‘Once upon a time,an angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts and started the apocalypse.’
My first read of theMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
‘Once upon a time,an angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts and started the apocalypse.’
My first read of the first book ended on a low note. I reread and my opinion changed enormously. Unfortunately, I’m ending once again on a low note and I fear that no rereading will be able to change that. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a wonderfully inventive story of angels and demons, of romance, and friendship, and something magical. Days of Blood and Starlight was decidedly darker, and puts its total focus on the coming war between enemies that has been culminating for centuries upon centuries. Dreams of Gods & Monsters is a passive blend of the two and while the writing never fails to inspire praise, I felt the story left a bit to be desired.
‘Once upon a time, there was only darkness. And there were monsters vast as worlds who swam in it.’
For the most part, my sole issue was the inclusion of a brand new character/storyline that could have benefited from an introduction in the previous books so that her addition in this one wasn’t such a jarring change. There was a vast amount of time spent on her character build and while her presence ended up being an inevitably necessity, it still didn’t make the massive amounts of dialogue and general confusion as to her purpose any easier to handle at the time. It was all the more obvious when it wasn’t something I could breeze through on pages since I was cemented in place by the ridiculously long audiobook (18+ hours).
The other issue that detracted from my ultimate enjoyment was Karou and Akiva. *gasp* I know, but let me explain. We’ve been told from the very beginning of their all encompassing love for one another in all their lives. They’re in mad, passionate love with one another; we get it. But we don’t need to be reminded of this every time they manage to lay eyes on one another. It got repetitive after a point. Also, the constancy of issues they ran into giving them one reason or another to not fall into each others arms and fly off into the sunset together got tiresome. How many roadblocks can one pair stand before they scream in frustration? If I was almost there, they had to be screaming for sure.
‘Happiness wasn’t a mystical place to be reached or won–some bright terrain beyond the boundary of misery, a paradise waiting for them to find it–but something to carry doggedly with you through everything, as humble and ordinary as your gear and supplies.’
Despite my not so fabulous rating, I still remain completely dazzled at Laini Taylor’s beautiful way with words. She manages to imbue a wondrousness in the ordinary and completely transforms it. I might not be completely satisfied with this story/series, however, Taylor still makes it all worth it. I can’t wait to experience more of her writing excellence....more
‘Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.’
Having finally discovered who she truly is, Karo‘Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.’
Having finally discovered who she truly is, Karou finds herself on the side of the chimaera, in a pivotal role, in the impending battle against the seraphim. Including Akiva. Bitter and resentful for the memories that bombarded her, she’s still unable to stop her heart from missing him despite the damage he has done. But harden her heart she must, because war is coming and with so few chimaera remaining there is much work to be done. In the back of her mind is a tiny whisper, that contemplates how this all could be avoided without further bloodshed. And while she ponders this thought, Akiva does the same.
Days of Blood and Starlight took a completely different approach from its predecessor that I was not anticipating. Daughter left us with a tragic ending, Karou having remembered her past love of Akiva, subsequently emboldening her current love for him, except his admission of wrongdoing throws her heart into complete and utter turmoil. Feeling that she must do what she can to help her people she joins forces with the unlikeliest one, Thiago, in order to help him save what is left of their people. Thiago has a different goal in mind though and is hellbent on slaughter and vengeance, even at the risk of his own people. The pain that Karou suffers both internal and external is a hard pill to swallow, but is nonetheless a necessary evil. Akiva’s story was equally impressive and his unexpected decision was shocking and one I didn’t see coming.
Days of Blood and Starlight was a dark and grisly story that lacked the passionate romance I loved in Daughter, but only served to strengthen this story as a whole. I didn’t realize the lightness of the previous installment was almost overdone and that the darkness was a necessary building block that made this an exceptionally strong installment. And it must be mentioned, but the writing? It continues to make me swoon. All this carnage leaves only a sole book remaining and I am quite nervous to see how it all pans out. I can’t wait.
‘I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.’...more
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars Source: Library Checkout
‘If you remember one thing, even above remembering me, remember that there is not a monster dreamt thMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars Source: Library Checkout
‘If you remember one thing, even above remembering me, remember that there is not a monster dreamt that hasn’t walked withing the soul of man.’
