Audiobook Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Posted on 02/09/2015 in Book Review / 3 Comments

Audiobook Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Published by Hachette Audio on 11/6/2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.\r\n\r\nThis is not that world.\r\n\r\nArt 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.\r\n\r\nIn 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 & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.\r\n\r\nWhile 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.\r\n\r\nBut can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Although not quite as strong as Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor does not disappoint with Days of Blood and Starlight.

Things I Liked Loved

The backstory

We finally get more history about the Chimera and the Seraphim, and it is wrought with savagery.  I’m not sure if I missed the part where they explain WHY the seraphim want to wipe out the chimera, or if that’s explained in the next book, but I kind of want to know more about that.  We get more backstory about Karou when she was Madrigal and her love with Akiva; and more of Akiva’s history and the devastation he felt when Madrigal was executed. Overall, the story reminds me of a revamped Romeo & Juliet with the whole star-crossed lovers theme going on.  I am rooting for them to bring their two worlds together and end the hate.

The world-building

It’s still magical.  I can still picture Prague, I can still imagine the press going after the story of the flying girl and how exposure to humans might be a dangerous thing, because humans have a tendency to fear or exalt what they don’t know.  I can picture the kasbah perfectly.  The details are rich and vivid, like a sand castle growing right out of the desert.  The chimera are so well-described that I think I could draw them in a sketchbook. Also, thanks to this book, I now understand the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah”.

The villains

So many villains in this book!  I won’t name them, but it was like one gets taken care of and more pop up!  Okay, in reality, it was like, three.  But still.  I love hating characters.  If I loathe a character, you’ve done something right!

Zuzana and Mik

LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THEM!  I’m going to listen to A Night of Cake and Puppets next because they (and especially Zuzana) add such a light-hearted element to the story.  And even if they are only in this book to deliver a bit of brevity, they are still important characters and not there just for the humor.  They help move the plot along, too.  I love them long time!

The ending

So well done, and I didn’t see those twists coming.  I almost feel like a reckoning is happening (and I’m probably right).  There is a certain trope

Spoiler title
where Theago* attempts to rape her
, but it didn’t feel cliche or out of character, because he’s an asshole.  It totally made sense to me that he would do that and sets the tone for the next novel. *The downside of audios is I don’t know how things are actually spelled in the books.  

Things I thought were just okay

The romance

It’s kind of lacking, if I’m being honest.  Days of Blood and Starlight reminds me a lot of Through the Ever Night in terms of theme and emotions.  The reader knows there is romance, but it happens mostly only in memories, since the main characters, Akiva and Karou, spend so much time apart pursuing their own agendas.  But this only mildly bothered me, because I also felt like it was setting up for a killer sequal (again, similar to the Under the Never Sky series).

It was a little depressing

A lot of the story is Karou’s inner dialogue and she second-guesses herself often, or plays the “what if” game.  But I can’t fault her too much for that.  She thought she was just a regular girl until the portals were closed and she and Akiva broke the wishbone (which happened in the last book).  It just made her less epic, and she really needs to be epic to see this series through to the end.  Bring me more epic!  

Narrator 4-1-1

Its Khristine Hvam and I basically love her narrations, need I say more?

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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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