Book: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer 1) by Laini Taylor
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Tags: Fantasy / Young Adult / Library / Demons / Ghosts / Trigger Warnings / Abuse / Abuse and Rape of the Page
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?
I seem to have a thing with Laini Taylor where I really like the first half of the book and then the second half kicks my ass all the way to disappointmentville. Okay, it wasn’t the whole of the second half in this case, more like 25%, and I still rated this 3,5 stars. Initially I rated it 4 stars but the more I thought about it the more I realized that didn’t feel right.
Strange the Dreamer is an interesting written book with flowery description and a slow start. For me this worked because it was done in combination with a library and Lazlo Strange. Lazlo captured my attention because I understood him to a point. His want to sink into stories and imagination as a child and the chance to be at the library. His focus and deep goodness made him incredibly endearing. That doesn’t mean he is flawless. He can’t help but rile up certain characters surrounding him and he finds it hard to let go of things, he has a head in the clouds.
As said, this book has a slow start. We are slowly introduced to Lazlo, to the library and to the world around him. I really enjoyed this. I was swept up into this world, pulled along for something that felt so magical. There are some trigger warnings for abuse on page and abuse and rape of the page. Because let us be honest, that is what it is.
Then we got to Weep and a second big point of view was introduced. Weep wasn’t quite as magical as Lazlo or I had anticipated. With the second point of view I knew where we were going to head and I wasn’t wrong. There was an insta love and from about 25% I got clobbered with it. This book sets up everything so slow and real. And then the romance just gets thrown in your face. It didn’t help that I didn’t a 100% feel their connection either. This idea that both of them are just so special to one another when they barely know one another. I hated it. It took a lot of time away to set up the ending properly that we then got fast forward through and left with an ending that is a bit of a killer to the feels.
Because despite not liking the romance I did like Sarai. Not nearly as much as Lazlo but as you get to know her a bit, you can’t help but feel for her. For her companions and I want this story to end on a happy note. To want them all to have the best. And that is not going to happen. Excuse me while I go weep in the corner. See what I did there…