Saturday, December 13, 2014

[BOOK REVIEW] Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title:  Days of Blood and Starlight

Author:  Laini Taylor

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Year Published: 2012

Number of Pages: 513 pages

Date Read: 12/12/2014

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2

Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Themes of War and Gory Violence)

“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.”

After reading the seriously explosive ending of “Daughter of Smoke and Bone,” I just had to run to my local library and grab the sequel book, “Days of Blood and Starlight!”  Now, saying that this book is darker and edgier than the first book is certainly an understatement!

Karou finally finds out who she really is: Madrigal, who is a chimera of the Kirin clan and Akiva was an angel who had loved her, despite the fact that their races, the Chimeras and the Angels were at war with each other.  Unfortunately, once Karou broke the wishbone that would reveal her memories back to her, she also discovers that Akiva had murdered her people, including Brimstone, after Madrigal was originally killed years ago.  This act had caused Karou to turn her back on Akiva and work with Thiago, the wolf leader who is the pride of the Chimera race, to bring dead chimera back to life so that they could create an army to take down the angels.  Meanwhile, Akiva, Liraz and Hazael have their own battle to fight as they try to defeat their father, the Emperor Joram, in order to stop this endless battle between the angels and the chimeras.

Oh my goodness! Can I say that I enjoyed this book much more than the first book, despite how things got even darker and edgier for the characters?  Laini Taylor has certainly turned our expectations for the perfect romance story on its head, as we get to see how betrayal between two lovers can ruin a relationship in a devastating way.  I loved the way that Laini Taylor made this book much darker than the first book as this book deals with the war between the angels and the chimeras and how it is affecting all of the characters involved, especially Karou and Akiva.  There were many scenes in this book that made me cringe, such as the scenes where Thiago orders the chimera army to “cut smiles” onto the angels’ faces (eek…), so I would say that this book did a pretty awesome job at detailing the gruesome moments of war and brutality.  But what really stood out to me in this book was how broken Karou and Akiva’s relationship is after they discovered the truth about each other in the first book.  Now, I have read many romance novels where things were alright between the main couple and they were able to work out their problems towards the end of the story, but I had never read a romance novel where the crushing reality of being betrayed had left an enormous impact on the story throughout the entire book and that is what made this book so interesting and unique to me since I rarely see a romance novel where we see a couple look at each other with distrust throughout the entire story for good reasons.  But, even though this book was darker and edgier than the first book, we still have our happy go-lucky couple Zuzana and Mik lighting up the mood by standing by Karou while making light hearted jokes throughout the book.  I loved the chemistry shared between Zuzana and Mik as it is obvious that they truly care for each other and I just loved the hilarious bantering between them as I found myself giggling whenever they make so many jokes!

Since this book actually details the destruction of war, there are many disturbing moments in this book where characters are killed off or tortured in gruesome ways.  I have mentioned that one of the torture methods that Thiago used on the angels, which is cutting up the angels’ faces and making them look like they are smiling, is probably one of the most disturbing moments in this book and it might make some people really uncomfortable reading it.

Overall, “Days of Blood and Starlight” is seriously one paranormal romance book you just got to pick up and I am definitely picking up the third book in the series “ Dreams of Gods and Monsters” or “Night of Cake and Puppets” if I want to read about Zuzana and Mik’s relationship!

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