Days of Blood and Starlight & Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

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Title: Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown
Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

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: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

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 and Akiva on opposing sides 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?

review

Days of Blood and Starlight was a great read, I loved following Karou’s story. She is just a unique individual and in this book I feel like she really started to shine through. The Karou side of her personality was just not prepared for what she had to deal with, and the Madrigal side wasn’t a fan of the war either.

 

I felt like Karou really started to grow in this book, the first installment was mostly about how she discovered her past. This was about her deciding who she wanted to be, and what she wanted to stand for. This book follows her wallowing in her guilt, and generally being kind of mopey. That did bother me, and was probably the biggest detraction for me. However, it opened up the door for Karou to reclaim herself and what she wanted to stand for. She actually realized that her guilt wasn’t helping anyone and was a passive way of letting Thiago have his way.

 

I really thought that Akiva proved himself, he started off having annihilated the chimaera and really did his best to show that he regretted that. I did like that we got to see more of his personality. While I liked him in the previous book I didn’t feel like I got a good handle on who he was. I really liked his interactions with his siblings Liraz and Hazael, and they worked really hard to save so many lives.

 

Laini Taylor did a fantastic job of creating a world that felt real. Eretz seemed like such an abstract and mythical place that at first it was hard to see it as a land torn apart. However, this book shows it really is a terrible place, and that it is terrible from both sides. Laini Taylor still made the place beautiful, but it ended up being a terrible and dark beauty.

 

The ending of the book was just an absolute shock, and I couldn’t believe everything that had ended up happening. I will definitely not spoil this book for anyone, but it simply blew my mind. Both Akiva and Karou went through things that would simply break anyone less, but both of them rose to the occasion.

 

I truly enjoyed this book, and I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. There were parts especially when Karou was moping or dwelling on her guilt that I started to lose interest. I’m definitely excited by the ending, and I can’t wait to see how that all works out in Dreams of Gods & Monsters.

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4.5/5 – Fabulous Read, Recommended

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**

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Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown
Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: 
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

 

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

review

Dreams of Gods and Monsters was both underwhelming and fantastic. I loved the character growth that we saw from every single person. Laini Taylor did a great job of really reaching into her characters and making them be the best possible person they can.

 

I was so glad in this final book that Karou finally stopped moping around, although eventually towards the end she did start to drift back into that. For most of the book though Karou was a force to be reckoned with. She actually started using her brain and started to put aside her feelings and wants. She actualy started to be the perfect mix of selfish and selfless. She had hopes for her and Akiva, but wasn’t willing to sacrifice or hurt others to get it. It was a big step in the right direction because over the previous two books she has facilitated between she hates Akiva and she would give up everything.

 

Akiva also really started showing how selfless he can be. He remained more invested in Karou, but Akiva always tempered his interest with understanding what needed to be done. Karou was the world to him, but not the world to everyone. I did like that at the end we finally got to see where he came from, and what that meant. It was a very interesting twist to the story.

 

However, this twist is also one of the things that didn’t work for me. Wrapped up in this is Eliza, who I absolutely loved as a side character, but there just wasn’t enough time spent on this. We got little snippets, but it really felt like this last twist with the Stelians was wrapped up too quickly. We got a little over 50 pages at the end dedicated to this HUGE undertaking. There was also no real resolution, there were explanations given but nothing was actually resolved. It almost felt like there needed to be another book or two about this instead of a glossing over with no real ending.

 

I loved the wrap up of the chimaera and seraphim war, and that aspect of the book gets a full 5 stars from me. The twist however gets about 2 stars from me, and drops the overall rating of the book quite a bit. I would have almost preferred it to be left out completely. It was just unnecessary to what the main conflict was over the last 2 books. Overall, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars, the book keeps its rating up because the twist ended up being such a small part with very little of the book dedicated too it.

 

 

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4/5 – An Enjoyable Read, Well Written

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**

Find LAINI TAYLOR online:

Official Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Buy DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT online: 

Goodreads | Official Website | Kindle | Amazon | Barnes&Noble

 

Buy DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS online: 

Goodreads | Official Website | Kindle | Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Happy Reading Everyone! 

Kasey