Anytime a Big Bad vamp bites through a pregnant angel's stomach and infects the baby with its venom in the first few pages ofReviewed by: Rabid Reads
Anytime a Big Bad vamp bites through a pregnant angel's stomach and infects the baby with its venom in the first few pages of a book, it's a pretty clear indicator of what you're in for. If that sounds awesome to you, then hey, you might love this book.
BUT . . . if you're like me, and think that's just about as cornball as it can get . . . you are not wrong.
Francesca doesn't know what she is. She only knows that she cannot die. But if she's injured badly enough, she can appear to be dead while her body shuts down to repair itself. When this happens, she wakes up with incomplete memories from her prior life that come to her in fits and starts, and sometimes while she sleeps. She has no idea how old she is, but she knows she's much older than her seventeen year old appearance.
The only thing she's sure about is the man whose face she's been seeing in her dreams throughout all her lives. The man who radiates light, the man whose beauty makes her heart ache, the man with a golden halo of blond curly hair . . . Gabriel. *rolls eyes*
But while Gabriel is the man of her dreams (HA), Jonah in the injured vamp in her backyard. And even though her last life ended when she came face-to-face with the darker nature of vampires (the more recent the past life, the more vivid the memories), Francesca has a "hunch" that Jonah is different, so despite knowing that he's been tortured, starved, and is grievously injured, she ignores his warnings to keep her distance, lest he drink her down, and cuts her own wrist, forcing him to drink.<------TSTL female alert.
The only reason she survives this idiocy is b/c Jonah's captors show up, distracting him from her blood, and then---OMG!---freshly fed, he somehow manages to take out ALL the bad guys.
Hmmm . . . I wonder if there's something different about Francesca's blood?
But while Jonah is busy with the vamps, Francesca hears/sees a silver bullet racing straight towards Jonah's heart, so she jumps in front of it, getting hit in the shoulder, and passes out.
When she comes to, none other then Gabriel himself is leaning over her. And not only is her dream man there---in the flesh---but would you believe that he's also the angelic leader of the motley band of good(ish) vamps that Jonah belongs to?
And what a cruel twist of fate. After spending countless lives alone, she had just found Jonah, with whom she shared an instant connection. Jonah, who bares a remarkable resemblance to Damon Salvatore, both in appearance and temperament.
But then there's Gabriel. Gabriel who she's longed for in all of her lives . . . it's just SO confusing. What's a girl to do?<------W-A-F-F-L-E.
So the plot's ridiculous. How about the writing?
He wasted no time scooping me up off the bark and thrusting my body against his. He clung to me, allowing no space between us, pushing his hand into my soaking hair. Eventually I removed my face from his chest and stared up into his eyes; they were enlarged with worry and brimming over with sadness.
He didn't hug or embrace her, he thrust her body against his. She didn't look up, she removed . . . her face . . . from his chest. *headdesk* His eyes weren't wide, they were . . . enlarged.
Then there was the single page in which Francesca was, "utterly perplexed," "bewildered," and "completely dumbfounded," in quick succession.
I also have this peeve about people using the word "literally" for emphasis: I literally walked out, he literally ignored her, she literally just got here, etc. STAHP. It's bad enough when I have endure its overuse by my sister, but in a book? NO.
And let's not forget about all the random and bizarre, yet technically correct, words that can be found on nearly every page. Like when the monster vamp slices off a lock of Francesca's hair, and instead of smelling it, or lifting it to his nose, he raised it to his "orifices."
*sing songs* Someone literally needs to have their thesaurus confiscated.
And that's all I got. There were moments that were relatively painless, but overall . . . Lailah by Nikki Kelly was not for me. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes the sound of a Fallen + Twilight + Vampire Diaries mashup + a surplus of adverbs, and a questionable use of adjectives....more
Laini Taylor is a genius. No really. You know how “they” say that all myths and fairytales have an element of truth in them? HReviewed by: Rabid Reads
Laini Taylor is a genius. No really. You know how “they” say that all myths and fairytales have an element of truth in them? How that element of truth is where the myths and fairytales originally came from? Well, in Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor treats all the myths like they’re Athena—sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus. Greek, Middle Eastern, Egyptian, various and sundry Pagan belief systems, it doesn’t matter, it all combines to make one glorious whole. There are Mesopotamian Hamsa on the hands of resurrected Naga (Hinduism/Buddhism), Greek Minotaurs, Egyptian jackals, and a multitude of other mythological creatures. Hamsa that repel the mishmash of creatures’ enemy, the Seraphim. Seraphim who are wholly unconnected to Christian, Jewish, or Muslim ideologies.
