Days of Blood & Starlight - Laini Taylor
Big stories, really important and amazing journeys, require some commitment. I think that much effort has to be put into creating something fantastic and epic, but there has to be the courage to tear it down to the most elemental pieces so that the value of the story can lie in the rebuilding. After all, balm is most soothing when you are raw. Laini Taylor is committed in Days of Blood & Starlight, and she has ripped my heart up and thrown in a couple of gut punches for good measure. And she's tricky, Ms. Taylor, by doing things that I typically do not like and making me love it - like a bjillion POV's and kitschy chapter titles (well, I didn't love those but I wasn't annoyed either). And the most egregious thing that I was surprised didn't make me rage was employing the technique of telling you what is going to happen before it does to soften the blow. "When Karou would look back at this moment, she would realize that from the very start this was all a gigantic ploy to kill everyone she loves and that it was this decision that set it into motion" (not a direct quote obviously).I generally hate that, I mean, I want the story to speak for itself. I want those gut punches, the shock and awe! It's like running across an accidental spoiler in a book review, it's deflating. However, Laini Taylor manages these occurrences with finesse. She somehow gets me to believe it's all about character development and that we need to see these little snippets of insight.So, the long and short of it is that Laini Taylor is smarter than me. And more creative. And has written one hell of a sequel. All things that I want in an author and a book. (along with themes of hope, survival, strength, betrayal, loyalty and a heartbreaking romance. I want those in my book too...good thing DoBaS has it all)(I reserve one tinsy star because it was perhaps a little slow in parts. Of course, it was compelling enough that it wasn't that big of a deal but still...with a 517 page book are slow parts necessary? Maybe. I did say Laini was smarter than me.)