Sunday, June 21, 2015

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor


My Rating: 


Website | Goodreads | Amazon 


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?

(taken from goodreads.com)


This isn't your typical Romeo and Juliet tale. Ooooh no, not even close. Although the first novel may have focused intensely on the tragic romance between Akiva and Karou, this second installment in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series takes several twisted, dark turns. Be prepared for war, and by war, I mean bloody, heartbreaking battles. 

In my review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I commented on the insta-romance that bothered me a teeny bit. Sure, there's more happening behind Karou and Akiva's first meet (what with resurrections and second lives being a common occurrence in these books), but I wanted more. Thankfully, Taylor remedied this issue for me by defying my expectations. I don't want to spoil anything, but she really makes an effort to add depth and believability to this tragic romance. 


Taylor definitely scores points in the originality department. Seriously, this woman can cook up some crazy creatures and imaginative worlds. That, more than anything else, won me over. At 500+ pages, Days of Blood and Starlight is no short read, and with the amount of detail Taylor packs in, you should be ready to settle in for the long haul. 


This second book forgoes the quirkiness of the first one, reaching instead for a more serious tone. Yeah, Karou's still got her brilliant blue hair and sarcastic sense of humor, but she's facing more danger and deception, and Taylor doesn't downplay that. 


So, why not five stars? Honestly, I felt that everything was a little drawn out. I mean, Karou spends 90% of her time in a castle in the middle of a dessert. However, I do see the plot branching out more in the next novel, so yay for that. 


OKAY SO I KNOW AKIVA BETRAYED KAROU AND I DO NOT WANT HER TO FORGET THAT BUT GOD DANG I REALLY JUST WANT THEM BOTH TO BE HAPPY TOGETHER  IT HURTS ME.


Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, if you enjoyed the first book, you've probably already read this one. Don't hate me for being so late to the party.... but maybe come console me whilst I fangirl. Please? 


My Reaction in a Nutshell

I'm just bracing myself for whatever curveball Taylor might throw at her readers next. 

“Let’s see. You know how, at the end of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet wakes up in the crypt and Romeo’s already dead? He thought she was dead so he killed himself right next to her?”

“Yeah. That was awesome.” A pause, followed by “Ow,” suggested elbow punctuation on the part of Mik.

Karou ignored it. “Well, imagine if she woke up and he was still alive, but…” She swallowed, waiting out a tremor in her voice. “But he had killed her whole family. And burned her city. And killed and enslaved her people.” (Days of Blood & Starlight, chapter 47)