by Laini Taylor
I'm completely fangirling all over this book. It's the first book I've read this year that I've wanted to reread immediately. I've put the sequel on hold at the library, but I'm already planning on buying copies of both books ASAP.
Back of the Book:
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 grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; 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.
Let's go over the cover first. I'm not too into the US cover. I mean, that mask is alright and I love blue, but the mask is only mentioned briefly in the book. And although the SCENE that mentions the mask is important, the actual mask isn't. I would have much rather seen a picture of Karou running around with her blue hair.
I think both of these are the British covers. I feel like they're both better choices than the blue mask. Maybe because the blue mask looks like about a million other YA novels that feature masquerade balls? And WHAT is with all the masquerade balls lately? I guess it's just the drama factor of everyone being in disguise, but I don't know anyone who has ever actually been to a masquerade ball. Oh, wait, I tell a lie. I've totally been to a party that was masquerade themed and it was a lot of fun, so I'll shut up now.
I'm really loving Karou as a character. She's smart and funny and she's not going to put up with your crap. Especially if you're a guy with a vanity problem. She's smart enough to be afraid in certain situations, but she also doesn't let that fear stop her from doing what she has to do. I imagined her as a blue-haired Sophie Turner.
|She plays Sansa on Game of Thrones.|
The more I read, the more I wanted to know about Karou's world and past. She's spent almost her entire life living in the workshop of a chimaera named Brimstone, who has raised her alongside his assistants. All Karou knows about Brimstone's work is that he exchanges wishes for the teeth of animals and humans. Some people are brave enough to come to Brimstone's shop to trade, but others have to depend on Karou to be the go-between. So, she travels through secret doorways to go back and forth between her home, Brimstone's and cities all over the world. Karou manages to keep this job MOSTLY a secret from her best friend, while she leads a double life as Brimstone's pseudo-daughter and an art student in Prague.
Then, on one of Karou's errands, she comes across an angel named Akiva, who attacks her. This sets into motion a whole series of events that lead up to Karou discovering the truth about her past and why Brimstone has kept her hidden away in his workshop all these years.
|I pictured Akiva as Kit Harrington, also from Game of Thrones. He's nothing if not angelic.|
This book is rich in detail and mystery. The descriptions of the snowy weather in Prague make me think that this would be a good winter read; all snug on your couch with some hot chocolate, while Karou is battling sexy angels in the sky.
I can't say I was surprised with all of the twists towards the end, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Of course, it helped that those were the outcomes I was hoping for anyway. I can't wait to get my hands on the next in the series, and I can't wait for the final volume to come out next year!
She raised her teacup in a toast. "To a new generation of butterflies, hopefully less stupid than the last."
"They know, child. They already know. And they aren't ashamed of you, either."
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