SO MANY BOOKS! What a wonderful problem to have! If you are wondering why there is pretty much a Book Rant per day, it’s because I have been reading pretty much a book per-day. And by day I mean night. I am barely getting any sleep but details! These books are just so good! Once you start you cannot stop because they just hold you captive. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor is no exception. This is the sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone if you haven’t started this series just go do it! Just right now! If you have read Daughter of Smoke & Bone and aren’t sure if you really want to read this one, do it! It’s just as good! You won’t be disappointing! I can’t even really give you a non-spoilery summary. I don’t think that’s even possible. So go read it! Spoilers beyond this point then come back and discuss with us when you’re finished!
Ok we start with Zuzanna. I am so happy she was in the one! I was worried! She is just my favourite, I love her. So we open with Zuzanna and Mik listening to Karou’s ex-boyfriend, Kaz, is giving an interview about how distraught he is about Karou. And Zuzanna wants to drop a balloon full of piss on his head from the balcony above his head but ends up just dropping a balloon of perfume and baking soda but even that was so satisfying because Kaz is just such an ass! I really like the emails, the fact that Laini Taylor wrote Karou’s email to Zuze with Monty Python Holy Grail references made me so happy. Then when Zuzanna and Mik came to find her and Karou goes out to meet whoever it was and then when she found out it was Zuzanna, such a sweet moment.
When we didn’t see Karou for the first few chapters I started getting worried that maybe she really was dead. When we get her POV again it was such a relief! And then the Wolf walks in. *Throws mini temper-tantrum* WHAT?! She’s working for THE WOLF?! They same guy who had her beheaded. At first I thought that maybe she was his prisoner, and I guess she is sort of but it was her idea to help him. Kind of, not really. Karou has really just lost most of her will to try for anything better at the beginning of the book. At the beginning when the angels are just committing genocide of the Chimearas and we get the rebels fighting back I was so thrilled! Yes, they’re fighting back! But then as we go on and learn more from the angel’s POV with Akiva, Hazael and Liraz and as we learn more of The Wolf’s plans and how he’s not even going to help his own people I got less and less ok with the rebels and everything. And Karou starts to see it too especially after Zuze and Mik arrive and then healing Ziri and talking to him and then finally Issa returning and pulling out the big guns with Brimstone’s message. we see Karou’s mind clicking that this is wrong and that there are other ways to deal with things and she starts getting her old fight back and doesn’t let Thiago and Ten control her as much.
What I loved, loved, loved about this book and Laini Taylor’s writing was the switching of POVs. We got to see both sides of this war and how bad it was for everyone. Very easily this book could have made the Angels into the flat out evil people and it could have been very black and white with the exception of Akiva because we already like his character. But what Laini Taylor did was take the much harder route, but also the far more realistic route and make everything a shade of grey. Yes the Angels are killing Chimeara but it’s not because they want to it’s that their government is incredibly corrupt but these soldiers are in no position to object. They aren’t necessarily bad people. We also get Sveva and Sarazal who are the Dama children that are just trying to live to get home. You instantly sympathize for both of them. They are totally innocent. Sveva was really interesting to read from because she is a child (she sounds like shes between 5 -8 years old) she doesn’t understand that home for her no longer exists. It’s also interesting how we get to see her move from the very basic version of black and white to this more grey toned world when Hazael and Akiva spare her and her group. She makes this connection instantly that not all angels are bad but she still recognizes that there are bad ones who would want to hurt her too. And I’m sure if we kept with her story longer she would eventually come to the realization that not all Chimeara are purely good as well. Another thing that is mentioned is that she kills an Angel and feels terrible and just recognizes it as wrong. What made this interesting is that Karou couldn’t make that connection. When she found out what Akiva and the other Angels did she lost her ability to think that way and everything became black and white for her again. Not that I’m totally blaming her, her family was just killed, but for most of the book her brain was wired as Angels = bad, Chimeara = good, to the point where she trust the man who killed her more than Akiva. And when Kiri mentions the moth she instantly pushes it aside because Akiva was an Angel he can have done this good thing. And when she’s making all these bodies she keeps justifying it to herself that then Angels are evil they deserve to be killed. I think it’s amazing that Laini Taylor brought this up this way where we think begin able to see the world in shades or grey and see other people’s perspective as a very grown up concept but children are thousands of times better at it. And as we grow up we silence this ability by telling ourselves that it justified to paint our actions in a better light.
