Posts Tagged With: review

Days of Blood & Starlight, Laini Taylor – Book Review

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Title: Days of Blood & Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young adult, Romance, Paranormal
Order in series: Book # 2 in a trilogy
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Length: 513 pages
(total of 84 chapters + an epilogue)

Synopsis

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 secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

1st sentence

Prague, early May. The sky weighed gray over fairy-tale rooftops, and all the world was watching. 

What made me get it and thoughts on the cover

What— To continue with the story, of course.

The cover — This time the color is red. In the cover of the first book the name of the author was written in red to introduce the color of the 2nd book so here, the author’s name and the part showing from the praise page is yellow – which is the color of the last book.

My thoughts

As expected I also loved the sequel. Action-packed with so many interesting character development. Karou was busy with Thiago building an army of stronger chimeras while Akiva was trying to save as many of chimeras from being killed by his own people (angels..). Even though there weren’t many times of our couple together it was still exciting to read. I also believe that it made their two brief reunions even more impactful.

Zuzanna and Mick played a bigger role in the second book. They were so adorable and brave in getting themselves involved in the whole unearthly business. It does help that they were also having the time of their lives.
We get some more insight on Akiva’s mother and Jael’s dreadful ambitions. We also have a few flashbacks of the times Akiva spent with Madrigal.
I’m still angry about Hazael’s death. I know that writers always kill characters in YA books but why is it that it’s always the ones who love life and having fun who get killed off?!

I admire Laini Taylor’s storytelling more and more. She’d introduce new characters in a chapter and continue with them in more scenes in a way that keeps you questioning their necessity and then she connects them with a main character in a very clever way.

Ziri, the only surviving kirin left, was an interesting new character. He used to have a crush on Karou and he helps her out in midst of other chimeras who are filled with hate towards her. I liked that he was honest -like when he told Karou that he thought Akiva might have saved his life, he could’ve easily hid that piece of information to himself to not make her like Akiva again but he did what he felt was right.

There was this one scene with Thiago, by the pit, that was rather brutal and rough to read but it just increased my disgust towards the White Wolf. I’m glad we won’t see anymore of him.

Overall

A thrilling read. Seeing both Akiva and Karou leading a rebellion and fighting towards the same cause each in their own world was amazing.       5/5 stars

“It’s not a life worth living,” he said. “Not one worth handing on to children.”
“Children,” said Karou, and she was so bleak–and so beautiful. Akiva couldn’t help himself–he looked at her and looked at her, and he ached, looking, knowing he would never again touch her or see her smile.

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The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Roald Dahl – Book Review

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Title: The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: children’s book, classic, humor
Release Date: 1985
Length: 73 pages

Synopsis

A small boy with a desire to own a candy shop meets a window-washing team of a giraffe, a pelican, and a monkey and together they go to work for the wealthy Duke of Hampshire, who makes all their dreams come true.

1st sentence

Not far from where I live there is a queer old empty wooden house standing all by itself on the side of the road. I long to explore inside it but the door is always locked, and when I peer through a window all I can see is darkness and dust.  

What made me get it and thoughts on the cover

What — Well since my little brother enjoyed the first Roald Dahl book I read him he asked for more, so I guess we’ll make our way through the rest of the books till he gets bored then I’ll finish reading whatever is left. He also wanted a short story this time and he picked this one. 

The cover — All the main characters are crammed in the cover in a very nice way and I love the combination color of green and orange.
The book in the box set has black and white illustrations but I’ve read that The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me is also available as a picture book with colors. 

My thoughts

This is such a sweet and short read about a boy named Billy and the new friends he meets at an abandoned building that used to be a sweet-shop that he’s been admiring for some time. He meets a giraffe, a pelican and a monkey (the ‘Me’ in the title. The monkey keeps on singing and one of the lines he sings is “The giraffe and the  pelly and me!”) and all four start a window washing business, through which they get to work for the Duke who’s quite loud and bossy but ends up giving the 3 animals and the boy everything they desire. 

My little brother loved the part with the thief who stole the duchess’ jewelry and the way she reacted with her loud opera voice.
As for me, I really liked the reference to Willy Wonka’s Factory (from the author’s famous book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). In the book Billy asks the Duke for his help to make the building he admires into a candy shop and so he does and Billy orders candy and chocolate from all over the world, which also includes special candy form Wonka’s factory and I loved that Dahl included that here. 

