Published September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown & Company
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Around the world, black handprints 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 grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly 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 one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored 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?
I feel like I'm going to get shot because I didn't fall in love with this book. But you know what? Regardless of your opinion on this book, I am allowed to not like a book. So no more emails screaming at me, mmkay?
Laini Taylor has talent, no doubt about it. She probably has one of the best writing styles I've seen. Her word and the way she writes them are gorgeous. But sometimes, it seemed like overkill to me. So many different words were used to describe one thing that could have been described just as well in half the words. I had to force myself to stop skimming dozens of times.
The beginning was the biggest problem for me, I think. It felt so slow and dragged out, didn't hold my interest at all. The only reason I kept reading is because my real-life best friend has the same taste as me and she said it was really good. Otherwise, I probably would have given up after the first 80 pages.
Admittedly, it did get better. But throughout the whole book, I felt no connection to Karou. She seemed fairly emotionless to me most of the time, and while I loved the banter between her and Zuzanna, most of the time I was just bored because of Karou.
There's also the matter of confusion. Hardly anything made sense to me while I was reading it, and it didn't make any more sense once I was done. Which I think is kind of weird, since the book is over 400 pages. You'd think something could have been explained in there. I would have also liked to know more about the world Karou lived in. I didn't understand it at all. Maybe it's because I'm stupid. *shrugs* But I had no idea what time period it was supposed to be in, when angels and chimaera first came into existence, etc. There was so much information that was vital - in my opinion - left out and replaced with nonsense I wanted to skip over.
Akiva . . . I'm not entirely sure what to say about him. He was definitely different from most YA characters, but at the same time, he just annoyed me a lot. I don't even know why.
And for the record, I completely saw the Madrigal thing from the first few pages after Akiva mentioned her.
Overall: People love this book. And I guess I can understand why. The story is something fairly original, the writing is gorgeous, but this just wasn't for me. I was so bored and so confused that I almost feel like I wasted my time reading this. Like I said, maybe I'm just dumb. *shrugs* But I can't help it. There was so much unnecessary information that maybe it drowned out the necessary stuff for me. 2.5 stars.