The valley below them, caught between jagged black mountains enveloped by fog, stretched out to where blue sky and green earth were separated by a thin line of nothing. At the foot of the cliffs, brown workers picked peaches in orchards, led sheep to pasture, and tilled the red earth. One disappointment is that Pretorius tends to hit her marks a little too hard. She tends to take nuanced implications—about being marginalized, or the effects of sexism and racism—and state them explicitly, undercutting the power of the prose.
There are also a few storylines that get brought up without seeming to go anywhere, including a questionable police shooting. But these are minor flaws in an impressive work of storytelling. Pretorius aims high, and the results will likely have you thinking about the lingering traumas of the past, the toxic effects of marginalization, and the cost of moral and immoral actions long after you set down the book.
Jordan currently lives in Cleveland with his wife, where he works as a content developer while continuing to write fiction currently in the works, a novel about a man who betrays his friend and wakes up the next day with a rat's head in place of his human head.
DAUGHTERS OF MONSTERS
It's very realistic. Pretorius is at her most poetic when describing the country itself: The valley below them, caught between jagged black mountains enveloped by fog, stretched out to where blue sky and green earth were separated by a thin line of nothing. It is like being planted, or shoveled, or pleased. You guess you like it. But kissing a beak is like kissing a pencil tip. It feels like a landscaping gig, it gets creepier as the night goes on. Your younger sister is the bridesmaid and your boyfriend is kind of smitten with her.
His wings have molted and his beak has changed to lips. They look soft. His eyes leap up like katydids. His face is smooth as cloth. You, meanwhile, are becoming a dove. Both of your hands are wings now. It makes you anxious and so you go looking. Your boyfriend takes your sister for a walk in the pantry and then closes the pantry door.
You rag on the door. This is what it sounds like. Your hair wilts like lettuce. You are all becoming monsters. Your hands are wings. Your ears are feathered. This is a sign, you think. Your sister weeps pinkish pearls. Your boyfriend grows fervent, breathes pitch like a locomotive, crowds the room with smoke. Their tails swing and dumb kiss a cactus. How hot in the yard where they live. Their snouts hard as glue.
They try this go-nowhere shuffle, are moving like circles. Your eyes keen blue and focus on the distance. In the place where your wings meet your ribs comes a tug. You get high up in it. You live in a mailbox now. You eat the mail. When a girl arrives to check it, you see how sad she is. Especially when they turn the electricity off, the water. In the winter you land on her doorstep and sprawl yourself out like a kill. You shiver. A purification process ensues. She bathes you three times in milk, she bashes your brains on the counter. Apr 16, Elise TheBookishActress rated it it was amazing Shelves: 5-star , releaseds , read , genre-high-fantasy , genre-series-books , faves-of Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a war epic , not just the story of a demon and angel's forbidden love.
Everything lovely about the first book is simply one part of a whole story. There's so much nuance to both the themes and the characters. This is a series you my future wife: do you love me me: yes my future wife: are you ever going to love me as much as you love Liraz from those books you read five years ago me This is a series you could analyze for hours. The writing is still unspeakably beautiful , simple yet gorgeous. Laini Taylor's writing flows across the page to the point where instead of skipping across paragraphs as I usually do, I was hanging on her every word.
I'd read her grocery lists. In terms of plot, though, this disappointed me slightly.
Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone: Book 3)
For the first pages, the plot is near-perfect, with brilliant twists and reveals. Yet my largest issue lies in the final hundred pages. The plot thread of the stelians needed far more buildup. It's great to see worldbuilding get even more fleshed-out, but when the first two books were so vague about worldbuilding, the focus on multiple universes seems completely out of the blue. It's an extra hundred pages spent on a plotline that has nothing to do with anything else in the story. The plotline should've been integrated more into the full story previously in the book, at the very least.
After the growth and change they went through in book two, much of this book is plot-driven.
They're both compelling characters and I absolutely loved seeing them finally get together, but they didn't grow quite enough for me. Most of their growth comes through their relationship, so thank god that Karou and Akiva are still a great couple. Their scenes in the first half were few and far between, which served only to make them more tear-worthy. The touch of instalove from book one has become a complex relationship full of moments that touch my heart.