Overall          

A nice story to read to little kids. There aren’t lots of funny moments in this book but you’ll enjoy Dahl’s writing and of course Quentin Blake’s marvelous illustrations.    4/5 stars

The Giraffe stooped low and went out through the tall door. The Monkey jumped off the window-sill on to the Giraffe’s back. The Pelican, with me in his beak hanging on for dear life, flew across and perched on the very top of the Giraffe’s head. And away we went.

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor – Book Review

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Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young adult, Romance, Paranormal
Order in series: Book # 1 in a trilogy
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Length: 418 pages
(total of 60 chapters + an epilogue)

Synopsis

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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

1st sentence

Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.

What made me get it and thoughts on the cover

What— Before 2016 I heard nothing about this book or series, NOTHING… until I heard 2 book tubers name this series as their favorite series ever and how even the 2nd and 3rd book are as great as the first one. Oddly enough neither of the 2 girls said anything about the story, claiming that it’s best to dive into it not knowing anything about it. So later when I went to the bookstore that rarely does any discounts I bought a few stand-alone novels that were 10% off and of course I had to take a look at the box sets, they were at 20% off; I was debating on whether getting The Hunger Games, Divergent series, John Green’s book collection, or a set of 3 Dan Brown books. Then I saw this book series and thought “You know what I’ll just get it since I don’t know anything about it.” Debate over.

The cover — The cover is great, the feathered mask gives you that masquerade feeling (I was so excited to find out as I was reading that it’s actually from a scene in the book)… on the internet I also saw the UK cover, the one with the red door, it’s also amazing but I think this one looks more like a young adult book. Though I also love the other cover (so haunting). Anyway, this is the one I have. The pages feel very rough when flipping them with your fingers, still it’s a beautiful book.

My thoughts

Speechless. this book was AMAZING. I read it in 2 nights, and it was torture having to keep thinking about what will happen next during work.

I usually write the page numbers of pages with a quote or line that I like on a small notebook but here from the start I knew that I wouldn’t need to do that ‘cause every line is so beautifully written I’d end up writing all the pages ahead of me and that stayed true to the very end. Such beautiful writing. The author created a beautiful world in Prague, Morocco and in ‘Elsewhere’. Her descriptions of the different settings were stunning, especially Prague (I wanna go there so bad).  

I got lost in the whole world of angels and chimaeras. It was so easy to relate to Karou and her relationship with the chimaeras who raised her and whom she considered as her own family; her friendship with Zuzanna; her self discovery and of course her love relationship with the beautiful angel Akiva.

Akiva considers himself in battle with the whole race of chimaeras and has killed so many of them as shown in the marks on his wrists –whenever he kills one of them he adds a scar to his arms as a tally- he suddenly finds himself curious about this blue-haired girl he saw coincidentally. One he was supposed to kill but couldn’t. I kept on wondering why he did what he did? Why he feels a certain attraction towards her? Why does he hate the chimaeras so much?….…. Pages flew by until I got an idea of what happened and even though I figured out the answer to all those questions above and to the weird things that’s happening to Karou, reading the scene of Akiva’s breakdown on the bridge and revealing everything that we already know (since the writer gave enough hints for everyone to figure out what Karou was by then) was amazing. Seriously that scene was so epic and beautiful.

Then of course there was this whole part after Karou broke the wishbone that was dedicated to the past, now those chapters were very important since they played out a very important period. I’m impressed with the way the writer got us to love Madrigal with her bat wings and how she managed to mention all the events and objects in the past that are related to present (the present that we read about earlier) in a seamless and smooth manner. And oh that heartbreaking scene in the past where Akiva had to witness Madrigal getting killed right in front of him…. Oh boy!

I loved the meaning behind the marks on the Karou’s palms (mark of Hamas) and how it changes a ‘pure’ chimera (one that hasn’t been resurrected as a different creature body) to a revenant.

One of the other things that I liked about this book is that there was no love triangles, I really hate stories that revolve around a love triangle. Luckily we didn’t have that here. Karou only had an ex-boyfriend and Madrigal was chased by the hateful Thiago. I hope it stays that way in the second book.. though after what Akiva mistakenly did to Karou’s family I have my doubts.

Overall

Obviously I loved loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next two.
If you’d like to get lost in an epic love story and mythical world then I highly recommend you pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone ASAP.       5/5 stars

“It’s a wishbone,” she’d told him, holding it out. “You hook your finger around the spur, like this, and we each make a wish and pull. Whoever gets the bigger piece gets their wish.”
“Magic?” Akiva had asked. “What bird does this come from, that its bones make magic?”
“Oh, it’s not magic. The wishes don’t really come true.”
“Then why do it?”

She shrugged. “Hope? Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you make things happen, almost like magic.”

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