Dreams and Shadows tells the tale of two young boys: Ewan, who was stolen from his family by fairies when he was a baby, and Colby, who befriended a djinn that granted wishes which changed his life forever. The fates of both become entwined the second they meet and a battle between magical forces ensues.
This could have honestly been a disastrous affair what with the strange mixture of fairies and changelings, angels and the Devil, sorcerers and genies, and the list goes on. But it’s far from a disaster. This was an absolute delight and the exact type of fantasy that I yearn for. I have to make note that despite the inclusion of angels and the Devil this is far from religious and never digs in deep to that aspect; they were just supporting characters of a sort. The characters were fictitious and fanciful but managed to be extremely well-crafted and developed. The male characters were at the very least. It didn’t occur to me until later that the female characters all seemed to be incredibly weak and only described in terms of their looks with the one exception to that statement being Ewan’s scary-as-hell mother. All in all, it’s easy to overlook because of the thrilling plot.
My least favorite aspect of the book ended up being my favorite. In addition to the story being told from three separate points of view, there are excerpts from a book titled ‘A Chronicle of the Dreamfolk’ by a Dr. Thaddeus Ray, Ph.D. They are surprisingly informative pieces on the factual aspects of this fantasy world but it’s initially unclear as to why they’re included. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle that becomes clear late in the novel so don’t skip these sections.
Dreams and Shadows is a story full of magic and mystery and outlandish horror. I so enjoyed the rawness and twisted darkness of this tale and the unique and unusual world-building that fortunately isn’t lacking in detail. Dreams and Shadows possessed a plot with room to grow and is one instance where I’m thankful for it being a series. Queen of the Dark Things is the next installment which is due out in mid-2014. I cannot wait....more
Since the beginning, we’ve followed in the steps of Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont as they seek out a losSpoilers from the first two installments!
Since the beginning, we’ve followed in the steps of Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont as they seek out a lost manuscript called Ashmole 782, otherwise known as The Book of Life. In A Discovery of Witches, we watch the duo fall in love and setting aside Matthew’s exceedingly over-protectiveness we’re introduced to a most interesting world where vampires, witches, and daemons manage to exist in our modern world. In Shadow of Night, we’re taken back through time to 1590 Elizabethan London to continue the search for Ashmole 782 and for an individual to help Diana control the plethora of power she now possesses. And with this installment, the All Souls Trilogy finally comes to a close. Diana and Matthew are back in the present day, continuing the seemingly endless search for the book that has become key to unlocking the mystery of the supernatural races and also ensuring the futures of Diana and Matthews unborn children.
While the plot was far easier to follow than Shadow of Night, where there were so many characters (and many historically accurate figures) that it required a glossary for them alone, The Book of Life was still convoluted and overly verbose. We have the continued search for Ashmole 782, much scientific research occurs in hopes of finding a cure for Matthew’s blood rage which he hopes was not passed down to the twins, an incredible amount of supernatural politics headed by the group known as the Congregation, and to make it even more labyrinthine we have a rogue vampire on the lose who is raping witches in the hopes of impregnating them. Oh, he’s also Matthew’s son. I honestly felt as if that whole “bad seed” storyline could have been dropped completely. I didn’t feel the addition of some supremely evil character had to be included to up the ante; it would have been just fine without.
What I did enjoy though is that this isn’t your typical fantasy taking place on some made up world. This is right here on Earth and the way in which it’s written makes the possibility of magic and supernatural beings all the more plausible, mlike how Harry Potter made me want to believe in magic. I’ve always appreciated how Harkness was able to incorporate so many supernatural creatures without it sliding into cheesy territory; the historically accurate detailing always made these stories feel of the highest quality. Watching Diana grow into her magic was wonderfully done as well and I loved the detail given to her spellcasting. While I felt the Life was unreasonably elaborate and the ending left little in the way of surprises, it was still satisfying to see Diana and Matthews story come to an end.
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
A copy of The Demonologist was provided to me by Simon & Schuster/Edelweiss for review purposes.
