Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

dobasStarStarStarStar

Young Adult > Fantasy

(Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)

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?

Book 1: Daughter of Smoke and Bone review

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You dreamed a different way. Akiva, too. You, the pair of you, you had the capacity not to hate. The audacity to love. Do you know what a gift that is?

So. Out of 517 pages, the only swoon I got came from pg 512… and darn it if I did not feel hopeful after that! One word. Akiva.

Warning: This is not a happy sequel. But if you are still inclined to read, then be prepared to be desolate. =(

For Akiva, Karou was dead. For Karou, Akiva needs to be killed upon eye contact. See? It was (almost) hopeless. Akiva’s existence was meaningless (again) now that Karou’s gone. The continuous grief of Karou for her family was unbearable (good and bad). Both are chafed with despair, but who came stronger and unyielding to pain in the end? Making him/her better and more determined? It was Akiva.

Akiva‘s path to redemption was heartachingly beautiful. Here is a man who knows his mistakes, and yet he did not deny it. Rather, he embraced the consequences, no matter how dire and sorrowful. From an angel who knew nothing but bloodshed, to a man who loved no one but Madrigal, Akiva’s transition was empowering and reassuring. 🙂 Akiva FTW!

Karou was hard to like in this sequel. I felt that things dawned on her too slowly. But isn’t she grieving? And does that not entitle her to be blinded by anguish? Maybe. But the pain heavily questioned that one thing that made a peaceful future possible between angels and chimaera – her love for Akiva.

Oh, hell. Why don’t you just kiss and make up already?

My heart broke for Hazael, because I really like that angel. and Issa, such a sweetheart. Either you love or hate Zuzana (I’m in between). And Karou’s fellow Kirin? Very interesting!

The twists are still amazing though. and the hopeful note in the end? My goodness, it whet my appetite for the third book!!!

Be brave. Be very brave when you dive into Days of Blood and Starlight. This rather sorrowful fantasy is still extraordinary in its own right.

*emerges from state of sadness*

We have a war to fight, Akiva. And a girl to win, all over again. *winks*

#15 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT  by Laini Taylor

Hardcover, 517 pages

Published November 6th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

4/5 stars

Book Review: Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy

Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers’ souls:
Goblin Fruit: In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today’s savvy girls?
Spicy Little Curses: A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.
Hatchling: Six days before Esme’s fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

Literary Awards: National Book Award Nominee for Young People’s Literature (2009), Cybils Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2009), ALA’s Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2010)

*****

Three girls. Three stories. One thing in common: one kiss that seemed to change everything. but not always for the better. *evil grin*

Lips Touch: Three Times is one magical book. the stories are lush, rich, and very evocative! Add that to Taylor’s magnificent storytelling, and I’m hooked from day one of reading.

I want to give individual ratings for each story:

Goblin Fruit, 3 stars

Spicy Little Curses such as These, 5 stars

Hatchling, 4 stars

Every story is mesmerizing, tantalizing to my imagination. They were really good! I just don’t like the ending of Goblin Fruit (and i thought the female lead too shallow for my taste), and Hatchling reminded me of Daughter of Smoke and Bone‘s storyline. There are similarities, so Hatchling doesn’t sound as unique as it should be. Still, the lore was fascinating!

If you want to be immersed in not-your-usual magical myths and tales, try Lips Touch: Three Times. But I’m not promising you happy endings. =P

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

RATING: StarStarStarStarStar

(Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

*****

REGAL.

It was a good thing that I did not read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone when everyone was talking about it way back September/October. It would’ve lost its uniqueness to me. So what did i think of  Laini Taylor’s book with so much hype? I was… enthralled. I think that was the word i was looking for. I was drowned in the richness of the myths and tales – hook, line, and sinker! No doubt Taylor is a superb storyteller. I was lost in Elsewhere! And being lost in that world was a sweet escape.

When I think of Karou, i think of her doing her Jujitsu moves, wishing rather immaturely on her pebbles, and keeping her two lives as secret as possible. I love her wryness on hiding the truth from her friends by telling the truth itself. I found her remarkable as a heroine and as a daughter of Brimstone and the others. Akiva‘s character is well-played for me. The transition from being lifeless to confused to enlightened to helplessness was really smooth. I love Akiva, from his exotic name to his remorse.

The part where Akiva and Madrigal’s story unraveled? I rather found it unnecessary. It dragged on with the somber feel I can do without. Nevertheless, the mythical twists and turns are pretty much what gripped me tight. Fave scene? When Akiva attacked Karou the first time they met. He was dead set on killing Karou! *bloodthirsty* LOL

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a very adventurous read. Too much information? I think not. I handled the magnitude of Karou’s story with ease and quick understanding. It is unlike any urban fantasy i’ve ever read in a while. Not to mention that Taylor wrote beautifully it made me a fan of her overnight. 🙂

#28 Off-the-Shelf Reading Challenge 2011

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”