Thursday, January 17, 2013

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

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. 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.

I loved the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. *Loved* it. Karou and Akiva were amazing to follow, and I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know what was going to happen to them. And I thought I was going to die of suspense when it ended.

Even with my enthusiasm left over from the first book, I had a hard time getting into this one. Mostly because a lot of time has passed and we don’t exactly know what has happened. That info is revealed, slowly, and I found it a bit confusing. Once I had a handle on everything, then I settled happily into the story.

Blood and Starlight was almost as compelling as the first book. Close, so close, but not quite. I didn’t like Karou as much this time. She seemed too conveniently dense, especially when it came to Ten and Thiago. His motives were so obvious from the start that I got frustrated waiting for Karou to figure it out. Nothing terribly convenient or pivoting comes out of it, though, which means the rest of the plot didn’t come across as contrived, so I was able to shrug it off. It was just annoying and slowed down the pacing.

The relationship between Karou and Akiva was as expected. I wished that they could recover enough to have a conversation, but it also felt real that they couldn’t. So their resulting actions were both sympathtic and heartbreaking. I really liked seeing Akiva with his brother and sister, and getting to know them more, too. Considering how it all ends, it was necessary for us to understand the relationship among the three. With that understanding came a very powerful scene where I felt Liraz’s loss keenly, and it also made me fully understand the hostile alliance at the end—which I loved. :)

The only thing I wasn’t happy with was that Karou didn’t tell Akiva her secret, and I can’t see any reason for him not to know. In fact, he *needs* to know in order for their plan to work effectively. So I had mixed feelings about the ending. I’m still hooked on the story and am dying to know what’s going to happen next, but I’m hoping there isn’t going to be the withholding of information just to create tension. I think the author has more talent than to resort to this, so I’m hoping she won’t go there. But, I guess we’ll see in the next book—which I will *definitely* be reading. :)


Jessie Harrell said...

I really love this series. The only thing that really confused me was who the guy was who leaked the info about the human world to Jael. It'd been too long since book 1, so I didn't remember him. The rest of the suspense I enjoyed though.

Kelly Hashway said...

I really need to start this series.

Kiersi said...

I think I found Blood & Starlight less compelling because it was SO hard to get into it. Almost the first half of the book I felt like nothing really happened, which was such a discordant feeling from the previous book (I thought it moved really quickly). And overall the story was less rich.

But the basket of fruit! I almost died laughing.

Tabitha said...

Jessie - yeah, I was thrown for a bit there, too, but then I remembered who he was and where he came from. And then I was able to move on. But I was really thrown at first and it pulled me out of the story.

Kelly - why yes, yes you do. :) It's amazing, and the author is a very talented writer.

Kiersi - so did I!! That whole concept was just brilliant. :)

Anita said...

Probably not for me. The title even scares me. :)

But, there is something out there for everyone, and this author has her fans.

Good review. Even though I don't read every genre, it's interesting to know what others are reading.

Catherine Stine said...

I'm halfway through the first book. great writing, yet perhaps too overwrought (But so much talent!). I hear similar things about this sequel as I felt reading the Kendare Blake sequel to Anna, Dressed in Blood, which I really liked. Mainly that it took too long for stuff to happen. It is REALLY hard to write a sequel that holds up to an excellent first book, but it CAN be done. I will probably get to this sequel, out of curiosity.

Bleuette said...

I really enjoyed Days of Blood & Starlight and I liked how it had a very different feel than the first book, with all the war and despair.

Now when I think about it, I'm also wondering why Karou didn't tell Akiva abut her secret in the end.

Definitely will be reading the sequel to see how it all ends!!!

Anna Staniszewski said...

I just read the first book a few weeks ago, so I think I'll have to dive into the second one before I forget what happened. Maybe that will make it a little easier to get into the sequel. Thanks for the review!