Read this book, love it, cherish it, hold it tight, what have you. Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy truly was epic in every which way. From the st...moreRead this book, love it, cherish it, hold it tight, what have you. Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy truly was epic in every which way. From the story itself, to the characters, to the lyrical writing, and everything in between.
The opening of Daughter of Smoke & Bone alone had me hooked, so it wasn't a surprise when the tome quantum leaped on to my "my love for you is boundless, my Precious, and I vow to tell everyone I know to read you tout de suite, but they'll have to get their own copy because I will not chance you returning home desecrated with wrinkles and dogeared pages (oh my heart pangs from the mere thought), so don't you fret, and besides, you're not leaving my sight, ever" bookshelf. Which, by the by, is rather anorexic. I'll have you know that not every 5-star book I've devoured makes it on to THE shelf. But I digress. Enter Days of Blood & Starlight, well, that quickly followed suit and nestled right next to its sister, home at last. No, but really, I do have a VIP section on my floating bookshelves reserved for such favorites. They lord over all the rest, in all their imperial-ness. Moving on.
Sadly, while reading Dreams of Gods & Monsters, the unthinkable happened. My feelings weren't tangled with hope and sadness and anticipation. I wasn't spellbound like the other two. In fact, I felt kinda detached. Don't get me wrong, L. Taylor could write a phone book and make it enchanting and whimsical and leave me bereft of emotions because I cried them all away. No doubt she'd hook me with the serpentining lanes and cul-de-sacs and the Baxters who claim domicile on one such cul-de-sac and oh, do tell me more about the Beauchamps, they sound so mysterious? Do they perchance own that historic hardware store only opened after sundown, the one drenched in moonbeams? In other words, Taylor wrote the hell outta this book. I mean, I was all wrapped up in agog-ness. From an eyebrow-off with Zuzana and an Italian snobress (spoiler alert: Zuzana bested the judgy bitch). To a moment where Karou (view spoiler)[ thought Akiva had been killed by a flying knife in Italy and her scream hitchhiked on the blade (hide spoiler)] and everything else in between. Nevertheless, I still wasn't wholly feeling the tale. And that's partly because how fun is war? THE War. I knew going in that DoG&M would probably be my least favorite of the three. What with all the THE-War-of-all-wars preparations and strategies explored and discussed. An aside, books that contain battle scenes longer than 50 pages (and even that's pushing it) cause me to lose consciousness. No joke, my eyeballs quit in protest, as in screw the eyelids that refuse to flutter closed, as in we don't need no stinking eyelids, we have ways ye not know of. I just can't do never-ending battle scenes, read them, handle them, what have you.
With that said, seeing that DoG&M is part of a trilogy, I couldn't separate the triplets, I'm not that cruel, c'mon now, and I also have a touch of OCD, and by touch I mean a full-blown problem when it comes to organization. So by default I decided halfway through reading that book 3 would join its siblings regardless, feelings be damned! Naturally the other books not occupying THE shelf scolded me, crying out, "b-b-but that's not fair. You enjoyed us too, daresay far more, and we weren't placed on THE shelf." To which I responded, "Life isn't fair, books, so suck it up and quit your whining." But then, then I reached the ending of Dreams of Gods & Monsters. And I actually teared up. Then reread the last paragraph again. And again. Rinse repeat. After lowering the book, I said, "Wow." That simple statement no sooner coaxed a smile to appear. The smile lingered as did the very last sentence of DoG&M. For that reaction alone, I can happily report that DoG&M proudly graces THE bookshelf on its own merit, resting quite comfortably and contentedly next to its kith and kin.
But what I'm still ticked off at, nay downright irate about is the fact that (view spoiler)[Brimstone is STILL dead! Really? REALLY? Souls are being gleaned left and right and up and down and every which way, to the point where it's practically raining souls, and oh look, we brought back Ziri and Issa and many, many others from the dead, an impossible feat really, so hip hip hooray!, huzzah!s abound, oh and let me tell you, with a little bit of elbow grease and teamwork, it was quite interesting how we were able to ferret out their itty bitty animas hidden in various locations peppered about the ever-vast Eretz, practically stumbled across them we did and yay! for us, to say nothing of how Zuzana and Mik are up to their collective eyeballs in wishes galore, from lucknows to gavriels, and I'm sure there was a bruxis in the mix and not one person could resurrect Brimstone? Not one? Perhaps if they didn't feel the need to waste a wish so as to ride on Falcore so they could join the gang busy resurrecting souls not-Brimstone, and okay fine the creature wasn't Falcore, but a Stormhunter and my anger's shining through, so give me a break, I'm grieving for Brimstone here. Still not over his death. But really, that wild Stormhunter-taming wish had to've been stronger than a gavriel, to overpower the psyche of an untamable beast. Whoa, clearly I'm more angry than once thought. But I'll power through, I'm resilient that way. Okay, letting the anger go; it's on a cloud and scudding far, far away. But wait, what about the special snowflake godstar Eliza? Or Nightingale? What about the combined forces of the godstars? They are gods for fuck sake, could they not scour all the worlds for Brimstone's errant soul and do some resurrecting. It's not like souls die. And it's not like they'd even break a sweat from that action. Or what about.... (hide spoiler)]
Oh, how I hope there will be sequels. The series didn't end per se, more like Until-We-Meet-Again'd. Misadventures with the Misbegotten soon to be realized, yes, no, maybe? Regardless, in said sequels spoiler better return. With Bruxis in hand, I wish for (view spoiler)[ Brimstone's soul to be found and gleaned and for him to return to the here and now, very alive and very well, and in one piece, fully formed, memories and all (hide spoiler)]. Well, I'll be damned, the bruxis vanished.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
4.5 Like a thunderbolt, pain and agony and heartache and misery will strike everyone. Nobody, regardless of socioeconomic status, is immune- my takeawa...more4.5 Like a thunderbolt, pain and agony and heartache and misery will strike everyone. Nobody, regardless of socioeconomic status, is immune- my takeaway message from this truly beautiful yet sorrowful book (the title doesn't lie).
