Thursday, November 08, 2012

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight

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Days of Blood and Starlight
Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2
Publication date: November 6th 2012
by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

*A copy was provided by Hachette Book Group Canada for review purposes*
With it’s amazing die-worthy gorgeous cover, how can this book be bad at all? Really? It would be a sin!

Days of Blood and Starlight is the fantastic sequel to the very well loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, where we met the lovely Karou and her unimaginable surroundings. Both the characters and world building in this series are created wonderfully and incredibly vivid–which is surreal for such an imaginative fantasy world. While we are taken on a mind blowing journey when this world unravels in our minds in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, its sequel doesn’t have the magic of learning the world, the fascination of experiencing for the first time what Laini has created. This is often the downfall of sequels; we know it, we want to move forward, and although this one didn’t completely fall prey of such stalled sequels, it does take quite a while to get the ball rolling. The first half of the book, albeit still interesting, even a little nostalgic, feels like it will never end. This does happen to be about 250 some pages… Finally, when certain secondary character become a bigger part of the story the pace is, or at least feels, like it’s finally moving forward. These characters really bring so much energy into this novel that it almost completely changes the tone of the book once they’re in the picture. But it’s not just them, so much stuff has started to happen all around. Now it’s fun, exciting, intense, funny, emotional; all the reasons I loved the first in this series has come to the forefront.

The first part of the book may be slow, but the second half is full of wicked fight scenes and great plot advancement that make you forget it was even slow in the first place. I was especially taken by the abrupt plot happenings that Laini decided to add in this sequel. I think maybe I don’t expect very important things to happen in the middle child of a trilogy, so I’m very happy when we actually get some things checked off the list!

Having learned who she really was, and what her world consists of, Karou is clearly not the same young, carefree teenager she once was. She has become tough, determined, with some very hard edges. The character growth is there and it makes complete sense with story developments we went through. I love how she becomes who she has to be to make things right for her people. Her loyalty is admiring and a great quality in a protagonist; you can easily understand her, root for her, and sympathize to her situation. The side characters, the monsters, the creations, everyone is so alive in this novel! One example of excellent writing!

The character voices, the incredible world, the fantastic fight scenes (especially in this sequel); it’s elaborate without being overdone, it’s pretty without being cliché. It’s all so attractive! Obviously, I highly recommend this series, especially to fans of fantasy–in which I am not, so doubly great if you are! 

4 Hot Espressos

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series:
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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32 Responses to “Review: Days of Blood and Starlight”

  1. Jenn Renee

    awesome review. I felt the same way in the first book, the first half was very slow for me but in the second half it really grabbed me. Sometimes great world-building and great stories need the build up. 🙂 Can’t wait to read it.

  2. Aditi Gupta

    I have read & loved Days of Blood & Starlight. Where Daughter of Smoke & Bone was gorgeous and dreamy, this book makes you sit up straight and notice Eretz burning! It’s certainly got a really different atmosphere & tone as the 1st book.

    Brilliant review.

  3. Amy

    I need to read this!! I need to catch up on review books first though. This one is too big to just slip in. I am not a huge fantasy book reader either, but I loved the first one and it seems like everyone loves this one even more. Great review pumpkin!!

  4. Jasprit

    Oh I gave this one four stars too, it also took me a while to get into, but glad the end made up for the slow start! Fab review Giselle! 🙂

  5. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Oy this one just scared me so much. How you felt about the first half of this one is how I felt about the first 3/4’s of Smoke & Bone, which you loved, so I can only imagine how I will feel about the first half of this one. Maybe I’ll get you to give me the cliff’s notes on the first half and then I’ll just start at page 250!

  6. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    I love a tough character. I have been meaning to read this series forever. Now that the sequel is out, maybe I should pick up the first book.

    Thanks for the great review, it sounds like this one is pretty exciting even with the slow start.