'Wandering this darksome desert, as my way Lies thrA copy of The Demonologist was provided to me by Simon & Schuster/Edelweiss for review purposes.
'Wandering this darksome desert, as my way Lies through your spacious empire up to light Alone, and without giude, half lost, I seek...'
'The Demonologist' is a sophisticated thriller that focuses solely on John Milton's 'Paradise Lost' (and I think it should be noted that it's not a prerequisite to have read Milton before 'The Demonologist' either.) It's not overly steeped in symbolism without sufficient explanation that anyone couldn't pick it up and understand it.
David Ullman is a non-believer despite the fact that he has dedicated his adult life to studying demonic literature, primarily Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. When he's approached one afternoon and asked to be a witness to a phenomenon that requires his professional opinion as a ‘Demonologist’ he accepts the offer and shortly afterwards is headed to Venice, Italy with his twelve-year-old daughter Tess. What David sees in Venice will leave him questioning everything he has ever believed. And when Tess is taken, he has no choice but to accept the things he saw in order to save her from the Underworld.
'...I am an insistently rational sort, a spoilsport by nature when it comes to the fantastical. I've made an entire career out of doubt. Yet here I am. Seeing the unseeable.'
Extremely creepy and unnerving. The type that really manages to burrow it's way under your skin. The type that gives you goosebumps. The type that leaves you gasping at it's intensity. The story line was riveting and I found myself flipping through pages rapidly. I'm not typically a fan of scary stories but this one was incredibly well done (I just made sure I kept to reading this while the sun was still up. But even with the sun there were moments where I feared my eyeballs were about to fall out of my head).
Just like that.
So why only 3 stars? Despite the fact that this book had me completely captivated, I felt the ending was an absolute disaster… to put it lightly. There were so many questions generated throughout the book that it was an exciting race to get to the end to get some answers. But it felt like the ending was entirely way too rushed to the point of it being utterly unintelligible. There were so many loose ends that the author may have possibly intended in order for the reader to interpret individually but that didn’t work for me at all. I even thought for a minute that this was a first in a series because of the abundant amount of unanswered questions but to the best of my knowledge, this is a stand alone. A completely enjoyable book with a less than satisfying ending.
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars A copy of Touch of the Demon was provided to me by DAW/Penguin Group (USA) for review purposes. Thank you!
Diana Rowland's KarMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars A copy of Touch of the Demon was provided to me by DAW/Penguin Group (USA) for review purposes. Thank you!
Diana Rowland's Kara Gillian series has been a favorite of mine from the very beginning, but with 'Touch of the Demon' she's truly taken this series to a whole new level and as Kara is so fond of saying, "Shit just got real." ‘Touch of the Demon’ truly mixed things up and allowed this series to remain outstanding for many more installments.
Touch of the Demon picks up right where the last one left off with that dreaded cliffhanger that I think had us all pulling our hair out. Kara finds herself in the demon realm and she's being held against her will by the demonic Lord Mzatal. Unclear as to why he's keeping her but positive that it's not for anything good she finally manages to escape and get to Rhyzkahl but she finds herself in any even worse situation. It’s a complex story that has Kara spinning in confusion trying to figure out how to get out of this situation and finally get home, to Earth.
The best part of this story was the imagery Diana created. Her depictions of the demon realm were meticulous allowing you to visualize it completely. From details of the palaces she stayed in to the trees to the various different demons that she had never encountered before. Each additional detail really added something distinctive to making this story highly creative. There are so much more that could be said but there were so many intricate aspects to this story-line that each detail is essentially a part of the spoiler… and I would hate to ruin this for anyone. If you’ve been a fan of this series though, you will definitely love this one.
Touch of the Demon is hands down the darkest, grittiest installment yet, and it was absolutely fantastic. The cliffhanger lacking ending was music to my ears and still managed to set in motion potentially awesome storylines. I can’t wait to see where Diana Rowland takes us next on this brilliant endeavor!
*ahem* Excuse the language, but what the HELL kind of ending was that?! No, I’m soInterested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!
