Thursday, December 20, 2012
"Days of Starlight and Blood" by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little Brown
From Goodreads: "Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?"
As is evident from reading my review of "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" I was in the minority, I wasn't a HUGE fan of it. The first two thirds of the book totally had me wrapped around its finger, however, I found myself less and less enchanted with the last third. In all honestly I didn't care about Madrigal and Akiva's story, I wanted Karou and Akiva's story. As for this book? It gave it to me (and then some)- however, not in your usual romantical sense.
While in "DoS&B" my largest complaint was with the characters they were, without a doubt, this book's biggest strength- main and secondary alike. While Karou did loose some of her snark in this book, an attribute which I loved, she certainly didn't loose her spark- Gals like Tris and Katniss better watch their back because Karou may very well overthrow them as YA's strongest heroine. And Akiva? While in the previous book I couldn't connect to him on any level in this book... Well, let's just say THE FEELS. While Karou could give Tris and Katniss a run for their money as top YA female, Akiva could give Jace and Will a run for their money as the most angsty, romantical, swoon-worthy YA male character.
Ziri, Hazael, Liraz, Mik, and Zuzana were also forces to be reckoned with- Ziri with his childlike innocence (though I will make note that if he becomes the third branch of a love triangle in the next book that I will cut someone), Hazael with his humor and overall goodness, Liraz with her strength and understated vulnerability, and Mik and Zuzana with their adorable love story within a love story (seriously, if anyone knows a twenty-something boy like Mik, send him my way).
The plot of this book was much darker than that of "DoS&B", however, I much preferred it being as such- I felt as if the stakes were raised and that I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time. This book does not suffer from the "second book syndrome" in any sense of the imagination. My only complaint of the novel stemmed from this aspect of the story- at times I felt that Laini was far too detailed in her explanations, in many of these parts I found myself skimming over them. As for the ending? It is hands down one of the most satisfying that I have ever encountered before- while, as mentioned, there wasn't technically any romance between Karou and Akiva in this book I think it safe to say that they will finally get the happy ending that they are so deserving of in the last installment of this series.
All in all, I was one of those who did waffle about whether or not to continue on with this series and I am SO GLAD that I did. In a time (RE: last 2 months) where almost every book has only elicited a shrug or "meh" from me this book was truly a beacon of light.
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.