Format Read: eBook
Published by Hachette Australia on March 28th 2017
Book Depository | Buy from publisher
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.
I really enjoy Laini Taylor books — I do, I do! — but gosh, Strange the Dreamer took such a long time to get through. Beautiful and lyrical, yet missing a spark that I was desperately looking for.
I know I’m a total black sheep in this instance (one look at the Goodreads reviews confirms this), but while the overall story was brilliant, the pace of this novel bored me to death. Well, into a reading slump at least.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy Strange the Dreamer. Oh no, I think it’s pretty hard to dislike anything written by Laini Taylor — however, I do think this book could have done well with an edit. Or perhaps it’s just me, and I’ve come to love fast-paced plots and storylines. Which this book certainly was not. So much so that I’ve been putting off this review for weeks so I could gather my thoughts.
This book follows Lazlo Strange who is a little…odd. Grown up in an orphanage, he was always a strange child who never cried as a baby, and was quiet as a child. When he finds work as a junior librarian, a dream that’s taken hold in his heart since he was five takes hold and his obsession with the lost mythic city of Weep takes him on an adventure that would change all that he’s ever known about himself, and the world he lives in.
Lazlo was a nice character, even though he’s a bit dry. As a junior librarian, his job is to help the true scientists behind the scenes. Invisible and ordinary, Lazlo takes joy in discovering small snippets here and there about a lost city that was lost to history. But at the back of his mind, he knew it was real.
Strange the Dreamer flips between two character’s point-of-views — Lazlo, and Sarai…a blue-skinned girl living in an abandoned monolithic statue that’s overshadowing a once brilliant city. I won’t say too much, but Sarai was definitely a joy to read about. Sarai and the other children that reside with her in that statue is hiding, because once upon a time, her race dropped anchor on a city, decided to stay and began terrorising its citizens. It’s a sad history that I won’t spoil in this review.
Lazlo and Sarai’s two paths soon cross, and it’s magical and beautiful and so Laini Taylor. Laini’s writing definitely borders on purple prose, but yet she never really crosses that line. As a writer, she’s absolutely stunning.
As a story-pacer…well, I soon got very bored with how long everything was taking. It wasn’t until the very last 50 or so pages that things started happening. Hallelujah! I know some people like the slow-burn, but I’m not that kind of reader.
Overall, Strange the Dreamer was a wonderful novel filled with interesting characters and concepts. Unfortunately, its pacing was just way off for me.
Thank you to Hachette Australia for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.