Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
Published by Little, Brown BfYR
Pub Date: November 6th 2012
Pages: 513
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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.

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 & Starlightfinds 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?

This review is both easy and difficult to write. Easy because I get to tell you how much I loved every word, every punctuation. Difficult because the right words–the proper words–don’t seem to come to me.

Where to even begin?! I guess let’s start with the fact that this was one dark book. There was very little to be happy about really, what with a war taking place and all. So much death…days of blood and starlight, indeed. I think what helped me not get sucked into the darkness of the book were those moments of humor and love and sweetness. I think that had we not had those moments, brought to us not by the people we expect, this book would have been such a downer. So thank you, Laini, for giving us them when you couldn’t give us who we wanted. Geez…cryptic much, Jess? ;) I’ll tell you one thing…if you’re expecting this book to be a Karou and Akiva reconciliation book, it is not. What Laini Taylor has given us in regards to them is a much more realistic plot, where characters have to first find and forgive themselves before moving on to a real, lasting relationship, if that’s even possible for them. These characters have grave decisions on their hands that don’t revolve around their love story, and as much as I would have loved more romance, there wasn’t really a place for it for them just yet. I didn’t feel let down by this at any point because I saw the greater picture, so hopefully you won’t feel gypped either.

Once again, the setting painted such a vivid picture. I could taste the sand and feel the heat from the desert where Karou spent her days. And I could imagine so perfectly the countryside and mountains that were scoured throughout the course of the story. The battles and the blood and the magic, all so incredibly vivid!

Karou is so changed in this book. She’s ruled by guilt, and characters around her completely take advantage of that. Most of the book I just wanted her to get up and kick some butt! But sometimes it takes the help of quite a few others to get  even a sliver of confidence back when you’re that low on yourself. And Akiva. *sigh* My poor, broken-hearted Akiva. He somehow found strength to choose to fight for so many things he thought were lost to him, including his own life. He held on to hope against all odds. Oh, Akiva. I love you so.

I also fell a little bit in love with quite a few secondary characters: Zuzana, Mik, Ziri, Hazael, and yes, even Liraz. They add so much depth to this book. This story could not have turned out as amazing without them. Some really surprised me and my heart broke for others, but all in all, they all have my heart.

There is a twist at the end that completely had me jumping off the couch exclaiming, “HOLY SHIT!”, as many of you who follow me on Twitter or Goodreads may have seen. I completely did not expect that!! It was such a genius move! I really thought Karou had made a horrible move in this particular moment, but wow…GENIUS!

So now here I sit, going over this book over and over in my head. I can’t let it go! My heart is completely owned by this series. How am I to wait a whole year for the next book?! How, I ask! I have a feeling fans may be split on their feelings toward Days of Blood & Starlight, but I have faith that they will see the purpose of this installment and why it was written the way it was. I’ll be on the side that finds it completely beautiful. *gets comfortable in her seat* But whatever you do, I implore you, do not put off reading this for very long.

 

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Jess @ Gone with the Words

Jess @ Gone with the Words

About Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Jess is a 30 something female living in Texas. Most days you will find her on Twitter, giving her opinion on her latest reads, her latest tv obsessions, movies, and hot dudes. In her free time she loves to watch tv, movies, and of course, read tons of books with hot dudes in them. She also makes time to run this blog. :)

16 Responses to “Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor”

  1. Princess Ash @ Paranormal Indulgence

    Oh, crap. REALLY, LAINI? I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m going to be horrified in a good way and I won’t handle that well after Daughter of Smoke and Bone. But, I’m hoping to get slightly more invested in the series and characters with this book, and usually going darker is the ticket, so EXCITING MUCH.

  2. Erin W

    Fab review! I absolutely LOVED the first book so it sounds like I’ll love this sequel even more than the first . . . so I’m pretty happy about that. hehe. Can’t wait to read it now!

  3. April Books & Wine

    I enjoy yelling holy shit after a good twist, so legit, I hope that I will end up having time to start reading this over the weekend. I’m nervous for all the changes though. :-(

    Lovely review, Jess!

  4. Jen

    Yay — I’m happy you loved this one too. I just finished it and I know this will be a difficult review to write without spoilers. You did a great job in that regard.

  5. alicejane011

    Ah! I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone! This review is making me so anxious to read Days of Blood and Starlight. I’m happy that the plot is not just revolving around Karou and Akiva’s romance but… AHHH! I need to read this!

  6. Lauren @ Love is not a triangle

    Oh goodness. This review got me both incredibly excited and extremely nervous for the next book. Of course I WANT a big reconciliation, but I completely understand that where Daughter of Smoke and Bone ended, there’s a lot of work to go through to get there. But I’m going to remain HOPEFUL for an eventually, because I don’t think could handle an entire series where the majority of their relationship took place in the distant past – although the effects of it are everlasting. I think what has me most nervous though is Karou’s depression. I didn’t quite see that coming. And I’ve read a few second books recently that all seem to have that mood about them – the heroines have to be built up through book 2 and *hopefully* will kick ass in book 3. I’m also hugely worried about Thiago. For several reasons…

  7. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley)

    OH MY GOODNESS JESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Okay, melodramatic Asheley. I’m totally doing the Home Alone grabbing my face thing while I’m reading this. i’m so excited and I’m so scared and I love this review.
    I’m so glad I read it because I know some stuff going into book two now, and I will be LESS AFRAID, which is really big for me. But still, you know me.
    There really is now way to adequately use words to describe the most beautiful words, but you’ve done a great job. A whole year all over again? I don’t know how we’re gonna do it!!!

  8. Giselle

    Eeep! I’M reading this one now and I’m really enjoying it! The only problem is I almost remember nothing of the plot since I read the first almost a year ago. Iuckily my friend just read it and I’m quizzing her but yeah. I loved getting reacquainted with Karou and I’m really enjoyed the secondary characters too! Zuzana’s emails crack me up!

  9. Alexa

    I have had an arc copy of the first bok in this series for a long time and still haven’t read it yet. I was contemplating whether I was going to buy the finished copy because the author is coming to my state for a book signing next week and now I think I just might have to make time to go meet the author!

    Thanks for the great review :)

  10. Leanna

    Looking forward to reading this one soon. I really enjoyed the first book even though I am typically not a fan of fantasy elements in novels. Love Taylor’s writing style!

  11. Sara

    I love Daughter of Smoke and Bone! Like completely! I am SO excited about this one. I think though, that I need to reread the first novel. I am SO glad you liked this one and I am SO glad that it’s different and not what readers are expecting. It’s made me more excited for it.

    Thanks!!

    Sara @ Just Another Story

  12. Magan @ Rather Be Reading

    That moment you’re talking about Jess? I felt the same way. I was freaking out. Shaking. So intense. There were quite a few moments like that where I thought, “GENIUS!” which feels so rare in second books. Go, Laini Taylor!

  13. Leticia (@osoordinary)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this review! Perfectly put! : ) It’s like you’ve put into words exactly how I felt about this book!! AND yes I completely agree with your reaction to the twist! I was jumping and yelling, too! I CANNOT wait for Dreams of Gods & Monsters!!

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