Review of Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

14 03 2013

Its been a few days since I finished this book, (I was on a major book hangover after reading this) but I simply had to review it!

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?”
(Description from Goodreads.com)

This is the much anticipated sequel to Taylor’s ever popular Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I found myself completely enthralled by this book!

It continues Karou’s story after the events of the previous book, where she works under the watchful eye of Thiago, leader of the destroyed chimaera empire, creating new modified bodies for his small army of surviving soldiers.

I can’t really explain too much about the book because I feel that it is just too good to pass up. I mean, seriously this book was just…I can’t even describe this book!

Everything about this book was completely the opposite of the first book. Kaoru is no longer the happy, kick ass girl she was in the first book. Instead we see a completely defeated, hopeless shadow of the girl she once was. Everything about her old life has been taken from her by the man she loved, leaving her scarred and alone. The heartache she goes through is terrible but as a reader, I kept holding out hope that something good would happen to her. Well, without giving away anything, I’m sorry to say that is not the case with this book.

So I was totally into the love interest, Akiva, in the first book but for some reason, I couldn’t really get into him in this book. I know he is filled with so much sorrow and regret for what he has done to Kaoru and her people, but I am not a fan of the way he basically sulked around the entire time in a kind of depression. Maybe its because I’m generally a happy person and I wanted the ‘prince charming’ to save the day, but Akiva just wasn’t doing it for me this time.

The side characters were actually my favorite characters in this book. I simply adored Ziri, the only remaining Kirin from Kaoru/Madrigal’s past. He was just a great character that I thought symbolized the innocence and hope of Kaoru as she lives in her ‘sand castle’ filled with monsters.

I also enjoyed Hazael, Akiva’s brother, and his constant joking with their sister Liraz. I feel he brought a bit of comic relief into this otherwise dark and depressing tale. Seriously, he was great and I really loved him!

Karou’s faithful best friend Zuzana and her boyfriend Mik return and also add to the comic relief. And honestly, Kaoru needs all the friends she can get. I loved the cuteness of this couple and the dedication Zuzana had to finding her best friend. True friendship is tracking your best friend to the Morrocan desert (or was it Marakesh?) and staying with her while she creates new bodies for dangerous monsters.

Overall, I simply ADORED this book. It made me laugh, cry, scream, cry again, want to vomit, cry some more, and did I mention cry? Seriously, this book is all kinds of sad!

The entire time I read this book I was basically like this:

This was me when I got the book from the library:

This was me as I started to read it:

This is when everything started to go downhill:

And then the tears started to fall:
tumblr_m4x7pbuugu1rq8bbg

At one point I couldn’t help but think to the author:
tumblr_m57leoxy881r91g01

And then cry some more:

And then she kills off a character:

And I avoid the book like a plague:

At which point I return to the book, and cry some more:

Finally, I finish the book and see no light in life:

And I discover that I have to wait until April of 2014 for the next book and I just…:

Did I love this book? Yes. Did it make me cry? Yes. Did it yank out my heart, sautee it in a pan of my tears, serve it to me on a silver platter, and force me to eat it while re-reading its saddest parts? HELL YES.

Everything about this book was DARK, DEPRESSING, HOPELESS, HEART-WRENCHING, and just plain SAD and I loved every moment of it. So I give this book 4 1/2 stars out of five because of that ending. Seriously the WORST place to end it. It was almost as bad as the way Anna Banks ended her book Of Poseidon. But don’t let my tears scare you away! READ IT! AAnd if you haven’t read Laini Taylor’s first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, WHY ARE YOU EVEN READING THIS? GO READ THAT NOW!

4 and a half starsDays of Blood and Starlight

Support the author and buy the book wherever books are sold (or borrow it from your library).

Advertisements




Review of Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

3 03 2013

So I just finished Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton.

For those of you who have not yet read this book, check out the synopsis below:

First there are nightmares. Then come the memories. Now she must hunt.

