Published September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown & Company
This novel was an emotional rollercoaster that left me stunned and ragged. Not to mention, utterly surprised by how it affected me, and how much I came to love the story of Karou and Akiva. Not that I was skeptical that I would enjoy it. But truthfully, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much, and think of it so often as I have since reading it.
This story transports you on a magical adventure set in the real world and a world beyond. Karou is a magnificent character, so multifaceted that your head spins. She is such a normal, warmhearted, artistic girl, yet with skills and knowledge so beyond the normal, that it makes her seem much older than her human age. After all, her family is as unconventional as it can be. A 'father' and 'aunts' that can be only be described as creatures from older myths and times.
Akiva is no less magnificent as one of the seraphim. A beautiful angel warrior from the heavens tasked to complete a mission that will greatly advantage the winning of a war that has gone on for so many centuries, not many truly know how it all began. The war of good vs evil. Or evil vs good? It is not always black and white as this novel clearly shows. But then no war ever is, once you inspect both sides of the coin, or hear both sides of the story.
Akiva and Karou meet, and outside of popular YA conventional boy-meet-girl which usually resonates with sparks and electricity when gazes collide, their sparks are of no other thought but to kill each other. After all, they are each others enemy. Or are they?
The answers are all found within this tumultuous, emotional journey that is set in motion the moment they face off. And what a journey that was. In fact, it was a journey I detested ending as I approached the finish line of this novel. I honestly did not want this book to end, and took my sweet time reaching the last page.
Laini Taylor has become one of my favorite writers with this one novel alone. It has been a long long time that I have read a novel that was written as eloquently as she wrote this. It was beautiful! Filled with perfect metaphors; written so eloquently that my heart's rhythm reacted to the flow of her words on the pages, that my eyes grew wet and tears ran freely down my cheeks, that my breath hitched during cinematic battle scenes, or during the endearing moments between Akiva and Karou when their feelings began to overwhelm them both.
This novel is a must buy. There are not many novels I would re-read, but this one I can see myself reading more than once in the upcoming years. The second installment can't get into my hands fast enough and I will be sure to pick it up as soon as possible to continue on this journey, once again joining Akiva and Karou on their path to the truth.
About the Author:
(pic & bio from Goodreads.com)