Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
I don't think I could adequately call myself a book blogger if I did not read or at least WANT to read this book. It exploded the blogosphere last year and it was one of the most raved/talked about books of 2011. I was nervous to start to reading it because of all the hype. I hate hate hate being disappointed with books, especially ones that I have been looking forward to reading. Hype is great for books, but sometimes it leaves readers with too high expectations. However, I have to say that this novel deserved every bit of hype it received.
The Good: I'm trying to compose myself long enough to write a coherent review, but it's kind of difficult when I have a million things running through my head and several pieces of paper with chicken scratch notes about the novel. The one thing that I realized while reading is that it's impossible for me to describe to people what it's about. I've tried. I mean, essentially the book is about "angels" and "demons" but it seems that novel is so far removed from those two adjectives that it doesn't seem to do the book justice. It's SO much more than angels and demons. I've read plenty of angel/demon books and NONE of them have been like this book. It's not your typical biblical angels/demons thing. Taylor's world building is incredible in this novel. I mean, from Karou's blue hair and hamsas to Brimstone and his magical world to Akiva. It's honestly, so incredible to see how someone's mind created this entire world. I'm a huge fan of Karou's personality. I thought she was strong, badass and yet... maleable. She still has this innocence to her that makes her seem more multi-faceted than some other stock characters in YA lit these days. I, of course loved Akiva. I can just imagine him as sexy, brooding, mysterious angel. Yum. I also enjoyed Zuzanna, Karou's best friend. She was spunky and I like that. She had enough face time in the novel to make an impact and yet not enough to full form an entire opinion. I like that. Leaves me wanting more. I think the thing I loved most about this novel was the creativity and thought in the plot. I love this door to the other world idea and the whole teeth/resurrection idea. Lastly, the writing. Oh my god, the writing. It was superb. Laini Taylor is a master at the craft of writing. Her sentences were lovely without being overly poetic. I am a fan of the way she leaves some of her chapters off with that questionable last sentence. It sets up perfect tension for the next chapter. And of course the ending of the book totally left me wanting more and I can't wait for the second novel!
The Bad: I don't have to0 many negative things to say about this novel. I wasn't too fond of the fact that Akiva and Karou (even though they have a rich, romantic history together) seemed to fall in love so suddenly. It did seem very insta-love to me which usually turns me off in YA books. I didn't have AS much of an issue in this book as others, because there was that whole other life story line. That is just a minor thing though.
Overall, I really fell in love with this book. I find myself trying to figure out the correct way to describe it to someone and I can't. I just tell them they have to read it and find out for themselves. It's that good. I give it an A!