Book Reviews

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

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Image from Goodreads

Lazlo Strange is not an ordinary boy, silent as a baby to the time he was placed in an orphanage his head is constantly in the clouds, dreaming of the lost city of Weep. Of course that is not its true name, its true name was lost and Lazlo means to discover it once again. In the tower hovering over the city of Weep Sarai lives, shut off from the world below she is trapped with her fellow godspawn who survived the slaughter of their family years ago. Their stories are intertwined in a true fairy tale with each destined to play their role until the very end.

Lazlo is a “strange” person who is instantly likeable and relatable. With his head always in a book I certainly got along well with him. And when his stories were taken away from him (mild spoiler) I felt all of the rage, loneliness and disappointment that he did. His quest to Weep is relatively short considering how long the book is but when we arrive in Weep that is where is spend the rest of the novel. And that is where Sarai is. Like Lazlo she longs for the stories below in Weep but the only way she is able to connect with them is through their dreams. Known as the Muse of Nightmares to her fellow godspawn it has been her task to keep people reliving their nightmares from when their parents ruled but, she doesn’t want that anymore, and when she meets Lazlo the only person who is able to see her she finds the connection that she is searching for.

The writing is fluid and descriptive, dealing with dreams it would have to be. It feels like the colours are alive when reading some of the dream sequences and I could clearly picture everything that was happening. Despite all of this I found it so hard to get into. I could only read a few pages at a time, a chapter or two at most before I put it down again. While the writing is fluid and beautiful it takes ages for the novel to actually progress. The journey to get to Weep is short but when we are there nothing happens. We sit waiting for the meeting to take place and watching them interact in dreams but nothing else happens until the very end. The ending was brilliant, well written and had a faster pace than the rest of the book and I was genuinely disappointed when it finished.

I was lent this book by a friend who said I would love it, and I did, but it took me ages to read and I couldn’t get into as much as I thought I would. A book about dreams and storytelling, sign me up! But some more action or events would have helped me to stay involved in the novel. This book very much is a world builder and I hope in the second book has a faster pace and has more action happening to keep me reading. I would have given it a 3.5 rating on Goodreads if I could have but the ending does make up for my annoyances before. The story is beautiful and the idea is fantastic, I just needed a little bit more.

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