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Days of Blood and Starlight Book Review

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.

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Summary:
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.
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5/5 stars

Days of Blood and Starlight blew me away from the beginning. This book gave a startling real depiction of war which at times, was almost too hard to take. Even better than Daughter of Smoke and Bone, in my opinion. The world that Laini Taylor has created continued to amaze me and I never wanted to leave it.

The first book has a strong romantic element which I could understand people not liking it. But, all that goes away in this book. This one is about war. The people who are sacrificed in war. The people who survive war. The blood and tears that are shed in war. The opposing sides that are neither winner not loser in war. It is about the losses and terror of war. The way Ms. Taylor wrote about this subject was excellent and she did an amazing job showing the true brutality of war. Both sides just want to live. But, lives are lost, like always in war.

But, amidst all the pain and sadness in this book, there is hope. Weak, but still there. Hope that war can end and peace can occur.

This book is a lot heavier than the first and a lot chunkier, but so worth it. I adored this book and everything in it. I also loved how although like I said, it was really sad, people like Zuzana and Mik managed to lighten the mood. My love for those two is infinite.

This series is beyond fantastic, and I love the world Laini Taylor has created.

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book Review

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.”

5/5 stars

Several years ago, after hearing numerous reccomendations from authors and people online, I picked up Daughter of Smoke of Bone by Laini Taylor. The only knowledge I had going into it was that it was set in Prague, (a city I knew next to nothing about) there was a girl with blue hair named Karou, and that it had to do with angels and demons. Now, a couple years later, I decided to re read this book in preparation of the third and final book coming out. I hardly re read books, but this time, I’m glad I did. In fact, I think I enjoyed this book more the second time around than when I first read it. Some of the romance elements originally bugged me, but this time It honestly couldn’t deter my love for this book. It was also fun to catch all the little details I missed when I originally read it. I can’t recommend this series enough, just that if you want a beautiful, imaginative story, this book is for you.

It is near impossible to really try to sum up this book, but I will try.
The story follows a teen girl named Karou, in Prague. She works for a chimaera named Brimstone, who collects teeth. In return, he often gives wishes. All her life, Karou has always felt liked she has forgotten something, that there’s something missing. But, when she meets Akiva, a handsome angel, she might finally find the truth. But, it might not all be what she wanted…

One of the major highlights of Laini Taylor’s books is the writing. She never fails to amaze me with her beautiful, lyrical prose. Like, I’m seriously jealous of her talent.
“It was cold, and it was dark—in the dead of winter the sun didn’t rise until eight—but it was also lovely. The falling snow and the early hour conspired to paint Prague ghostly, like a tintype photograph, all silver and haze.”

I also love the attention to detail she puts in descriptions, whether it’s a person’s appearance, or Worldbuilding. The way she is able to paint a picture so clear and vivid in my head is so amazing considering how out there a lot of the characters and settings are.

“The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plasterwork and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks.”

The story in this book is creative and entertaining. You never know what will happen next. There may have been a couple of predictable moments, but all the surprising and bizarre ones definitely made up for it. All of Karou’s little adventures were fun to read, and I loved the real world events with her friend Zuzana, as well as the more terrifying ones in the other world. About halfway through,something crazy occurs which some people might not like, but for me, I just thought it was so crazy and original. There was never a full moment in this book.

The characters are wonderful and feel very fleshed out and real. Karou is a strong girl who I came to really admire. I really feel for her struggles and love how quirky she is. I adore her blue hair and all the little crazy things she did with her wishes when she was younger. Zuzana is hilarious, and re reading this book really rekindled my love for her. I seriously adore that girl. I’m not the hugest fan of Akiva, but I still do care for him and think he’s such a complex character.

I don’t think I can ever completely explain my love for this series, but if you are contemplating on reading it, please do. This is one book you don’t want to miss.

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Angelfall Book Review

5/5 stars “I never thought about it before, but I’m proud to be human. We’re ever so flawed. We’re frail, confused, violent, and we struggle with so many issues. But all in all, I’m proud to be a Daughter of Man.”

 

Angelfall, the first in a series, was a fun, action packed, intense read. I honestly think it ruined angel books for me since this one was beyond fantastic. For anyone looking for an amazing book, this one’s for you. The story follows 17 year old Penryn who goes on an adventure with an angel named Raffe to find penryn’s sister. Set in a futuristic Northern California where Angels have taken over the world, this book was imaginative, dramatic, and even a bit depressing.

