Strange the Dreamer Review

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary: “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” (Goodreads).

So I started out absolutely adoring Strange the Dreamer. The beginning was the most interesting part, but after that, everything deteriorates. The first one hundred (maybe) pages take place in the library and the city surrounding it. Lazlo has a boring life, but he’s an interesting person. If the entire book took place here, I’d be fascinated, mostly because I loved the character dynamics, the mystery, and Lazlo himself. However, we’re taken quickly out of there by a rather contrived scenario that realistically never would have affected Lazlo, a very normal human being.

The first fault then is that Lazlo never should have been affected here and therefore never should have gone to Weep. In any real life world, the very normal human being wouldn’t be picked up by the special people just because he intrigued them. The other Not Normal thing Lazlo has going for him…only one other person knows about.

Anyway, then we’re thrown into about fifty pages of walking. Walking. The most boring activity humans do aside from breathing. And when Lazlo finally sees Weep, I expected a huge paragraph of awe, but Lazlo acts as though he’s seen a floor lamp (read: he doesn’t react at all).

And then! Suddenly the characters switch at the part. Part switching feels useless to me, especially if it breaks up the natural rhythm of the story and this definitely broke it up. While I love Sarai, it took far too long for her story to connect to Lazlo’s. For awhile, I felt like the book was in limbo and the plot felt disjointed. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy plenty of this book, but there were so many faults. It wasn’t a two or one star read because I fell so deep in love with the characters and the writing (even if it was total insta-love) that it warranted a three. One thing I suppose I’ve forgotten to mention is that Laini Taylor is one of the most beautiful writers I’ve ever read. I would read everything she writes, honestly, if plot and pacing weren’t her biggest flaws.

This book has worked for so many people, but plot- and pacing-wise it just didn’t work for me.

-Book Hugger

 

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