Thursday, October 24, 2013
TITLE: 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...
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 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?
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
Since finishing this book, I've been wanting to write a review for it. Only, every time I thought about doing so, I would become overwhelmed and blow it off. The problem was, I wanted my review to do this book justice.
Phffft! Like that'll ever happen. Taylor's prose are woven from interstellar diamond dust, and I'm pretty sure her plot is the offspring of a unicorn and the feeling of hearing the first fairytale ever told.
So, here's the gist of it. After DoSaB, I went into DoBaS with certain...expectations and ideas of how the story would further unfold. What occurred was not what I had anticipated, and nowhere near what I had hoped for. I don't mean this in a bad way. Sure, at first I was like...
But, as the story progressed, the clouds parted and reason descended upon me. I came to realize that I'd been poisoned by the majority of books out there that sprinkle in just enough conflict to keep things interesting, meanwhile satisfying the readers with an onslaught of moments they've hoped for and envisioned. It's not that these previously mentioned books are "predictable", per say, but rather, instead of the readers correctly anticipating what will happen, the author has predicted what it is their readers want. And boom, just like that, the story is all cupcakes and happiness.
Laini Taylor does not give us what we want, for the sake of keeping us content. She doesn't want us to be comfortable. She wants us to feel every horror, every loss, every doubt...every single shattered hope as her characters. Because that's what makes a story real. So, bring on the feels, Laini Taylor!
So, if you're going into this story, thinking there's going to be some of this...
You should know right now, it's actually more of this...
While there are things I wish could be different, I can appreciate Taylor's creative prerogative. I wouldn't change a thing. And, by gawd, did I love it. Just sheer brilliance.
TITLE: DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE
BY: LAINI TAYLOR
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 grown 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 hair actually 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?
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
I'll be honest...
I've seen this book around in my local bookstores for a while. I remember when I first saw it years ago. The cover stood out to me. It's all dark and mysterious and elegant...and I thought, "No doubt another insipid teen paranormal romance wrapped in pretty packaging", because I'm totally one of those people who judges a book by its cover. I'd be lying if I said I didn't. And with internal diabolical laughter, I thought, "They won't fool me this time!".
When this book popped up on my Goodreads recommendations list, and I saw the ratings and rave reviews from fellow GR members, I caved. And alas, I was not led astray. Laini Taylor and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is truly as genius as everyone claims. No question, DOSAB is one of my all-time favorite books EVER.
This exquisitely dark and entrancing fairytale seems to have been forged right out of Heaven and Hell. It's stars, and diamonds, and blood. It tastes like rich, thick heartache with an aftertaste of hope and epic love. It feels like the beginning of the Universe and the end of Everything. It is gold spun into the written word. It is my nightmare and my happy place. It is a MUST READ!
BY: VERONICA ROTH
SYNOPSIS: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
REVIEW This book blew me away. There is something so beautiful about the writing, and the story telling, even the questions of morality—what is brave versus what is self-serving, and what’s going too far in the name of peace and for the better good of mankind. Then, of course, is the mind-blowing, heart-racing action. Probably more than a handful of times, I forgot to breathe, and didn’t even notice until the conflict was resolved and I had to gulp in air, or let out a slow, shaky breath. No joke, the things Tris goes through to pass/survive initiation—and everything after and outside of that—get’s uber intense, y’all.
So hardcore, in fact, I had a nightmare last night after I finished this book where I dreamt I had to face MY Fear Landscape(s). It was NOT pretty. Yet, despite the nightmare, and my frustration with certain events (Roth, how could you?!), when I think back to the book I get all giddy and excited, like a teen girl in love. When your adrenaline isn’t pumping, and you’re not questioning people’s motives and capability of unimaginable acts of evil, there are plenty of light-hearted, funny, swoon-worthy moments that manage to balance out the heavier parts.
DIVERGENT is most definitely deserving of all the hype that follows in the majority of its readers’ wake. It’s a fabulous read, and I will be impatiently waiting for the release of the next installment, INSURGENT.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
TITLE: FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT
BY: DARYNDA JONES
SYNOPSIS: "A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely."
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
*Does Happy Dance*
Okay, I’m gonna be serious now. That’s probably a lie. Anywho, can we talk about “First Grave on the Right”? That’s rhetorical.
This book? It’s amazing. First off, Charley Davidson, the protagonist, is the badass, witty, sarcastic chick I wish I was. When I grow up, I want to be her. She’s a full-time P.I. working with the Albuquerque Police Department. She’s brilliant, and awesome, and she kicks major butt. Oh yeah, and she’s the Grim Reaper.
Charley basically exists on both planes and can see, interact, and speak to the dead—she also helps them cross over to the Otherside—which has all sorts of advantages. Especially in her line of work. When you have a deceased victim who’s able to tell you what happened, it makes finding the bad guy much easier. Well, most of the time. In this particular case, her three victims never saw their killer. And then there’s the elusive and mysterious Big Bad. He’s back, and his haunting presence is putting Charley a little on edge. Why is he back? What does he want? Will he severe someone’s spine…again?
Oh, and Reyes? Yum. That’s all I’ll say on that. Don’t want to spoil the fun.
FGOTR is everything I could ask for in a Paranormal Romance. It’s packed with laughs, and action, and smexyness. I mean, it won the Golden Heart Award for a reason, right? So, go read this series. Like, NOW. Trust me, this is one phenomenon you don’t want to miss!
As for me? I’m off to read Darynda’s second book in the series, SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT. See ya!