Friday, December 21, 2018

Gods and Monsters: Muse of Nightmares

Title: Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018!
*I picked up an ARC of this at ALA Annual.

From Goodreads...
Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.

She believed she knew every horror and was beyond surprise.

She was wrong.

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this astonishing and heart-stopping sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

My Review!
Of course I’d adored Strange the Dreamer, but I didn’t fall OBSESSIVELY in love with it like I wanted to (though a reread definitely helped with that). So I was *a bit* nervous going into the sequel, but only a tiny bit because Laini Taylor is one of my favorite authors, and I love the way that she writes. It is, sometimes, hard to grasp at first. Because her world is BIG. I mean, so big that it is not only a fantasy land, but a multi-universe world. It is about tears in the sky and dozens upon hundreds of different peoples and creatures. Weep is only a small part of it. Lazlo and the gang are only a small part of it, and that’s what they find out as they discover that their stories are connected to others in a way they didn’t even think about.

There are SO MANY characters, but it’s not hard to separate them, and to love them. Even the newcomers, who become such a huge part of this story, in such a hard-hitting way that I wasn’t expecting at all. I was hurting, y’all. Laini took what I knew about about Weep and its people and turned that on its head. But not only that, she made me love a villain who wasn’t completely villainous. She made me love a character who was cruel and vengeful, but who was just so exhausted of holding onto all of it that she made a different choice for herself. Give me the morally gray, I-do-what-I-want-even-if-you-don’t-like-it characters, the ones who maybe aren’t so bad as they seem if you tilt the light just a little.

This was so emotionally impactful. Here were all of these characters who fought and bled and lost, but who decided to live and love anyway. Here were characters who were so broken that they didn’t know how to put themselves back together again, but they did it because they had so much more strength than they realized. I was so invested in all of them, even the ones who were on the outer edges of my radar, even the ones who made stupid choices and fought against being a better person because it was all they knew. And the relationships between them all were just so genuine and deep, complicated and full of past mistakes and pain. I was pulled along mostly because of them and their fire.

But oh my god, guys, the nods to her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series? I was SCREAMING. WHAT GENIUS! WHAT MAD GENIUS! I didn’t know if I’d catch them because it’s been so many years since I finished the series, but omg nope. I got them, and I died. DIED. And all it made me want to do was be back with my babies. With the story that made me fall in love with Laini’s writing in the first place. I want more to this world, to these universes. I want all of the characters to meet and team up, and I want to explore more of it, fall in love with NEW people. I’m just gonna start sending Laini prayer emojis to get new series. I’m sure she won’t mind, right? Gah. I loved Muse of Nightmares so much. I need more. *sobs*


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