Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Plot Summary:
After learning about the deaths of her Chimera family, Karou found the portal, with the help of Razgut, to see what remains of her home in Loremendi. Sadly, there is nothing but wasteland and death, which fills Karou with utter rage that Akiva was responsible for all of this. Unwilling to believe that Brimstone was really dead, Karou went searching for them and stumbled upon something even more upsetting: Thiago was alive and that Brimstone was working on resurrecting fallen soldiers to create an army for Thiago to lead a rebellion bent on annihilation. Upon learning that Brimstone is truly dead, Karou has aligned herself with the very creature that executed Madrigal eighteen years ago by taking resuming Brimstone's work in order to take revenge against the angels, including Akiva. Although building an army of Chimera soldiers is dangerous in their realm, Karou's human form has been quite the advantage since she is resurrecting the soldiers in the human world. Meanwhile, Zuzana is desperately trying to reach her friend and is guarding her most prized possessions (her sketchbooks) and keeping the press at bay. When Zuzana learns that a woman has been breaking into museums and taking teeth, she knows that Karou is alive. However, she is angry that Karou hasn't tried to communicate with her until she receives an enigmatic email from her filled with odd familiar phrases. What is Karou trying to tell her? As for Akiva, he returns to Eretz only to find that Hazel and Liraz have not told anyone about his predicament. However, Akiva has decided that he will atone for his sins against Karou by saving Chimera rather than slaughtering them. Granted, his angelic siblings know something is going on with him, he has yet to reveal his intentions to them. In this sequel, readers will follow the main characters through their separate journeys and meet new characters who will make this saga even more epic because the ending of this story is really just the beginning of something beautiful or tragic. 

Critical Evaluation:
Honestly, I never like sequels because they tend to be the weakest. However, Days of Blood & Starlight is literally the Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy. I absolutely appreciate the fact that all of the main characters go on their separate journeys because readers finally have the chance to get to know these characters more. Furthermore, by having each character take these necessary strides, this allows the author to fully develop the character, which is amazing because we see that Karou had to make some serious choices that she, as a human, has never had to make. For Akiva, we see a creature plagued with guilt and is desperately trying to make amends for what he did by trying to save Chimera from Joram. What is so unbelievably endearing about Akiva is the he refuses to give up on the idea of peace and Karou. Honestly, of all the characters who has endured the most suffering, he is the one who continues to cling to the promise he made Madrigal before her death. As for Zuzana, I love this girl!!! I am so happy happy happy that she has her own story because she complements Karou so beautifully it reminds me of me and my best friend. More importantly, I loved the fact that she and Mik were able to interact and communicate with the Chimera because it shows the simple truth that we can all coexist if we take the time to learn from one another. I have a strong feeling that when the chimera find out what Thiago is up to they will be more apt to protect than ravage because humans are really just naked chimera with the same capacity to love. This is probably one of the strongest things in the story, which is so utterly beautiful. Although the war between the chimera and angels is ancient, it's an necessary power struggle between to races where death becomes a never ending result.  Despite the Romeo & Juliet likeness, this is story about living and fighting to prove that in order to bring peace, everyone must embrace change otherwise everyone is doomed. I can't wait to the last one!!

Information about the Author:
According to Amazon.com:
Laini Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of Days of Blood & Starlight, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the Dreamdark books Blackbringer and Silksinger, and the National Book Award finalist Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter, Clementine. Her website is www.lainitaylor.com.
Genre:
Teen Fantasy, Teen Supernatural Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Blood & Starlight:

Awards & Recognition:
From Amazon.com

A Top Ten Amazon Best Book of the Year for Teens
New York Times Bestseller
A Junior Library Guild Selection of the Year


* "Taylor continues to build an irresistible fantasy world in this grim sequel to her masterful Daughter of Smoke & Bone...Taylor's dazzling writing and skill at creating suspense are strong as ever; fantasy lovers will gobble up this book with satisfaction."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "The future of Karou, her ill-fated romance with Akiva, and the survival of both of their races await readers in the concluding volume; it promises to be a doozy."—The Horn Book, starred review

* "Taylor manages to make a five-hundred-page epic read at a breakneck speed that will have readers struggling to finish in one sitting. This sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone will paradoxically satisfy readers' desire for more of Karou's story while leaving them begging for the third installment."—VOYA, starred review

* "The impossible choices each character faces compel readers to consider the fission when ethics slam into power, creating a chain reaction of pain and grim, uncertain outcomes that must be worked through even if chances for hope on the other side are slim. Of course, [readers will be left] in breathless anticipation for the next installment, but the intensity of this middle piece is a satisfying feast all on its own."—BCCB, starred review

"Emotionally intense...memorable characters and turns of phrase."—Kirkus

"The next Next Big Thing."—Wired

"It is written masterfully and filled with poetic lyricism that tricks you into believing you are reading a classic. The book is melancholy and the pain of the characters is so etched into the pages that after you put the book down you find yourself hovering in dark corners, muttering to yourself about the cruelty of the world. But don't let that put you off from reading what will become a classic in literature in the decades to come, for sure. I am eagerly awaiting book three. Mrs Taylor! Bring it on!"—Fantasy Book Review

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Deborah Takahashi
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My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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