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 grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; 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.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
I expected this to be a great book. It was not a great book.
It was a fantastic, amazing, incredible, stunning, awe-inspiring and-all-those-other-synonyms book.
I'm sorry for abandoning the format once again, but for books I really dislike or really love, I find it hard to talk about them in categories.
This book. It is everything I desire in modern fantasy/paranormal romance and more, everything that has been lacking in today's market. It is dark and beautiful and haunting and unique and magical and captivating. The characters leap from the pages and the writing spins a world like you've never seen before.
I had high hopes when I began this, because I thought the summary sounded incredible and all the reviews were absolutely glowing. I was lusting after this book for months, just hoping that when I finally got it, it wouldn't let me down. And it didn't. It far, far exceeded my expectations.
I want to take a pause in the gush for a moment to mention something that might concern some people: the romance. If you're starting to think that it's too quick, just be patient. There are reasons. And the fact is, though I am an avid hater of insta-love, this romance was so beautiful and the connection so real that it never once bothered me.
Also. I know I originally had my doubts about the cover, but in real life it's actually very beautiful and striking, and even more importantly, very fitting. You won't see how it's fitting until later in the book, but it is. Same with the gorgeous title. It is perfect, and you'll understand by the end.
Last matter of importance: I hate Laini Taylor. I hate her for leaving us like that and ripping my heart out with only a few pages to go. Laini Taylor, you had better write fast, because if I have to wait too long for the sequel I may have to storm Little, Brown. And I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one.
Overall: This book was just stunning. I hope you'll forgive my overuse of adjectives, but it's just so hard to convey how much I loved this book. I think it's both my favorite romance and my favorite fantasy of this year, one of my favorites, period.
Usually, when recommending a fantasy I liked/loved, I'll say, "If you like fantasy, you should definitely read this." But no. I'm not going to say that. Because even if you're not a big fantasy fan, you can still love this. Anyone can love this amazing work of art. So read it, please, for your own sake.
Five stars, but I would give it more if I could.