Ellie can’t shake the terrifying dreams about monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her. Then she meets Will and feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. When they meet on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie’s power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Will holds the key to Ellie’s memories, whole lifetimes of them, and she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. In order to survive, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives, the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Considering this is the first book in a series, I expected the beginning to be a little slow, which it was. Ellie is your typical girl turned heroine in this great view of the whole Angel/Demon thing. Moulton managed to write a very concise world and adventure that, once I entered, really enthralled me.

It tells the story of Ellie, a seemingly normal girl eager for her 17th birthday. But everything about her normal life is turned upside down when her teacher, Mr. Meyer, is murdered and a strange boy named Will enters her life. It is then that she falls into the chaotic world called the Grim and discovers the terrible creatures eager to kill her called Reapers. But there is more. She is the Preliator, the only person capable of wielding angelfire, the only thing that can kill the Reapers. What’s more, her soul is thousands of years old and is constantly being reborn in order to save human souls from being sent to hell by the Reapers. It is her destiny to destroy the Reapers and protect the human souls from joining the ranks of Hell’s army. A destiny that she can’t seem to remember.

But like every main heroine ever written, Ellie does have her faults. For one thing, she was completely oblivious as to her best friend Landon’s feelings for her. I mean, when a guy buys you a dozen roses for your birthday and brings them to school, chances are he’s in love with you. I’ve had a male best friend and he bought me a book that I’d asked him for my birthday.

I really enjoyed the flashbacks that Ellie constantly fell under at felt that Coulton really placed them all in strategic places. I found myself looking forward to the flashbacks the more I read. I loved looking back into Ellie’s past lives and seeing just how different she was. The flashbacks really helped me keep reading when I thought I was ready to give up on it, and once Coulton revealed the overall plot and antagonist, I really fell for the story.

Of course, with every heroine there is a yummy love interest. That man is Will, a 600+ year old angelic reaper sworn to protect Ellie as her Guardian. Besides being super yummy, Will has his share of complexities. He’s secretive, frustrating, ridiculously protective (for obvious reasons), and seems to have been born without a fun bone in his body. There were times when I seriously wanted to punch him in the face for not answering all of Ellie’s questions after he unceremoniously awakened her powers and destiny. (It’s a good thing Ellie punched him when I couldn’t!)

The love aspect of the story was written perfectly! I thought Coulton did an amazing job throwing two characters that obviously had some problems getting along and gradually pulled them closer together. The love didn’t feel forced and wasn’t rushed along like many of the books do. Add the fact that (eventually) it turns out that they can never love each other.

(NOTE: THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH CONTAINS SPOILERS)

So, as it turns out, Ellie is in fact Gabriel, the archangel of revelation, mercy, resurrection, and death, trapped in human form. As for the reason why she is in human form, that has not been answered yet. Because she is an archangel (and because the archangel Michael basically said no) Will and Ellie can never be together. Will is completely loyal and a major rule-follower, so after a one steamy and passionate good-bye kiss, he locked away his feelings for her and swore he would only be her Guardian and nothing more.

(END SPOILER)

So overall, I thought the story was one filled with amazing action scenes (I wish I could write such fabulous scenes), a strong heroine desperate for normalcy, a forbidden love, and a destiny that decides the fate of the world. Coulton spun a fabulous tale that I am eager to continue. I give this juicy read 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

4 and a half stars

Angelfire





About Me

2 03 2013

Hi!

My name is Krystal and I read a LOT of books. Seriously, I have read on average about 3 to 4 books a week. So, yeah. I think I read a LOT.

I’m twenty-something-or-other and have lived in Southern California for nearly all of my life. And before you get all excited, I don’t live by the beach or mountains or anything like that. Nope, I live in the middle of a desert and am proud to be a desert rat. I currently work as a substitute para-educator for my local school district and have a couple years of college under my belt. In my (large amount) of spare time I read and write. Mostly Young Adult fiction. (Probably because I am a young adult).

I write Young Adult fiction for a living and hope to one day be a successful young adult writer.

You can contact me at kmaestas92@gmail.com

You can also find me lurking on twitter: @KeeKeePie

You can follow me on Figment.com, just look up: Krystal Maestas