Rating: 4 Stars
Published: September 2011
Genre: YA // Fantasy
“Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort. It was all those things, intertwined with the heat and the thrill, and it was as bright within her as a swallowed star.”
“It was what she had always wanted and thought that she’d found: someone who was for her, as she was for him, whose blood and butterflies sang to hers and answered them, note for note.”
Summary taken from Goodreads:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
I liked the story line. It was vivid and Prague was a wonder. I didn’t realize how many passages I’d highlighted until I started reading this review. Reading my highlights made me realize how much enjoyment I really got out of reading this book. It was filled with lovely descriptions and feelings of longing that I share. The characters jumped off the pages and begged to be made real. They were nearly tangible. Everything felt like it could be possible. I longed to travel and have similar encounters, though, I know I cannot really meet an Angel.
“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”
The only reason that this doesn’t get 5 stars is because it lost me a bit in the middle. The was some info dump seeming parts and since I didn’t have a reason to care yet, I didn’t. But looking back at what I know now, it wasn’t that bad. But since it had me doubt my feelings about this book, I can’t give it full stars.
“For the way loneliness is worse when you return to it after a reprieve – like the soul’s version of putting on a wet bathing suit, clammy and miserable.”
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this (except for those few moments). I loved the concept & the characters. I liked how they changed. They were bright, lovely, and fun to read.
Let’s talk characters for a minute because they were all fantastic.
- I love love love Karou. She’s a fascinating character. It was awesome finding out about the world she grew up in as she did. “She held her coffee mug in one hand and clutched her coat closed with the other. An artist’s portfolio was slung over her shoulder, and her hair – loose, long, and peacock blue – was gathering a lace of snowflakes.”
- Zuzana was awesome. I want a book about her, at least more about her please.
- Akiva took a while to grow on me. As was supposed to happen. I’m so intrigued to find out more and see where the next books goes after the insane bomb that was dropped.
- The Wishmonger was quite hard to describe.
Laini Taylor is a beautiful storyteller. The world she created is vibrant and teeming.
- Her descriptions! I can’t, they’re so great. I wanted to drown in her words. I want to live in between the pages of this book because I don’t want to leave these lovely words.
“Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day. It seemed like just another Monday, innocent but for its essential Mondayness, not to mention its Januaryness. It was cold, and it was dark- in the dead of winter the sun didn’t rise until eight- but it was also lovely. The falling snow and the early hour conspired to paint Prague ghostly, like a tintype photograph, all silver and haze.”
- The conversations were amazing. I loved reading this book. It was worth the lag in the middle.
“Don’t put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles – drug or tattoo- and… no inessential penises, either.”
“Inessential penises?” Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief.
“Is there any such things as an essential one?”
“When an essential one comes along, you’ll know.” he’d replied.
“Stop squandering yourself, child. Wait for love.”
Bottom Line: Go read this book. It’s worth it if just for the amazing storytelling ability of Laini Taylor. Sorry for the wordiness of this review, but I just couldn’t get over what I read.