I'm going to dedicate an entire paragraph to my two favorite characters: Liraz and Ziri. These two have each developed so much since book one. Ziri's goodness and sense of duty towards Karou both saddened me and gave me hope for humanity. His new form allowed the narrative to explore his character even more. Liraz's brutality and desire to be more than a machine mix to form an extremely compelling character.
And their relationship delighted me. I know Liraz and Ziri being in a relationship is slightly convenient, and I don't care because they fit. Their personalities are so opposite yet so similar, and it's lovely. I'm unspeakably happy about them. Of course, Zuzana and Mik are delightful. The addition of Eliza's narrative voice surprisingly helped too. These three add a touch of humor to an otherwise disturbing story.
Definitely recommend this trilogy for any fantasy fans. It's been a lovely ride. Blog Goodreads Twitter Youtube View all 11 comments. May 18, Natalie Monroe rated it liked it Shelves: cheesy-cheesy-cheesy , hate-the-characters-hate-the-book , not-as-good-as-i-expected , confusing , boooring , not-worth-the-hype , when-sparks-don-t-fly.
Nice Natalie: Hush! Do you want to alienate everyone in the YA community before this review has even started? Cynical Natalie: Someone has to be the voice of reason. Nice Natalie: Oh, get off your high horse. Cynical Natalie: That was only because I was in the middle of a tense part. Nice Natalie: Please, you thought the entire thing was the bees' knees. Laini clearly had a long-term plot in mind from book one and she executed it flawlessly. Cynical Natalie: I wouldn't say flawlessly.
The beginning and ending was a slog to get through. It nearly put me to sleep. And don't get me started on the romance. Nice Natalie: Oh, boy, here we go. Cynical Natalie: Karou and Akiva's epic romance is insta-love. There is no foundation for their romance from day one! Karou took one look at the feathery bastard and went, "Dayum, that boy is hot. Gotta get me some of that. Because, guess what? Madrigal and Akiva were Red String lovers too! She comes across him in a battlefield, doesn't murder his ass like she's supposed to, and Akiva tracks her down to a ball and makes her a shawl of moths.
Bam, that's it. Never-ending lurve despite them knowing each other for like what—two minutes and a dance? Nice Natalie: Akiva knows that. And acknowledges it. That's why he wants to know her better. Cynical Natalie: Doesn't change the fact that this trilogy is built on a lie. And it's not only them and their stupid goo-goo eyes. Liraz and Ziri stank of convenience. We have to solve the Karou-Ziri-Akiva love triangle somehow, even though Ziri never had a fishfinger's chance in hell of getting the girl, so let's slap him with the battle-hardened angel.
This way, Karou doesn't have to hurt anyone's feelings and Ziri can replace her the way Jacob replaced Bella with Reneeesme. Is it too much to ask that a character get over a love through time and space, instead of another person? What kind of message does that send out? Nice Natalie: You're completely misinterpreting the point. It's to create a parallel: Karou, a female chimera is with Akiva, a male angel; and Ziri, a male chimera is with Liraz, a female angel.
Cynical Natalie: Blah, blah, blah. Save it for literature class. Actually, no, I got another allusion to Twilight.
Karou, like Bella, only ever thinks about kissing Akiva. That's the extent of her sexy thoughts. No petting the kitty, no stroking the sword, no target practice.
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Nice Natalie: Er, are you talking about sexy times? Cynical Natalie: Just trying to keep it clean. Much like this book. I could polish my silver on it. Give me the hormone-charged, repeated safe sex of Opposition any day. Nice Natalie: Laini's writing is so lyrical and poetic, talking about blow jobs would ruin it. Even the occasional everyday slang used within sound out of place. Cynical Natalie: Then maybe she should tone it down a little. Her prose is suffocating in its beauty. We know you're the Jane Austen of the decade, babe. Now let's try for a little simplicity.
And humor. You can never go wrong with humor. Nice Natalie: Zuzana is snarky. Cynical Natalie: Eh, she's alright. She was one of the few characters I gave a fuck about. Too bad she view spoiler [accepted a marriage proposal from a guy she knew for only a few months. That's a divorce statistic right there. Nice Natalie: It's magic, remember?
