Release Date: First published & Audio unabridged edition on September 27, 2011
Format: Audio MP3
Pages: 418 (Hardcover) / Audio Length: Approx 9 hours
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Source: Library Borrow via Overdrive
Genre: YA Fantasy (High Fantasy)
Rating: 5 bookmarks
Synopsis: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 one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored 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?
Now onto the meat of the book. I've been really trying to keep the spoilers at a minimum, so I may seem a bit vague on some things, but trust me, you don't want me to give it away.
Fist let me briefly mention world building. As always an important part of fantasy. Well done Ms.Taylor, well done. I felt like I could visualize Prague. I could visualize the other-world known simply as "Elsewhere." I could wrap my head around a world of Angels, Demons, and Monsters.
I like Karou as our heroine. She smart, she learns fast, and she handles bad news like a pro. No breaking down for her. I adore Karou's best friend Zuzana! She's like a little Russian version of me! LOL She's blut, a tad snarky, a low level of tolerance for BS all while being lovable and good friend at the same time!
Akiva, I wasn't sure what to think of him at first. He's like 50 years old and Karou is 17, or is she? As the story started to unfold I began to like Akiva bit more and more with every chapter. This story is essentially about star-crossed love of two races. Slaves and owners, lower and upper class, Angel and Demon.
Their love story is truly unique. I can't even say more than that without giving away major spoilers. Just know their stories, together and separately, are sad and unfortunate. After all of that drama I cared about what happens to both Karou and Akiva I want them together, and I want them happy. They both deserve it.
This book has it all, love, war, hate, jealousy, revenge, hope...ending with an awesome revelation. I just loved how this book ended. I immediately put a hold on the next book, Days of Blood & Starlight. As you all know by now, I love when I get a verbal reaction to what I read. I was totally like "WOW, talk about an unfortunate set of circumstances and so ironic!"
Dare I say - this has been the best book I've read in 2013 so far! And that my friends is a very high recommendation! Even if you're not a high fantasy fan, give this a try because you will likely enjoy this! As you an see from my past reviews, I don't read much high fantasy, but this was amazing.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes.
“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.”
“...You are not just going to vanish like this, Karou. This isn't some goddamn Narnia book.”
“Stop squandering yourself, child. Wait for love.”
Happy Reading & Listening,