Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

“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.

worldbuilding

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. IMG_6054

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.

resolution

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? 
            IMG_6086

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 ! 

strangethedreamerreview

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 …

RATING: ★/5

table

Thank you to Hachette for sending us an Advance Copy to review ! 🙂 

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50 thoughts on “Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

  1. TwinBookmarks says:

    Love the overall summary thing you put at the end of your rating!! We haven’t yet read this book – but thanks to your heads up we’ll go in expecting an awesome beginning and a…not so great end? 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I love your final rating graphic and process! I just started this and can already see the familiar, rich story telling I expected. But if I am honest, I am having a hard time committing. Something is off for me. Maybe I am not in the right mood? Your review definitely convinces me that I will appreciate some elements. But others such as dreaded insta-love and the possible outcome have me concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marie says:

    OH such a lovely review. I have been hearing such amazing things about it, I’m glad to read a mixed review for once ahah, this will make me go into this book with less expectations for sure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LizScanlon says:

    Love this review!
    I was very interested in the book when the promo around it started, but have always been a bit hesitant due to the dream aspect of it all… It’s great to see that the writing is just simply wonderful, I would definitely give this book a chance based on good writing alone, but I have a feeling this ending is going to annoy me as well… I read the spoiler section… (not to worry, if I do read this book in the future, I will have forgotten it by then XD ) and I can see how it just falls a bit short… but… here’s to Book 2 and hopefully with lower expectations it’ll blow your mind (in a good way!) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Trang (Bookidote) says:

      LOL or you talking about my face or the plants behind the book? But yeah it started so great 😤 I brought that book with me EVERYWHERE. I would even slow down my reading pace because I love it so much I didn’t want to finish 😂 so the book had gone through some storms and mess in my backpack

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Poulami @ Daydreaming Books says:

    I’m glad you liked this book. The world-building sounds amazing but the second half of the book sounds like a let down though I am definitely going to give this a try. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trang (Bookidote) says:

      LOOL yeah I wanted to convey the same magical experience I had with the book into this review 😌 The richness of the storytelling is simply out of this world! I would always recommend it for that 🙂

      Like

  6. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Oh I’m sorry this book wasn’t quite what you hoped it would be Trang, I ended up loving this one but then again I didn’t really expect anything less from Laini Taylor! 😀
    I agree the world building was brilliant. That’s something I love about fantasy books, all the different possibilities we could discover in a new world, and I think it was incredibly well done in Strange the Dreamer.
    Great review, hopefully with lowered expectations you may enjoy the second book a little more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mypaperinfinity says:

    I’ve read so many rave reviews about this book it’s nice to see one where the negative points are also discussed. I’m not sure if I’m going to read it yet. I thought I would because of the great reviews but I usually only read contemporary so I’m not sure it’ll be “worth it” to try this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Yeahh!! It’s rare to see people discussing the negative points of this book and I thought it was important to show it off. I would definitely recommend you to read the book anyways! 😌 It was such a marvelous reading experience for the storytelling alone

      Liked by 1 person

  8. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Ahh that is a shame about that ending- I know all about what you mean when you say the ending was like it was all a dream!! (I think we both do at this point!!) That’s the problem with putting too much pressure on a book- I still want to read this book, but I’m going to be more cautious with my expectations now!! Awesome review 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lois says:

    Strange the Dreamer is undoubtedly one of my most anticipated books of the year and I do fear that my expectations are far too high. Having said that I’m still super excited to read this book simply because it’s a Laini Taylor book haha. I love how evocative her writing is and the attention in detail that goes into establishing her worlds. I’m sorry that the ending fell flat and I’m definitely intrigued in seeing how everything unravels. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you Lois! 😀 It was my first experience with Laini Taylor’s writing and I loved it ! You’re so right because her attention for details and the richness of her worldbuilding is so amazing! I hope you get to read it as fast as you can because I still think it’s one of the most wonderful experience !

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jacqueline @bluejaybooks says:

    It seems like most people who’ve read this book either dislike the first 3/4ths of it because they thought it was too slow or dislike the last 3/4ths of it because they thought it was too rushed. I think I must be one of the only people who felt the pacing was off but still liked all of it.

    Like

  11. Satou Johns says:

    Every time I read something about this book it makes me feel more anxious! I don’t have it and I already think I need it! All reviews I have seen are so good. This books seems to be an amazing adventure that I need to have in my mind! Thank you for stir his little fire in me!
    I hope you take a minute to check my blog :3

    Like

  12. Zoe says:

    I’m glad you liked this, but I’m sorry you didn’t completely love it. I can definitely see where you’re coming from though. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Like

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