Mel Reviews Books

Victoria, AUS
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  • Strange the Dreamer

  • By: Laini Taylor
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 18 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story... good narrator

  • By Jamie on 04-07-2017

Didn't live up to the hype.

3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-2018

This was a little disappointing, tbh. I had heard so many good things about this book and I just didn't love it. I think the main thing for me is that I would have loved this book so much more if the focus was on the problem at hand and not on the romance. 

I did love the world building. Both the dream worlds and the "real" world were vivid and fantastic. I would've loved to wonder down the streets of Lazlo's Weep and the writing was descriptive and detailed enough that at times I almost felt I was. The writing was another thing that I enjoyed. Laini Taylor really has a way with words, and although the lushness of her writing did slow the pace of the story a little I didn't mind. The pacing was quite slow, but I didn't really have any issues with that. I felt like that it helped in making the world that much more richer.

I loved Lazlo as a character, even if he did feel a bit like a special snowflake at times, he was so kind and caring and that is good to see in books sometimes. I loved Eril-Fane, too, and I loved how complex he was. I liked Sarai and watching her handle her dilemma but there were times when she annoyed me and didn't act when I think she could have. Other than these three characters I felt like the other characters felt a little flat and one dimensional. I would have loved to have seen more of them, particularly Calixte, Azareen and Suheyla, and I would have liked to have seen more dimensions to Thyon Nero. 

Now to the romance, I didn't care for the main relationship at all. I can see why it needed to happen for plot reasons, but there was way to much of a focus on it and it was fairly insta-lovey. There was another character who I much preferred in relationship with Lazlo and I was disappointed that nothing happened there, which probably made me less accepting of what did happen. There was one minor relationship that I felt unnecessary and pointless and two that I would've loved to seen more of. One of the relationships I loved a lot even though it was broken and complex and the other I think I could've loved if it was on page more.

I listened to the audiobook for this. The narrator, Steve West, did a really good job at bringing the characters to life and I think he did a pretty good job with the female voices. The only negative thing I would say is that the voice he did for Minya was so annoying that I almost wanted to read her scenes from the physical book instead of listening to them.

I did like Strange the Dreamer, but I didn't love it and I don't think it lived up to the hype. At this point I'm not even sure if I will read the sequel, which given the ending probably says quite a bit.