Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Also in this series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 517
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on November 6, 2012
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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. Forhope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
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First: I AM IN LOVE WITH THE COVERS IN THIS SERIES. They are gorgeous.


 
Ok, so I RAVED about Daughter of Smoke and Bone. You can find that review here. It’s one of the few books I’ve read all the way through multiple times. I thought it was absolute brilliance. So I went into Days of Blood and Starlight with astronomical expectations.

Let me start by saying this: This book is excellent. I really enjoyed it, and I was sufficiently frustrated by its second-book-in-a-series-ness. Lots of things happened, not much was resolved.

HOWEVER. I did not love it as much as the first one. (of course, I haven’t loved many books as much as I loved the first one).

First of all, the world is not as weird and different in the sequel. There aren’t many outings to eerie restaurants where coffins serve as tables and the portal to Brimstone’s shop is closed. I wasn’t assaulted with fascinating and bizarre new bohemian shops or studios. This was one of my favorite parts of the first book. Now, the second book needed to move on to a different setting, so I wasn’t disappointed about this, but I will say it I missed its presence slightly.

HOWEVER: we finally get a solid look at the world inhabited by the chimaera and their angel enemies. Now that was fun and slightly terrifying. But because of that paradigm shift, it felt more like a general fantasy novel, whereas the first was this fascinating hybrid of real life and mythology/fantasy. It’s a horrible, brutal world that the chimaera and angels inhabit. And it was excellent getting to see it.

It was great to get more back story on Akiva and Karou and all their friends/enemies. Except for the Wolf. Here’s how I felt about him:

Seriously though. I was NOT a fan.

The thing about this book is that it really was more of an explanation of the first. It was almost like Laini Taylor was like, “ok, I gave you that awesomeness and epic-ness in the first one, now let me explain what happened and do some ground work for the third”. It was SO FRUSTRATING though that Akiva and Karou were apart. I mean, it was great for the tension and stuff, but OH MY GOSH. I wanted to rip the book apart, I had so much angst. Which means I am expecting a BEAUTIFUL reuniting scene in the third book. Or at least have them talk without trying to kill each other.

Also, I was THRILLED that Zuzanna and Mik were important parts of this story. It was fun to have a human perspective on all the magical insanity that was happening. They are such fun characters and I was glad they didn’t just disappear when Karou decided she had go off and save the world.

But really, because the first book was so amazing, and because this one was good, just not AS good, I still loved it. I can’t wait for the third book.Something about the way Taylor writes just sucks me in and won’t let me go. I’m being perfectly honest when I say I haven’t enjoyed a book as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone in a long time. Certainly I love many of the books I pick up, but this series is different. I don’t re-read many of the books I read, but this series I’ve read multiple times already. Now, it’s not for everyone. My best friend, also a reading maniac like myself didn’t care much for this series, and we usually like the same books. It is a weird, at times macabre fantasy ride through Laini Taylor’s somewhat creepy and disturbing imagination. But I think it’s absolutely BRILLIANT.

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