Penryn, the lead, was one of the main reason I loved this book. She was utterly fantastic. And of course, her name is fantastic as well. She was strong and witty, and didn’t take any crap from Raffe or the other angels. She had a goal to find her sister, Paige (who’s seven years old) and she was going to achieve that goal. Speaking of, Penryn’s relationship with her little sister was quite heartbreaking, yet realistic. I know if anything ever happened to my sister, I would destroy the world to find her, no joke. She is my baby sister after all.( my sis is 8 years old by the way) I really felt for Penryn, and towards the end, there were some moments that almost made me cry regarding her sister.

Raffe was amazing as well, and I adored the building relationship between him and Penryn. They were both extremely skeptical of each other at the beginning and he seemed to feel that humans were inferior. Until he met Penryn, of course.. He was funny, very manly, and a real awesome angel. *sighs*. I need a Raffe in my life.

The plot was addicting and very entertaining. There was never a moment of boredom. The writing was easy to read, giving us enough details to picture the setting and actions, but not too much where it felt like my brain was about to explode. Also, I really loved all the Northern California references. :D I live in The Bay Area and I can never find a book in that setting, so it was so refreshing and quite fun to read about a place I live in. Minus the whole “angels have taken over the world” thing. That’s a bit of a bummer. The ending, I have to say was the best part. Sooo much happens in the last thirty pages, it’s crazy. Susan Ee did such a great job with all the details and I was so shocked at everything that occurred. My mind stills reels from it a little. Just saying, shit happens. So pumped for the sequel. I loved this book so much. :D

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Deathsworn book Review

“It’s not hard to kill,” Ileni said softly, as if discovering it all over again. “Not if you hate someone. It’s so very easy.”

But it shouldn’t be.”

4/5 stars

Deathsworn is the first in a new young adult fantasy series. It follows Ileni, a sorcerer who is quickly losing her magic who is sent to tutor a group of young assassins in their cave. Practically suicide in the eyes of her Elders. But, not Ileni soon realized her mission is a lot different than she thought it too be. Romance, magic, and a intriguing mystery, Deathsworn was a fun and exciting new fantasy series.

Ileni was very refreshing to read about and I deemed her very admirable. She was smart, brave, and flawed. I love how although being in the Assassin’s cave made her question herself and her people, she still remained herself. Even after finding a love interest. The romance was very real and no insta love or love triangles were involved. Thank you! The mystery was very exciting and I found it quite unpredictable. Sorin, an assassin who Ileni befriends was exactly how I would imagine an assassin to be: strong, stern, quiet, obedient. But, he was not a jerk. He was actually quite nice. I didn’t looove Sorin, but he was pretty cool.

The side characters were pretty awesome too and although there were tons of male assassins at the cave, they didn’t all fall for Ileni which was wonderful. Instead they were pretty badass, and some were disloyal and cowards even.

The plot was very neat and fun. I loved all the training Ileni and Sorin did and learning about sorcerers and assassins in that world was intriguing. I loved how although they were so different. They were both important in defeating a kingdom, their enemy.

My only real complaint was the world building. It was hard to really picture the world they lived in and would’ve like more backstory on the whole empire against assassins and sorcerers. But, hopefully more will be explained in the sequel.

Overall, a very fun light fantasy book with lots of twists and turns.

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“The Ocean At the End of the Lane” Book Review

“The Ocean at the End of the Lane”by Neil Gaiman


“Nothing’s ever the same,” she said. “Be it a second later or a hundred years. It’s always churning and roiling. And people change
as much as oceans.”

4/5 stars

There are rare occasions when reading a book, I have to stop every few pages to marvel at the author’s writing abilities and just how fantastic they are at making words flow beautifully on the page. Neil Gaiman’s work is a prime example of that. He has this ability to write such poetic sentences and such haunting stories, it’s almost scary. His newest book, ” The Ocean at the End of the Lane” is no exception.

From the first page, I was sucked in.
This beautiful story about a man who revisits a small town in England, and remembers back to when he was seven and the adventures he went on. This book is not even 200 pages and yet it is better than half the books I read. Magical, nostalgic, and heartbreaking, I loved this book.

Although this is classified as an adult book, it read more like a children’s story in the sense that the majority of the book takes place when the man is only 7. Only one “romantic” scene would make it inappropriate for children to read. The characters are wonderful, and I loved how relatable the main character was.

“I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible.”

