It even caused me to keep on reading it even though it was after midnight. It caused me to not sleep until 3.30 am, by that time I was so tired that I couldn’t read further, even if I only had about 100 pages left. But I wasn’t sure if I could stay awake for another half hour to an hour. Yes, that is how awesome the book was. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and just had to read it. Even if that means that by today I am totally knackered, thank Lord for small mercies like free days. 😛
I am normally not one for books about Fantasy, but I heard a lot about this series, and when I spotted them at Library #4 something just pushed me to grab the first book and take it with me. It took me a while to read it, it wasn’t until I finally asked on Twitter that a few people said this should be my first read from my TBR-pile.
My plan was actually to read a bit every night, but yeah after one night of that, this book grabbed me, held me, and only let me go when I was too tired to continue.
The book is all about Karou, about her mysterious past, about stuff that is happening all over the world in which she also plays part. This book is about an angel named Akiva, about a demon named Madigal, and how everything connects back to Karou in the end. The author did a great job teasing, hinting, showing some parts of the puzzle, yet obscuring others so that until a few pages before the big revelation you won’t know if what you think is right. What is Karou, do you think you get it right, or was it all something different in the end? Later on when you learn certain facts you will probably be like me, thinking back to those moments when we saw those things, congratulating the author for showing hints so clearly, but that she doesn’t immediately reveal what they are about.
The book is split up in several parts, a new starts after a big revelation, some new part of the cogs are turning. Next to that we also see glimpses of the past. Not only Karou’s (though hers is mostly her childhood), but also Akiva’s, and much later during the bigger revelation (nope, no spoilers) Madigal. The author really weaves the past and present together into one big thing, and it was interesting to see how it all came together.
The whole Seraphim and Chimaera world and the war that raged that, it was all quite interesting to read about. I felt sad for both parties, there wasn’t one party that gained more sympathy from me over the other. Both had their stories, both had their victims. Maybe not sympathy then, but favouring, yes, I did that. I loved the Chimaera more. Maybe because they are more magical, the idea that someone could look so different, yet at times human, it fascinated me. Of course I heard of Chimaere from mythology, other books, but it was never this detailed as the world of the Chimaera were in this book. I also loved what they could do when they would be defeated in war. That was certainly a brilliant concept to add, and it gave the war a new edge. Though I can just imagine how it must be for the Chimaera to go through that each time. 🙁
I loved how the story slowly build up, from Karou’s normal, well normalish life, to how everything spiralled out of control.
Karou was a terrific character, and at first I wasn’t sure if she was just being imaginative, or that she truly had people in her life who looked, were named that way. Then we find out about her other life. The life outside of her normal one (the one with the best friend, the ex-boyfriend of doom (I loved what she did to him in the first part), the one who got good grades at her school, the amazing artist), the life filled with teeth, dangerous missions, of magic, of wonder. I also loved her strength, this is one girl you don’t want to piss off. This is one girl that you would be best to just leave alone.
I was really curious about her past. Who were her parents? Why did she live with Chimaeras? Why did she do all those errands?
Then we meet Akiva, and boy, I didn’t like him from the start. I found him arrogant, annoying, frustrating. But then we see the real Akiva. We see someone who has been broken. Broken not only by war, but also by loss, broken by so many things. Like Karou, I fell in love with this angel. I wanted to know more about him, I wanted to see him smile, I wanted to see him happy. He was sweet, kind, did everything to protect Karou.
Their love? It felt perfect, it wasn’t rushed, instead it was just perfectly done. How they went from enemies, to caution, to like, to something way more. Often these days you would just have instant love, and I am glad the author didn’t go for that. Of course she could have, due to various things that I won’t spoil, but she didn’t. She just let some stuff slip out here and there, stuff that confused both Karou, and Akiva.
I have to say that the first two thirds of the book were my absolute favourite. The last part was good, but I just struggled through it. I am not sure why, it was an important part to the story, but I just wish we could have seen some more Karou and Akiva in-between it. Their reactions to what was being said/done.
The ending was great, though it brought a nice twist with it. I felt sad at what happened, but then again, just like with the hints to Karou’s past, it was hinted at already. It was just waiting for that person to tell the other person about it.
The author also loved writing descriptions of various things, and while at times I found them a bit long, I did love them as they showed me the world, and I could easily imagine how everything looked in that world.
Ah yes, before I end my review, I want to give extra points to Karou’s best friend Zuzana. She was so much fun, and I loved how she cared about Karou. How she didn’t prod, or ask questions (of course she knew she wouldn’t get an answer, but she could have left after years of no answers), she was sweet, and when certain stuff happened, she showed herself to be a true friend. Someone Karou can probably trust for the ages to come.
At first the title doesn’t make much sense, but as you read on, and especially during the later parts, you will find out the book is really aptly named!
All in all, this was a terrific book, with a cast of characters that I mostly loved (of course I have a few that I didn’t like, but then again, they were villains, and one that I didn’t like at first, I later started to like more when we found out about things that happened in the past (Brimstone)), with magical descriptions, with angels, with demons (as that is what one would call the Chimaera), with a wonderful story that will grab you and hold you and not drop you until the end.
Read this one! As for me? As soon as I visit Library #4 I do hope that book 2 and 3 will still be around so I can borrow them and read them!
Also sorry for the way too long review. 😛 I think I have said everything I wanted to say, maybe if something will pop up in my head I will update the review.