Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review - Days of Blood & Starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2)
by Laini Taylor
Date: 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: YA
Book type: prose novel
Pages: 513
Format: e-book
Source: library

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?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

You know when you read the first book in a series and get all excited because it's so wonderful, and then you read the second book and you feel like you've been duped because it's so boring and awful and you wonder if the author suffered a head injury just before they wrote it?  Well, you can relax.  This is not one of those second books.

I think I actually liked Days of Blood & Starlight more than I liked Daughter of Smoke & Bone... and I liked that one quite a bit.  The characters keep developing, the plot gets more wonderfully convoluted as it goes along, and there are just enough twists and turns and surprises to keep the reader guessing.

My one (very minor) complaint has to do with the languages in the book.  English comes across as the default, even though characters are supposed to be speaking Czech or Chimaera.  (I'm thinking of a scene where characters are spelling words to each other.)  Some actual foreign language might have helped push this book into solid 5-star territory for me.  But, as I said, it's a minor quibble.

If you're looking for fantasy with amazing world-building, awesome characters, and lyrical writing, look no further than this series.

Quotable moment:

It was one of those dreams that invade the space between seconds, proving sleep has its own physics--where time shrinks and swells, lifetimes unspool in a blink, and cities burn to ash in a mere flutter of lashes.

Recommended to: fans of the series

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4.71 out of 5 ladybugs

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