Tag Archives: angels

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

6 Feb

12812550Title: Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 517

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them. And its snap split the world in two. 

After breaking the enchanted wishbone that held all Karou’s memories of her life as Madrigal, the chimaera resurrectionist’s apprentice beheaded for loving the angel Akiva, Karou finally felt as if she had all the answers regarding her mysterious identity that she had been searching for for her entire life. But within minutes of getting all those answers she also learned that Akiva had betrayed her, and that the age-old war between angels and chimaera had been rekindled as a result of that betrayal. Days of Blood and Starlight picks up right where Daughter of Smoke and Bone left off. Akiva has returned to his regiment of Misbegotten (bastards sired by the Emperor to be soldiers) where he must hide his grief over what he has done, pretending to go along with the enslavement and murder of chimaera so he can covertly try to save and warn as many as he can of their impending slaughter. Meanwhile, Karou has transported what’s left of the chimaera army to a Kasbah in Morocco, where she has taken up Brimstone’s mantle as resurrectionist for the White Wolf. But as Akiva and Karou, in different worlds appearing to work towards different ends, begin to unravel threads of conspiracy, intrigue, and deception, it becomes more and more apparent that they are still both working to the same end: hope for peace.

So, for months now I’ve been getting lackluster feedback about this book from my various friends and coworkers. And I get it, but I disagree. Whereas Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a perfect blend of urban fantasy and high fantasy, to the point that it could potentially appeal to paranormal fans and readers who don’t necessarily loooooooove fantasy, Days of Blood and Starlight is straight up high fantasy. It’s an all out war in another world; even the parts that take place in our world are utterly removed from the world as we know it (excluding the parts with Mik and Zuzana)(and yes I know I just used the word “world” three times in one sentence). While I am 100% cool with this, the genre shift means that Days of Blood and Starlight has a fairly different appeal, so I guess I get the disappointment in some contingencies of the readership.

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

7 Jan

8490112Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 448 pages

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.

Karou is a young art student in Prague who has no idea who she actually is. Her hair grows out of her head a luscious shade of blue, she can speak a stupid amount of languages, and her sketch books are filled with hundreds upon hundreds of sketches of ghoulish devils, all with elaborate back-stories that she tells her friends. Only, they’re not just stories. Karou grew up in a devil’s lair; she is the ward of the Wishmonger, a devil named Brimstone who (you guessed it!) deals in wishes, selling them for teeth pulled out of the mouths of corpses by ghastly characters. One day, all over the world, blackened hand prints start showing up on  doors, and people report sighting strange beings who appear human, but whose shadows have wings. When Karou finds a handprint on the door to Brimstone’s shop, she is pulled into an otherworldly war between devils and angels, a war that she has been a part of for much longer than she knows.

This book has been getting an insane amount of hype ever since it came out, and I kept telling myself “by golly, I really want to read that! The next time it’s on the shelf at the library I’ll grab it.” Only, it was never on the shelf, and eventually I had to suck it up and put a hold on it, and thank god I did because this book is da bomb and easily one of the most enjoyable books I read in 2012.

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Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith

31 Aug

Until the night I was taken, demonically infected, the guardian angel Zachary watched over me. Now, I watch over him.

One of my (admittedly, many) pet-peeves is when authors write a “trilogy,” see the piles of money they’re accumulating, and then decide to publish a fourth/fifth/sixth/eleventy-billionth book. What started out as a contained story spirals out of control into series-ville, where the original snappy idea gets hashed and rehashed until faithful fans start grumbling that the seventy-eighth book just isn’t as good as the first twenty-two. So, given my general grumpiness when it comes to the inevitable add-on, you’d think that I would have just ignored Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s newest release, Diabolical. Well, I didn’t, because this series is my personal paranormal romance guilty pleasure; it’s full of allusions to some of my very favorite things (most notably Dracula and very occasionally Buffy the Vampire Slayer) it’s funny, and not too obnoxiously sappy. So, I sold my soul to the series devil and took Diabolical home with me.

A supernatural alarm is raised when Miranda, former Eternal (vampire) royalty now sitting bored in the Penultimate (a sort of heavenly limbo), sees that her best friend from her mortal life, Lucy, is starting at Scholomance, an elite New England finishing school that almost certainly has demonic connections. When slipped guardian angel, Zachary (who is also Miranda’s long distance boyfriend, btw. More on that later), catches wind of the sitch he and Kieren (werewolf) decide to do the ol’ fake enrollment con while Quince (vampire, Kieren’s girlf) cools her heals in a B&B. Of course, the whole jam goes to hell (haha! Literally.) when Zach and Kieran realize they are (dum dum dum!) trapped in Scholomance, where not only their mortal lives are in danger, but also their immortal souls.

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