Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor (2017)
YA Fiction | Fantasy
“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.”
pooled ink Review:
Lovely, whimsical, brimming with a softness, a strength, a heart. I remember clearly when this book was released to the world for everyone was talking about it, sharing it, and urging their friends to read it. And now, long after that initial hype has faded, I have found the time to sit down with a copy and give it a read.
As you probably noticed I didn’t give this book a star-rating because I didn’t finish it…Oops.
There was a lot I loved about it but despite that it failed to spark a connection with me. The characters were wonderfully complex, the world-building was stunning and imaginative, the plot was ceaselessly artistic. The book is certainly worth the love it received, but I wish I could’ve connected with it the way so many others have.
I enjoyed reading this book certainly, but it didn’t make me sigh in despair, cry in anguish, smile in joy, or want to buy it in bulk to pass out to my friends. I enjoyed it, but that’s it. And despite enjoying what I did read, I just felt no motivation to keep going. I kept reading out of the pure desire to see it through to the end, and while yes a part of me acknowledged that it was an intriguing story I just couldn’t seem to care, to become enveloped by the fantasy.
And I know that sounds like an insult, but connecting with a book isn’t something that can happen with every book as was the case with this one. It doesn’t mean the book is any less worthy or fantastical, it just means that it vibes with someone else more than me. And perhaps part of it was that it was so hyped up? I often suspect my brain self-sabotages when a book is so hyped so for now I’m putting this book aside but I will give it another go later on, maybe in a year or so?
But seriously, don’t let my disinterest cross this book off your list. From what I read this was a lovely intriguing book. I hadn’t read any of Laini Taylor’s work before so I wasn’t previously familiar with her writing style, etc. I dove into this based solely on the numerous recommendations but it’s clear she has talent.
I loved the whole idea of lost magic and the forgotten city of Weep. The Unseen City. The whole beginning of this book was like an intricate folktale, reading about Strange, his dreams, and his courage as he finally stepped from the shadows to embark on a journey he’d imagined ever since he was a child. The whole story was a fascinating intertwining of fairytale and dark adventure. Overall this book was quite unique which was rather refreshing.
I’m going to keep this review short as I can’t talk too much about what I never finished, but if you enjoy fantasy books painted with vibrant colors and emotional hues, then perhaps you should read about Strange the dreamer.
Purchase here: Strange the Dreamer
Meet Laini Taylor!
Hi! I write fantasy books. My latest is STRANGE THE DREAMER, about a young librarian, a mythic lost city, and the half-human children of murdered gods. Check it out 🙂 Before that I wrote the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trilogy, which has been translated into 32 languages. It’s about a blue-haired art student raised by monsters, a broken angel, and a war that has raged for 1000 years in another world. I also wrote LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which was a National Book Award finalist, and the DREAMDARK books. As well as various short stories and novellas.
Thanks for reading!!