Akiva learned to tap into cosmic energy. Cynical Natalie: Cosmic energy Nice Natalie: It was done with proper foreshadowing. Cynical Natalie: I'm not even going to get into that ludicrous shit. Let's make it 2. Nice Natalie: You were hooked on it! Cynical Natalie: Until the confusing ending. Everything's dandy, then some mystic dudes turn up with a new mission. It's like freaking fanfiction. Nice Natalie: She's leaving it open for a spin-off.
Cynical Natalie: Hear that sound in the distance? It's ka-ching of cash registers everywhere. Nice Natalie: Must you nitpick everything? Cynical Natalie: I'm a hater. Haters gonna nitpick, nitpick, nitpick. Nice Natalie: Really? You're going to bring Taylor Swift into this?
Cynical Natalie: I have a arsenal of Taylor gifs at my disposal. Stand down, sir. Nice Natalie: At least make it a 3. Cynical Natalie: Counting down Cynical Natalie: That's why I exist. Nice Natalie: Everyone will hate us.
Cynical Natalie: This is the Internet. What else is new? Cynical Natalie: Fine. FYI, if Laini writes a spin-off, we'd probably have to come back and do this all over again. Nice Natalie: Oh, God Pre-review: I will read this just for the sake of finishing this series. Come on, Laini Taylor, hit me with your best shot. View all 42 comments. Apr 29, Steph Sinclair rated it really liked it Shelves: young-adult , dat-cover-yo , angels , e-arc , release , forbidden-love , smart-heroine , fantasy , i-need-to-buy-this-book , best-characters.
I enjoyed this finale much more than I did Days of Blood and Starlight. Taylor chose to introduce new characters and it felt a bit jarring for a final book. The sexual tension and want bet I enjoyed this finale much more than I did Days of Blood and Starlight. Sure, there is a love story at its root, but has become so much more than that. A part of me wants to read a straight PNR from Taylor just so my feels can burst into flames.
Overall, I loved this book and this series still remains a favorite. There better be a spin-off planned, because I smell a spin-off. This cover View all 59 comments. I still really enjoyed this book but I felt this could have been a 4 book series, so the last half in particular felt a bit disjointed.
Review to come on my channel! View all 7 comments. Apr 17, karen rated it really liked it Shelves: why-yes-i-ya. View all 31 comments. Sep 28, Nick marked it as to-read Shelves: favorite-authors , romance , series , angels-aliens , angels-demons , paranormal-fiction , fantasy , favorites , mystery , ya. It's been a while since I read "Days of blood and starlight".
If you know me you would probably know that I am an ultimate fan of the this series. It's one of my all time favorites. I have saved this one for the winter break,but before I read this I wanted a feedback from you. Have you read it and if so,what did you think? View all 12 comments. View all 14 comments. The perfect conclusion. This trilogy is everything. View all 3 comments. Apr 19, April rated it it was amazing. View all 6 comments. Mar 19, Nataliya rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , awesome-kickass-heroines.
I was afraid of disappointment, but it never came. This story started strong, soared in the middle and came a conclusion that made me happy - with a slight open-endedness that is there as a gentle reminder that beyond the conclusion for the Chimaera and the Seraphim, Karou and Akiva there's more. Because no good story is truly complete just with a "It was not a happy ending, but a happy middle - at last, after so many fraught beginnings. Because no good story is truly complete just with a happy ending alone. There are no endings in life. But there are happy middles.
And they make me strangely content. And then her strange but comfortable world shattered as she found herself in the middle of apparent annihilation of the entire species who have not only raised her but to which she used to belong - long ago, in another life, in another body, having dared to dream a brave dream of peace with an eternal enemy - the enemy who, having barely become her lover, has also become the weapon of destruction for her entire race.
We saw the devastation of the brutal war, the genocide, and the fight back of which Karou - shattered and broken and suffering from despair and guilt - has become an integral part; a fight back that promised as much brutality and destruction as the force that started it. We saw a former murderer look into the bleakness of what he's done, see the abyss staring back at him, and in horror and disgust with what he saw he tried to put things right, clinging to the memory of that wild dream conceived years ago.