And

There was a birthday present waiting to be read, a boxed set of the Narnia books, which I took upstairs. I lay on the bed and lost myself in the stories. I liked that. Books were safer than other people anyway.”

I really felt for the boy, especially when the new nanny comes into his family and seemingly wrecks his life. While I admit that storyline is a bit overdone in stories, it didn’t take away from the story. Childhood can be tough. But, having an escape, having a special type of freedom to cling to, can be your savior. Books and music were mine. His were books as well, and a special 11 year old girl named Lettie Hempstock. Her family was a joy to read about and helped the boy through a hard time in his life. Something I really appreciate.

I don’t want to describe too much of the book’s plot since it’s more fun to go into it a little blind, but just know this was a very imaginitive, a little sad, and a very nostalgic, fantasy story.

Overall, fantastic story. It’s slightly too short for me to give it five stars although I loved it, but I am definitely excited to read more from him. Stardust and Coraline are the only ones I’ve read previously. Definitely an author to seek out.:)

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Landry Park Book Review

3.5/ 5 stars

Downton Abbey Meets The Selection” Umm. Did we read the same book?Dw_what

Well, I enjoyed that more than I thought I would! To be perfectly honest, I assumed I wouldn’t even like this book after being disappointed in the slow paced book, “The Winner’s Curse”, which was told to be the better version of the two. But, fun, mysterious, with complex characters that refused to fill the usual mold, this book was one enjoyable ride.

Landry Park is the story of a dystopian world that is like one of the Victorian age. With fancy dresses, balls, and the large estates such as Landry Park, without the talk of tablets and technology, it was easy to think this of a story in the past. After a long and brutal war (when is there not?), it is decided that class is the new deciding factors, poor people called “rootless” (if im not mistaken) and the rich, thriving gentry. A little silly and lacking in worldbuilding, but I’m not that picky.

But, despite some annoyances with dystopian setting, I thought the story and plot made up for it, with drama, romance, betrayal, shocking discoveries, I was utterly enthralled. There were plenty of plot twists involving some of the characters that I loved as well. I’ll admit to loving the ball scenes and gentry life as well. I’m a sucker for elegant balls and dresses. *sigh*I thought the sort of mystery aspect of the book regarding who Madeline’s ancestor, Jacob Landry, the scientist who helped stopped the war was fun as well.I also kind of loved the angst between David and Madeline and all the people who come in between. And, I usually hate angst. This book just had an addicting quality to it.

But, the real star of this book were the characters. Despite their flaws, a lot of them really surprised me, and I applaud Ms. Hagen for stomping on character stereotypes. The three main characters, Madeline Landry, who is the protagonist, Cara Westoff, the supposed mean girl, and David, the assumed love interest who is cocky and charming. Madeline is as first seen as the usual protagonist, smart, “different’, not good at making friends, and just unusual. This character type is so common, its ridiculous, and I loved what the author did with her. She, despite her rocky relationship with Cara, always helped her, sometimes acted spoiled or selfish and didn’t want to give up her money and luxury in order to help a good cause, and was jealous in a realistic way. The jealous aspect is the only thing I can truly link to Downton Abbey, and David and Madeline remind me just the slightest of Matthew and Mary in season 2.  I also loved Cara, the mean girl, who turns out to be a lot more than that. She had secrets of her own,  and some were quite shocking. She also, did truly care for Madeline which was admirable. But, I have to say I was mostly shocked by David. I pinned him immediately as the arrogant, charming, amused guy. But, man was I wrong! He was truly a good guy, helping the less fortunate, and had demons of his own he had to figure out. I always love nice guys. His relationship with Madeline was a joy to read about.

overall, very fun, light read. Very excited for the sequel.

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Lux Series: COVER REVEAL

The Lux series is one of my guilty pleasures. With romance, drama, and hot aliens, it’s simply addicting. But, my only problem with this series (and many other paranormal romances) is the covers. Personally, I found them revolting. However, like the author Jennifer l. Armentrout stated in her blog a while ago, they went through a cover change. While I’m still not in love with these new covers, they are certainly a vast improvement compared to the old ones… The new books are bind ups with ‘Beginnings” which consists of Obsidian and Onyx, the first two Lux books, plus bonus content.

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The second bind up is called Consequences and contains Opal and Origin and bonus content.  Not a huge fan of this one, but still better than the old ones. Consequences_900

These two books will be released on June third. Really excited to finally own the series. Plus, Opposition the fifth and final book of this series, will finally be released in August.