I needed a bit of typical YA silliness, not that this series is silly at all – it’s pretty good in fact. But I needed a second-book-in-a-series so I picked up my kindle and started this. Days of Blood and Starlight is the second book in Lani Taylor’s series Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It followed Karou, a young woman with fire in her hands and blue hair, and how she lived with monsters, and fetched teeth for them in her highly unusual life. I’ve linked the initial review here, if like me you needed a refresher.
Once upon a time, a devil and an angel fell in love and dared to imagine a new life. It didn’t end well. We left Karou flying away from Avika towards Eretz, hoping to find her Chimera family on the other side and reclaim the land her soul was born. This book starts weeks after the event from the perspective of her (highly awesome) friend who just wants to know where Karou has gone (whether she is still with the cute angel) and when she is coming back. It’s a lot more complicated than that. Avika returns to Eretz, not knowing is Karou is alive. Not knowing is she will ever be able to forgive him. The war may seem to be over, but the rebellion is just beginning.
Karou in the last book was safe, and loved and her entire world was taken from underneath her when Avika found her. The truth about her previous life, that she isn’t human she is Chimera, are less taxing than you would think. However in this book, her dual life begins to take its toll, her time as Madrigal and her time as Karou (in very, very different worlds and lives) clash and I think she feels she doesn’t belong with the Chimera or the humans. She is constantly angry at everyone, and she is isolated and alone and paranoid. Avika, on the other side of the war, is concerned his brother and sister are going to turn him in, concerned about the rebels, concerned about Karou and he ends up getting despondent and starts saying things like “I don’t deserve to die, I deserve the suffering to live” (paraphrased, the bad thing about e-books is you can’t guesstimate when a section was a flip through until you find it). They are both angry, both feeling guilty and both suffering.
I love Zuzana, she’s a little ball of determination and sass and she is amazing. Luckily Karou really does appreciate her, but she’s smart and her relationship with her boyfriend Mike is cute. Avika’s siblings are hard as diamonds and pretty damn cool – Liraz for certain is very interesting as her soldier side following orders is at war with her guilt at mindless slaughter.
Second books in trilogies are (in my experience) a little less exciting than the start that sucks you in and the end that spits you out into reality again, but this was good in it’s own right – building on the world of Seraphs and Chimera and the human world and not revolving entirely around something stupid like a love triangle (Hallelujah). As far as sequels go, it was really good! I’m looking forward to the final instalment and how this seemingly never-ending war between Seraphim and Chimera might actually end, and whether or not the human world will suffer in the crossfire.