Final Page Thoughts
*ahem* Excuse the language, but what the HELL kind of ending was that?! No, I’m sorry, that wasn’t an ending… that was more like a chapter ending, except my book must have been missing the subsequent pages. AHHH! What a cliffhanger. And now we have to wait a whole YEAR!? Is it available for pre-order yet?? Someone shoot me now. *Sobs*
Something that’s been ongoing in this series for a while, a bit of an issue with Kara, is resolved but not until the very flipping end of the book which made that ending that much worse but still made you happy that it nonetheless happened. Yes, I’m aware that sentence makes absolutely no sense.
I’ve attempted to collect my thoughts and form them into a worthwhile review without giving too much away. I do believe worthwhile should be replaced with ‘I’m going to ramble and forget to use periods occasionally so don’t mind me’.
The fourth installation in the Kara Gillian has finally arrived. Kara’s back and trouble seems to be finding her at every turn… but then again, what else is new? She’s dealing with her complicated relationship with Rhyzkahl and Ryan, people are dying who she personally knows and who she also has personally grudges with, someone is attempting to summon her to the demon realm, and on top of that her emotions are going straight haywire.
I find that the further you delve into a series it’s usually a requirement to add in new characters to keep it fresh and new. Usually these characters end up being written in as useless characters that are easily disposed of. The few characters (mainly one) added into ‘Sins of the Demon’ were so well written and established in the story that I couldn’t remember a time when they weren’t a part of the story.
Eilahn is Kara’s demon bodyguard and roommate, put in place by Rhyzkahl when he realized that someone was attempting to summon her to the demon realm. Eilahn was hilarious and her sense of humor went extremely well with Kara’s normal snarkiness. (Is that not a word? My red squiggle tells me not, but it should be.)
Fuzzykins: Eilahn’s accidental cat. The presence of Fuzzykins led to some bust a gut with tears in eyes laughter. I think the scene that had to be my absolute favorite was the cat’s obvious dislike of Kara (and obvious love of Eilahn) when they were getting him in the car and the cat gives Kara a ’fuck you glare accompanied by a I-want-to-claw-your-face-off-hiss.’
”I do not wish her to grow upset,” Eilahn said, frown puckering her forehead. “I have heard that cats do not care to ride in cars. If I am in the front and she in the back, will she not grow distraught? Perhaps I should hold her in my lap.” “Um, that’s a pretty darn big carrier to hold on your lap,” I pointed out. She blinked. “I did not intend to have her in the carrier. Why can I not simply hodl her in my lap so that I can stroke her fur? Will that not calm her?” I had a vision of a psychotic cat careening around the inside of the car – following by an image of my mangled death in the ensuing wreck. “No,” I stated. Firmly.
Hahaha… Funny times.
So… I don’t believe I can say much more without giving anything away. This wasn’t a disappointing book at all and I still recommend this series highly… I’ve become a rabid Kara Gillan/Diana Rowland fan and I’m impatient as hell and the next book could not come sooner....more
Yes, I really did just read all 3 books in this series in a row. Yes, they were all amazing. Yes, I am now going absolutely crazy because I have to waYes, I really did just read all 3 books in this series in a row. Yes, they were all amazing. Yes, I am now going absolutely crazy because I have to wait until JANUARY for the next book. I don’t know why I do these things to myself.
As I stated above, ‘Secrets of the Demon’ this is the third installment in the fabulousness called the Kara Gillian series. I would not recommend reading this review if you have not read books 1 and 2. Unless you don’t plan on reading this series, which is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard, but… if you don’t plan on reading the series then feel free to read potential spoilers.
This story starts picks up a few months after the end of Blood of the Demon. Kara is pledged to Rhyzkahl, the most powerful Demon Lord, to be his summoner where she is required to summon him at least once a month for 3 years. She’s already completed approximately 3 months of her service to him at this point. Rhyzkahl has always thrown me a bit with the descriptions of him. Now see, when I read that he’s a ‘Demon Lord’, I don’t know about you but I think of something along the lines of:
But then that’s where Diana Rowland throws a curve ball. “He shook his white blond hair back to send it rippling in a perfect silken fall down his back.” You see, he looks like a human. But ever since she introduced him with his ‘white blond hair that rippled down his back’ I can’t help picturing this guy:
And it drives me absolutely bonkers. Because I don’t actually like him. But whatever, my problem.
