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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

I'm a bit confused and quite disappointed with this installment and the fault is all MINE. 
When I was looking for the right "tags" for this series I categorized it "Paranormal Romance" because that's the general concept for me - "another world" or "creatures" and a love story. But I added "Urban Fantasy" because the series centers around Karou. Then I rightly added "Young Adult" since she isn't even 18.. (Though very mature for her age) But I guess I was all wrong.. This is neither of those genres. It's simply a "Fantasy" series. The funny thing is, when I look NOW at the books' GoodRead page I see most people categorized it as "Fantasy"! Stupid me!

You know what? "Fantasy" was all I EVER read as a kid to teenager (maybe even a bit later). I LOVED it. I loved the otherness of the world, I loved the characters and the endless journey they had to take for themselves as well as to "save the world" even though they were few against so so many. In a way I think I NEEDED those books. I needed to be somewhere else and to be able to relate to this different world and go with them in this long complicated journey. But now, it's so different for me. I look for something else in my reading. I want a story that is "to the point". But in a "Fantasy" novel it's all about the adventure and the journey which makes this part too long for me until we get somewhere (positive or not).

What I'm basically saying is I was bored some of the time but mostly deeply depressed with it all. The book centers around the Chimaera struggling to survive against the angel's wrath and there's also Akiva and his personal struggle with how the battle from their side is going. That's most of the book. Struggling against odds that are SO slim. Karou isn't accepted by "her people" the Chimaera, they remember her "betrayal" and so they use her because they need her but have no respect for her. She is isolated and alone and she cowers in front of the Chimaera leader which was so sad. Somewhere along the line she gets friendly help but it's simply not enough, not until right in the end when it gets better (even though it got unimaginably bad right before). With Akiva it's almost the same, it's even worse in a way, right when he decides to take a stand he takes the TOTAL wrong one making everything worse. Also there was NO romance in this novel. AT ALL. If you thought that Karou and Akiva would mend their relationship in this one you were wrong. It could have been lighting a candle in the total darkness but sadly we didn't have that either..

Depressed. I said that word before and for me that's how the book felt. Especially with how long it was. I get that this is were the world is - Angles vs. Chimaera. I get that there is a real struggle but I think the book could have been cut in half page-wise and still get the point with enough details. There was too much repetitive things going on in Karou and Akiva's heads. They were in the same depressing stage the whole of the book (well, almost). It was nice though getting more POVs of other people - Liraz and Hazael (Akiva's brothers and most trusted friends) as well as Ziri (someone Karou knew from young age, he is her kind, they were brought together into the city). We had a little bit of Zuzana (with her boyfriend Mik) I think it helped not being ALL about Karou and how the state she was in was so hopeless! Which was the word centering in my head the whole book. Karou means "Hope" in the Chimaera language yet all there is in her life is hopelessness. 

I'm really glad the next installment would have to be somewhat romantic and I hope less depressing with Zuzana and Mik taking center stage. It's always fun when these two are around and well, it's also just a short novella so I hope things will go smother with less complications (and hope! a little bit of that please!). 

This series started amazing with "Daughter of Smoke & Bone", it was part Fantasy, part Romance on the Young Adult side (though the teenagers in this novel don't feel immature IMO). The world building was beautifully done, and the mystery slow revealing yet not too slow. This installment left me a bit unsatisfied yet the next short installment "Night of Cake & Puppetstelling us of Zuzana and Mik's "first date"(briefly mentioned in this novel) was very sweet and romantic. The last installment "Dreams of Gods & Monsters" made me realize this series isn't what I'm looking for in my books at the moment. It used to be my go-to genre years and years ago, so if you are into Fantasy - GRAB IT! But if you are looking for less journey and (more) romance this one isn't for you.. 

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 517 pages, 18-22 May 2015 / On GoodReads

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