"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."
I went to this book with ridiculously high expectations. Everyone I follow seems to love this book. There are few exceptions of people who didn't like this book, so of course I felt interested in seeing if I would like it.
You see, I did like it, though not as much as I wanted to. Perhaps the problem is that my expectations were very high, or that I'm not a fan of neither romance nor fantasy. In any way, I was disappointed.
Karou has two lives. One of them we would call “normal,” that is, she goes to classes, studies, etc.; in the other one, she runs errands for demons,—or rather, chimaera—yet she doesn't know why she does it. She feels lonely and has ever wondered if she belongs where she is.
Things get bad when a mysterious guy appears and after that, handprints start to appear, the doorway to Elsewhere gets burned and she has more questions as to why that happened.
"Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters. But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone."
Even when I didn't like this book as much as my friends did, there was a thing that I truly loved. If you've read the series, or if you've heard the blurb, then you might have an idea about as to what it is. What I loved was the writing. It was beautiful. You could feel as if you were walking in Prague with Karou. It was vivid and poetical and I really loved it, especially the once-upon-a-time bits.
As to the characters, I didn't particularly connect with them. I really liked Karou, because I could relate to her and I liked her personality.
Most people say Akiva is really sexy and blah, blah, but again, I don't feel the same as most people did. I never liked him. Not as a love interest, not as a plain man, not as anything. He felt too much Jekyll/Hyde for me and unrealistic.
The other characters were interesting as well. Zuzana was amazing and she added a little fun to the book. Brimstone was simply brilliant and I loved him. Issa was also intriguing with all her snakes and whatnot. Just Akiva was the problem.
"Once upon a time, an angel lay dying in the mist. And a devil knelt over him and smiled."
And then, the thing that bothered me the most... Insta-love. I knew this series had a lot of romance, and I knew who the couple was before reading this, but when I started it, based on Karou's behaviour, I would have never thought she would fall like that.
I like characters to be developed more before introducing some kind of romance in there. I know it is somewhat justified, but still... Sigh, you know how I feel about that.
But don't get me wrong. This is a good book. It leaves in shame many YA books, it's just that I didn't particularly love it. The world building and the take the story took on angels and demons was something else I really liked. It didn't go for the normal turn it takes in other books, and I appreciated that. Laini Taylor certainly has talent.
I will read book 2, but I no longer have high expectations. I've heard it's better, so let's see.
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