    Hope you are having a great week Giselle 🙂

  7. Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    I’m so excited to read this one! I’m almost done with Daughter of Smoke and Bone right now (one the ninth of ten CDs of the audiobook!) and I seriously don’t know how I’m going to wait til the gift giving season *grabby hands* gah! Great review 😀

  8. Henrietta @ Leisure Reads

    I don’t feel I’m currently in the mood to read something that has a slow start but I think I’ll still add this to my really heavy TBR pile. I like what you’re sharing about Karou and the side characters. Thanks for the review, Giselle!

  9. Soma Rostam

    I cannot wait to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone.I love the cover of them both, and they are very mysterious. Reading all these reviews, I still don’t know what Karou is. I would be happy to find out
    ADDED to my to-read pile. Hope I will get to it soon enough.
    GREAT review, Giselle!
    Your constant reader,

  10. Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)

    Awesome review, Giselle! I absolutely loved the first book, though I didn’t find it to be slow at all. Personally, I loved Laini Taylor’s writing so much and how it was like the story was set in modern time, but it still had that fantasy element. Of course, the last part of the book was CRAZY intense and it made me desperately wanting Days of Blood and Starlight. I can’t wait to read it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Bookluvr Mindy

    I’m sad to say that I haven’t even read Daughter of Smoke and Bone because a few reviews kind of made me nervous. I read that the second half of the 1st book was really slow. But now this one the first half of the book is slow? I just worry that I won’t want to finish them.

  12. Barbara W.

    I have Smoke and Bone but was so overwhelmed with other things that when I didn’t get into it immediately, I set it aside to get to other stuff first. With all the great reviews that poured in, I wish I’d have stuck with it but by then, I was way too busy!

    I’m a fan of fantasy though and if I can eke out some time, I think this is one I’d like – you point out a lot of things I’d enjoy if I can hang in there. 🙂

    Great review!

  13. Giselle

    @Kristilyn: Oh yeah the first book was not slow at all for me either. It was all so fascinating! It’s this book that I mention is slow during the first half 🙂

  14. Christina

    Oooh, I’m planning to read the first book in a couple of days, so I’m glad this one didn’t disappoint!

    Also this: “With it’s amazing die-worthy gorgeous cover, how can this book be bad at all? Really? It would be a sin!”

    I also think this way. But it backfires SO OFTEN.

  15. Aman

    I need to start this series. The covers are just stunning, and from what I’ve heard, so are the books. Great review as always 🙂

  16. Millie

    Ahhh, great review! I seriously cannot wait to read this one and I’m pretty sure I will forgive the slow beginning once things really start rolling, too. Oh, it seems like I’ve waited forever for this book! And I love fight scenes, so it seems that I will have much to enjoy in this book 🙂

    Millie @ Millie D’s Words

  17. Camille Picott

    I really liked the first book. Glad to hear the sequel is good, even if it does take a while to get going. I’m okay with that so long as I know there’s a good pay off!

  18. Amanda

    I have already been so excited to read this book. Learning that it doesn’t really suffer from second-book syndrome makes me even more excited – although to be honest I didn’t think this would be too much of an issue for Laini Taylor. I am already in awe of her writing skills after only reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Also Karou’s character growth sounds amazing. I am a fan of darker second novels in series for sure. Great review!

  19. Candace

    I got my copy but cant read it just yet. I have heard its a bit slow at first but gets super twisty. I don’t know, but I’m very excited to read it! And I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Sarah (saz101)

    Oh goodness. GIselle. DoBaS falls into the category of Books I Would Do Unspeakable Things To Get My Hands on Right Now.

    And your review.

    It sounds spectacular! I’m so glad you loved it 😀

  21. The Teen Book Guru

    Ehr Mer Gehrd Giselle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited your review is making me! It’s so cool and says a lot that you enjoyed this even though you don’t really like Fantasy. I can’t wait to meet Akiva again! <3

  22. Micheline D

    Really beautiful review Giselle! I know I commented on it on Goodreads but I just re-read the whole thing & I just had to say so again 😛 My copy literally arrived THE day you published your review and I was already pawing at it before reading this. It’s SO huge though, it’s even bigger than DoS&B so I can imagine some parts being on the slow side. Can’t wait to check it out for myself 😀