Then there’s Ryan, the other man in Kara’s life. Ryan… or now known from the last book as a kiraknikahl, or oathbreaker. Oathbreaker sounds much better since I have no idea how on earth that first term is pronounced. Kara has as of yet been unable to determine what an oathbreaker is but more is revealed in this book. If you’ve been irritated like me and just want to know what the hell he is… you’ll be rewarded with this installment. Although I will say, it was nice that the readers were given bit by bit prior to the big reveal rather than figuring it out right off the bat. Love me a little bit of mystery.
Speaking of Ryan… or Ryan and Kara’s relationship/friendship. *sigh* REALLY?? As I said in my review of book 2, these two really just need to get over themselves, admit they have feelings for each other, and stop acting like junior high kids. They would be much happier together. I would be much happier too. Although I will say, it’s nice to see a pair of characters that actually have to work at their relationships and overcome various obstacles rather. I think it’ll make their future relationship (if that ever happens) very real to me.
Yet another fabulous book from Diana Rowland. I will be recommending her Kara Gilliand series to anyone who will listen to me. I will wait patiently sullenly for Sins of the Demon.
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!...more
The second installation in the Kara Gillian series made me just as excitable as the first. I absolutely love love love this series. Did I mention I loThe second installation in the Kara Gillian series made me just as excitable as the first. I absolutely love love love this series. Did I mention I love this series? I don’t know WHAT it is about this series but I love absolutely everything about it. This is me, reading this series:
In ‘Blood of the Demon’ Kara is investigating a series of suicides where the individuals essence wasn’t released from their body the way a normal death would; their essence appeared to have been ripped forcibly from their body and Kara can’t figure out why or who could have done this. Rhyzkahl has requested that Kara be his ‘summoner’ where she would have access to his power and knowledge, she would just be required to summon him often. Kara begins realizing that there is in fact more than meets the eye with Ryan; but he’s not being as forth coming with information as she would like him to be. Kara’s Aunt Tessa remains in a coma as a result of the Symbol Man’s last summoning with her essence seemingly lost. Without her Aunt, Kara is left to learn on her own and it’s really awesome to see her grow as a summoner in this book.
The one irritating factor I had with the book which resulted in the 4 stars (since I still really liked it) was the Ryan and Kara relationship. I have wanted Ryan and Kara to be together from the very beginning. I LOVE those two. So. This is an adult novel; however, when Kara denies the fact that Ryan likes her, when Kara gets jealous at Ryan for lame ass things, or when Ryan does something but Kara justifies it in her mind as him being ‘just a friend’, I feel as if I’ve stepped into a Young Adult novel. And trust me; if I wanted to read a YA novel type relationship I’ve got plenty of books to satisfy that. But here I am reading a nice Adult novel and I feel like I’ve stepped into the YA Twilight Zone.
The ending? Ah! It made me go all ‘OMG Excited Cat’ all over again. Anyways, bottom line. You need to read this. I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s totally awesome and… well I love it. :D ...more
‘Mark of the Demon’ is the first in Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian Series. Kara Gillian is a newbie Detective in small town Beaulac, Louisiana. She’s al‘Mark of the Demon’ is the first in Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian Series. Kara Gillian is a newbie Detective in small town Beaulac, Louisiana. She’s also a skilled summoner of demons who uses her occult skills in her cases. She’s put in charge of a case of recent murders that appear to be the same killer, The Symbol Man, who killed 13 people but hadn’t killed anyone in over 3 years. All of the victims show evidence of being killed for demonic purposes so Kara attempts to summon a demon to assist her but ends up summoning something else: a powerful Demonic Lord, Rhyzkahl.
I am SO glad that I decided to read this series. For those of you who don’t know, I started out a huge mystery/thriller fan and that’s about all I read. Then I discovered urban fantasy and realized I loved that as well. Well this series combined by two favorites. This had demons, crazy serial killers, hot cops, crazy CSI shit, and a demonic lord to boot… right up my alley. I don’t typically read back to back books in a series, I like to mix it up a bit every now and then, but I’m going straight to book number 2. ...more