that he’s also a Godspawn and he has the most incredible gift: he can manipulate the Mesarthium, which is the metal that no human can decrypt or understand its function but it’s the key to the citadel. Manipulating that metal would mean being able to move the citadel away from Weep. (That was the principal problem, the citizens of Weep were stuck under a God’s Citadel made of metal). The part I fell betrayed was… he just happens to discover his power until the end when he decided that oh well, if I can do anything in my dreams then I can do anything in the real world too and Bam his power appears…REALLY?! I spent a whole 400 pages of descriptions of how that magic works, the wonderful details, and it gives me like 3 lines about his power suddenly appears out of NOWHERE to end the book and solve the problem. Oh and Sarai’s death… was so weird. I couldn’t even feel sad for her by how weird that was, she just felll from the citadel into Weep…See how unsatisfying that ending was?
You know that kind of ending: IT WAS ALL A DREAM? Yeah, this one has that kind of vibe. But because it’s Strange THE DREAMER, Laini Taylor didn’t want it to be too obvious right? 😉 Still, I know a lot of people would love this ending although I hated it. I was building so much expectations in an amazing ending with all the marvelous details the author gave me to be left with…nothing. It’s like you mom promised you a delicious piece of cake you’ve been waiting for years, and she described it to you via text how EACH INGREDIENT and EACH PIECE of the cake is make and tease you as fuck, to come back home to a bowl of salad. I admit, it’s my own fault to put such pressure and expectations on the novel but what did you expect me to do?! When the 300 pages of the book were so perfect !
The very epilogue hints us what to expect from the 2nd novel, I will now lower my expectations for the sakes of it haha.
So drumroll… my final rating is …
Thank you to Hachette for sending us an Advance Copy to review ! 🙂