An aside: This book would make for a fantastic movie, in the same vein, er somewhat, as Fried Green Tomatoes; for the magical realism and gastronomy (maybe the same could be said for Fried Green tomatoes?) Chocolat, Simply Irresistible (a cheesy gem), and Like Water for Chocolate; and the next three might be a stretch but popped in my head nonetheless The Way Way Back, Little Miss Sunshine, and the delicious Practical Magic. Basically what I'm getting at is that The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender would translate well on the silver screen as it follows select members of the blighted Lavender/Roux family tree and the tragically lost individuals who meander into their lives, along with the various hurts experienced, the heart pangs and obsessive loves, first loves, unrequited loves, settling-for-someone-anyone-will-do "loves", familial loves, "females taking care of each other after myriad forms of heartache, unbreakable bond-type" loves, friendship loves. Hell, Gastronomy would even be a character in and of itself. Now wrap all the aforementioned in magical realism and that would be one helluva tear-jerker of a movie. A movie that I would watch in a heartbeat. A movie that would morph into an instant favorite, like the aforementioned lovelies.
An aside part deux: The Lavender women are so the type of individuals I tend to gravitate towards, the type of people you'd want in your corner. They'd have your back without question, loyal to fault. They're kind and spiritual and, best of all, fierce warriors! Wow, after typing my thoughts, I'm feeling like I need to bump up my rating from 4 stars to 4.5. (less)
3.5 Picture the characters populating Reign (TV show) being plucked out of the dark ages and tossed into the turn of the 19th century. Replace Nostrada...more3.5 Picture the characters populating Reign (TV show) being plucked out of the dark ages and tossed into the turn of the 19th century. Replace Nostradamus with prognosticating Merlin-y mages, add just a dash of magic, no more, no less, and the final result is The ring and the Crown.
Warning: in case you go into this tome all balls to the wall expecting Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo level of spell casting, the magic is barely-there. Nonetheless fun, but still.
The plot: There's plenty of frolicking and flirtery, court antics, ball preparations, almost loves, unrequited loves, duty-before-love loves. In other words, this book is the epitome of pure escapism. Can't wait for book 2! (less)
Cruel Beauty takes the "tale as old as time" a step further or two by incorporating Greek mythology, surreal magic, and demonic creatures scuttling ab...moreCruel Beauty takes the "tale as old as time" a step further or two by incorporating Greek mythology, surreal magic, and demonic creatures scuttling about. There's a castle to investigate, items to ferret out, secrets to uncover, a village to save, and one incandescent girl charged with tackling it all. Oh, and a slight problem for her remains- she's falling for the devilish beast, Ignifex, who she's been tasked to assassinate. And, yeah, from the way he was described (I swoon), I wouldn't've been able to stay away from Ignifex, not at all. I'm weak like that.
From start to finish I was captivated and stayed up till the wee hours of the morning to finish this baby. This book possesses a certain je ne sais quoi that bewitched me from the get-go. (less)
"You say you want a revolution. Well, you know we all want to change the world..." La la la. Okay, Winter, you can't come soon enough.
The Lunar Chron...more"You say you want a revolution. Well, you know we all want to change the world..." La la la. Okay, Winter, you can't come soon enough.
The Lunar Chronicles had me at Cinder, and with the addition of each volume, my love's only deepened. So...for anyone out there looking for a series chock-full of fairy-tale re-imaginings, science-fantasy deliciousness, all wrapped in merriment, then look no further. (less)
While wildly imaginative, the geometry and how to draw the various geometric defenses and the incessant talk of Rithmatists and more geometry has thor...moreWhile wildly imaginative, the geometry and how to draw the various geometric defenses and the incessant talk of Rithmatists and more geometry has thoroughly drowned the story. I did enjoy the main characters and the inventive alternate history world, but putting the plot aside, the non-terrifying 2D chalk figures they're combating are just not compelling me to read further. I mean, just craft a huge-ass eraser and scrub-a-dub them away. No need for the extensive and grueling schooling. And you're welcome, Rithmatists far and wide.
Nevertheless, I do enjoy this imaginative author, so I'll definitely give anything he pens a go. (less)
WOW! Just wow and amazing and thought-provoking and I simply adore More Than This and its profound message! The story and endearing characters will st...moreWOW! Just wow and amazing and thought-provoking and I simply adore More Than This and its profound message! The story and endearing characters will stay with me for quite some time. What else is left to say other than I can't recommend this book enough. Seriously, I can't. (less)