Author: Laini Taylor
Provided Synopsis: Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows 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?
Review: When I first began this book I could not help but wondering: “What the heck am I reading?” There was a seventeen year-old girl with hair that grows out of her head the color blue, there was an ex-boyfriend who likes to bite her as if he is a vampire, and there are creatures who collect teeth… But I stuck with it, because the writing is good, and because not even I could say that I was not fascinated with this book. I am a reader who appreciates world creation — it is one of the reasons why I have been getting into YA books recently. And when world creation and an entire mythology is not only created but explained WELL then I am all aboard.
In this story there are angels and chimaeras at odds with one another in what seems to be a never-ending war. The story begins showing the chimaera that Karou (main character) knows, has been raised by, and who she goes on errands to collect teeth for. Then enter the angels, who press their hands into all the doors that connect the chimaera’s lair to the real world that we know. Once Karou and Akiva (the angel) meet, the story really takes off. After wondering “what the heck am I reading,” things begin to fall together, a plot forms, and Karou and I learn who she is and why she has grown up in the care and lair of chimaeras. Needless to say, I loved every minute of it.
Warning: there is a case of instant-love in this book. Girl sees boy, boy sees girl, and after very little time together they seem to be in love. Side-note: This case of instant-love is handled well, since it actually has a purpose in the grand scheme of the past, present, future, and all comes to be explained. I typically despise characters who fall in love seemingly instantly, but I was okay with it in this story. I think you will be alright with it, too, if you give this book a try.