And now that dream is still alive, despite all odds, despite the blood and death and revenge and grief and despair. Despite centuries of hatred and prejudice and violence. The dream of peace and the longing for dull days beautiful in their calmness. Once, when she was studying the death toll of battles in World War I, she's caught herself thinking, Only eight thousand men died here. Well, that's not many. Because next to, say, the million who died at the Somme, it wasn't. The stupendous numbers deadened you to the merely tragic, and history didn't average in the tame days for balance.
On this day, no one in the world was murdered. A lion gave birth. Ladybugs lunched on aphids. A girl in love daydreamed all morning, neglecting her chores, and wasn't even scolded. What was more fantastical than a dull day? Beating swords into plowshares. The dream as old as the world itself, and yet in its simplicity strangely unattainable. Because to attain it you need to let go of the past filled with blood and losses and grief. Because you need to see your enemy as a person, and be able to let go, to forgive, to accept.
Because you need to let the dead rest in peace. I can't speak for all the dead, but I know it's not what I wanted for you, when I died. And I know it's not what Brimstone wanted for me, or for Eretz. And that's what can - and I'm sure already did - leave so many readers unsettled. Because doing that in the conclusion of beloved series is wrought with trouble. The ever-expanding scope of the story? So much can go wrong with that.
Normally I'd be the first to grudgingly point it out. But yet for me it worked here, unexpectedly and so neatly that it caught me by surprise. The introduction of a larger theme than the courageous dream of two lovers leading to reshaping of their world did not erase the significance of the 'smaller' goal. Not at all. No, instead it helped create the sense of the world bigger than just their dream, with their story - as far-reaching as it's consequences may be - becoming just a chapter in the history of their world, and not even a crown jewel of it.
It helped create a feeling that there's is more to the scope of this world than Karou and Akiva alone - neatly subverting the Chosen Ones trope at the same time - and creating a 'happy middle' in place of a happy ending. The significance of 'our' story is not diminished - but it is also not a final culmination, and I thought it was awesome. Laini Taylor's lovely prose and juuuust the right amount of humor - not only for comedic relief but also by contrast to underscore the grimness of the situation - are just as enjoyable as in the first two books.
She knows how to create beautiful and yet simple passages that flow so organically and pull you into the story completely. Her array of interesting, fully-fleshed secondary characters who actually make you care is impressive Zuzana, Mik, Ziri, Liraz, Issa, Eliza - just to name a few.
Her pacing, even though just a tad off in places, is overall decent. Her descriptions are vivid but not overpowering. And - thanks to all the literary gods for hearing my fervent prayers - she sticks with the third person narration that seems to become more and more rare in the present day landscape of literature for young people. And manages to avoid the omnipresent suggestion of vomit-inducing love triangles.
And manages to create so many instances of not only strong female heroines but also a genuine friendship between young women without the omnipresent underscores of competitive bitchery to each other and that is, sadly, rare in books of our time. Zuzana in particular, I love you and your fierce awesomeness and loyalty. She could make her friend laugh. It is not without its flaws - but, of course, perfection without flaws would run a danger of becoming boring. Even Mona Lisa lacks perfection in her eyebrow-less stare. Tongue-in-cheek here, oh you serious art critics!
Or godstars. Or teeth. Or monsters. Or wishbones. It's good, that's the point. Food, weapons, happiness. With hope that the weapons could in time vanish from the picture. A new way of living. My review of 'Days of Blood and Starlight'. View all 10 comments. Jan 05, shady boots WatchPOSE rated it it was amazing Shelves: covergasm , fluffy , faves , masterpiece , heroines-i-adore , all-time-faves , heroes-i-adore. Wowwee wow. Laini Taylor is one of a kind. View all 5 comments.
Oct 07, Whitney Atkinson rated it it was ok Shelves: read-in , audiobook. I don't know what happened but this book just got SO boring! The first two had a really cool world and the characters were so funny and dynamic but this just lost everything. It focused on characters I didn't care about, and it made the plot contingent on people I couldn't care less about.
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