young adult • paranormal/urban fantasy • romance
“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”
Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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?
This book has been laying in my TBR pile for quite some time. I had tried to read it once two years ago but I got into around a couple pages and put it on hold. I wasn’t into Paranormal genre that day and when I started reading the book, I realized that Laini Taylor has an amazing way of putting words that I know it wouldn’t be a fast read. With how beautiful and carefully written the book is, my mood back then wasn’t doing a good job getting into the story. After a while and many Paranormal books I read, this book has finally came around again.
I have hated the tales of Romeo and Juliet all my life. They died all because of their own foolishness. So to say that this book was something like Romeo and Juliet is an understatement—though there was a hint of similarity in some ways. This book was definitely better and I enjoyed each word written. There wasn’t any words added nonsensically—every word felt real and magically on point.
“She tastes like nectar and salt. Nectar and salt and apples. Pollen and stars and hinges. She tastes like fairy tales. Swan maiden at midnight. Cream on the tip of a fox’s tongue. She tastes like hope.”
The plot was mysterious yet once I reached the middle of the book, the facts were unraveled one by one unexpectedly. I tried my best not to look too much into other’s review when it comes to book I’m really intrigued of, and that really paid off since I didn’t really expect that the story would be the way it was. I mean, the blurb wasn’t telling much was it?
The characters in this book was also delightful and unique. I love how complicated Karou’s character is. She dealt with usual teenager drama with exes and at the same time being involved with an outworldly problem. Her character was unique in someway that was different with most heroine in YA fantasy I’ve encounter. She was mysterious but at the same time trying her best to seek approval from others.
Well, as much as I loved Karou’s character, I always put some attention in the sidekick/supporting character in a story. And man! I was so happy everytime I read about Zuzana. She reminded me of my best friend (though finding one like her in real world would be really hard) and personally I think she is one of a crucial character in this book even though she is particularly a sidekick (so far though). Taking her out of the story will mean to take out the joy and happiness also.
Like I said before, the romance was said to be the retelling of Romeo and Juliet. But that doesn’t describe how the romance play out in the book. The two main character WAS a foolish young couple before, the story in this book though started long after that foolishness forbidden chemistry happened and how the couple realized the stupidity they both did.
So far, I’m enjoying this book so much and I really can’t wait to finish the entire series. Let’s hope I’ll fall in love with all the installments!