And the magic that both sides utilize must be paid for in PAIN. This (IMO) is the best and cleverest part b/c in European folklore, both Eastern and Western, there are all kinds of pagan belief systems focused on witchcraft, earth worship, manipulation of the elements, etc. Almost all of those belief systems center on the principle of payback. Karma. The Golden Rule. Pick one. All variants of the same basic idea—if you put good in the world, it will come back to you, and if you put bad in the world, that will come back to you as well. Taylor takes this principle and transforms it into something with tangible, immediate results. In her world, you don’t have to look over your shoulder waiting for your bad deeds to catch up to you, you pay as you go. Or someone pays.
Right. So. Meet Karou. Karou is a blue-haired girl who lives in Prague, where she is in enrolled in a school of the arts. Before that she was somewhere else, and before that, yet another place—rootless, homeless, Karou. When she was a child, she lived in an other-place, surrounded by other-creatures who were her friends and family, but when she got older, Brimstone (the othercreature in charge of those who raised her) sent her out into the human world, to learn human things, and run human errands b/c Karou is human.
But if Karou is human, then how did she become a part of this otherworld? How did she acquire languages as birthday gifts, and why did her hair turn blue when she wished it? Why has she had tattoos of an eye on the palm of each hand for as long as she can remember, and why does she constantly feel like something is missing, that she should be doing something, being something, a part of something, that she is not?
Daughter of Smoke & Bone will make you ache. It will make you clench your hands and clutch your arms around your stomach in trepidation of what Karou will learn, must learn about herself, about the othercreatures she calls family, about the strange, burnt hand prints that show up on the doors that are the gateways to their otherworld, and about the beyond beautiful man with the shadow that has giant wings who put them there.
Inexplicably, I left these books off my list of Top 5 YA Series a few weeks ago. It somehow slipped my mind, though it has clearly earned its place there. It’s simply the most brilliant and unique story I’ve read in recent memory. I love the characters, both main and secondary, I love the world-building, and the romance is simply fantastical. Daughter of Smoke & Bone hits you straight in the feels, and you love every second of it, want more of it, are devastated when it ends.
So it’s a good thing Dreams of Gods & Monsters, the third (and final?) installment of this series will be released in only a few short weeks. Are you ready?...more
So in Daughter of Smoke & Bone, we know that Zuze is mackin' on Mik, and we know that they're together *waggles eyebrows* when Karou gets back froSo in Daughter of Smoke & Bone, we know that Zuze is mackin' on Mik, and we know that they're together *waggles eyebrows* when Karou gets back from her gallivanting, but we don't know the details . . . here are the details . . .
It's told in dual POVs (which I love), and it opens with a (HILARIOUS) flashback into Zuzana and Karou's early friendship. This flashback establishes that Zuzana came by her insanity honestly, and involves an undead fox Cossack that her grandfather caught.
"Caught it," Karou repeated. "And where do grandfathers catch . . . undead fox Cossacks?"
"In Russia, of course."
This thing is positively RIFE with one-liners:
"My height triggers the puppy-kitten reflex--Must touch--and I've found that since you can't electrify yourself like a fence, the next best thing is to have murderer's eyes."
In reference to her grandfather's nickname for her:
It's for mucholapka podivna, or Venus flytrap, in honor of my 'quiet bloodthirst' and 'patient cunning' in my lifelong war with Tomas (her brother).
"Even if you're not miniature like me--four foot eleven in a good mood, as little as four foot eight when in despair . . . "
"for fun and evil"
"That's not my heartbeat pounding in my throat. That's confidence."
Getting the picture? I loved this novella.
I thought I was going to love, LOVE, L-O-V-E it, and now I'm thinking that maybe it seemed to meander in places b/c it's impossible to maintain the level of hilarity that was established at the beginning. It's 79 pages long, and I feel like it could have been cut down to 60-65.
Regardless of length though, it was pure awesomeness. READ IT!