Let’s chat about Ziri. I love this kid so much! He’s such a sweetie and I love that he loves Karou. I mean I want her to be with Akiva and everything but sometimes I just really want Karou to love Ziri too. It was so funny when Zarou told Zuze and Mik thatshe wasn’t human and they just go “Ok. So what kind of Chimeara are you?” and Karou’s like “That’s it?! I tell you I’m not human and that’s it?” And they’re just “well you brought someone back from the dead in front of us, so…..What kind?” and she draws Ziri and Zuze is like “You were a dude?!?!” So, so, so funny! Oh and when Ziri is all hurt and Thiago is going to kill him but Karou just yells that she can heal him and then she does and they fall asleep together! I felt really bad for Akiva at that point. He needs stuff explained to him! You could have told him that it was Ziri in Thiago’s body so he doesn’t feel awful whenever he sees him. On that note, I don’t like Ziri in Thiago’s body. After that almost-rape scene it’s just not comfortable. When he first walked in and we weren’t sure what was happening I got so terrified! I was trying to figure out what was going on because Karou wouldn’t have made him a new body so i thought maybe that he had a spare and he’d gotten into that with the help of Ten or something. It was a completely genius plan having someone take over Ten and Thiago’s bodies but I hope that Ziri gets into a different body ASAP.
The saddest part in this book had to be Hazael’s death. She introduces this character and we fall in love with him and then she just kills him off! When Akiva and Liraz show up at Karou’s window I thought she might actually have been able to save his soul. I didn’t realize so much time had passed until she asked for the thurible and I’m tearing up right now thinking about this. At the very end when they’re all together and Akiva says Hazael would have had they all playing dice by now. He would have too!
Ok, Akiva is freaking magical as hell. He just explodes the sky. I figured kind of through out this book that magic was something all Angels could do if they wanted to. I didn’t realize he was so special. And Zuzanna and Mik can turn invisible? I’m kind of confused here. It sounds like magic is something anyone can do as long and they have the pain tithe but not all Angels do magic. Maybe it’s a need to know knowledge that’s limited to a select few people? And then Akiva goes into his super zen state, sirithar, and can then do anything. He needs to learn how to control that then get the stupid Jael out of Earth!
So let’s discuss Joram and Jael, the leaders, emperor people. They’re the royal family of Angel land. Being perfectly honest I pictured Joram like this: and Jael was like this: I know they’re Angels so they’re perfectly beautiful super-models but NEITHER OF THEM DESERVES TO BE PRETTY! Joram makes young girls sleep with him so he can breed an army of disposable soldier and then he kills the girls willy nilly and he wants to start a war with the Stelians who are other ANGELS for absolutely no reason other than to show he can. It was so great when they left him a fruit basket declining his offer for war. I love these Stelian people already. So classy. And Jael is planning to invade Earth. Again just for kicks. He all “Oh I’ve always wanted to be a god!” and then he’ll discover weapons and poof! There will go everyone. Chimeara, humans, other Angels, just anyone he feel like. Oh and he also does the whole young-girl prostitute thing. Angel people! Get your shit together and elect better leaders! And no one in this entire book knows why the Angels and Chimeara are fighting. This war has been going on for so many thousand years that no one remembers the original goal. Get your shit together! Have a round table meeting or something to discuss because this isn’t beneficial to either party. We do have the 300ish bastard Angel soldiers and the however many Chimeara soldiers together against Jael so that is a step in the right direction. Figure out saving Earth and killing Jael then figure out your own world and establish new governments.
That’s it for me on this book! It was fantastic! We have a title (but no cover) for the third one: Dreams of Gods & Monsters and it doesn’t come out until April 2014! AH! What is life?! That’s so far away! We’re in this together. We can all make it! Bye guys! Kisses