I was so eager to read the second book in this series, but — if I may be perfectly honest — I feel really disappointed. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised since the second book in a trilogy is usually lackluster compared to the first or the final book. Setting up for the grand finale and all. Still, I didn’t think I would have been this … bored.
After Karou finds out that Akiva was responsible for the genocide of her chimera people, she breaks off all contact with him and finds the remaining surviving chimera. She is their only hope now, their only resurrectionist, who can continue pumping out soldiers for the war against the angels. Despite her true intentions to help her own people, the chimera don’t trust her. They still see her as a traitor, and Karou can’t ever be sure that she is safe with them. Meanwhile, Akiva mourns the loss of Karou and deeply regrets what he has done. He is more determined than ever to end the brutal conflicts between chimeras and angels once and for all, but he is not sure how to begin such a venture, especially when he is hailed as the Beast’s Bane, a hero amongst his own angelic race.
I think my biggest problem with this book was that it simply felt like nothing much was happening. By the end of the novel, it’s clear that much of what happened in the story (which, to me, was not much) was a set-up for book three. Days of Blood & Starlight just doesn’t feel like much of a story on its own. While I can remember several memorable and series-defining events from the first book, there was only one or two significant events that occurred in this book. To put it plainly, I was simply bored by this book. When I was reading book one, I found it hard to put the book down (or rather, my tablet, heh). I had no troubles putting book two down at all.
There were also some chapters from the point-of-view of really random characters. For example, the Dama centaur chimera sisters Sveva and Sarazal and their escape story. There were a handful of chapters from them and then you didn’t hear anything from them again for the rest of the book. I found that quite odd …
A love triangle begins to emerge in this book, which I would not have minded so much if there was a hint of it in the first book. Karou and Akiva are more or less separated (for the time being, anyway), and we are introduced to Ziri, a chimera of the same race that Madrigal/Karou was. Cue intimate moments scenes. Insert a vague history between the two of them. See, all this was brand new information in book two, Ziri was never mentioned in book one, and it made it feel like this love triangle thing was an afterthought or something.
I also have to agree with my friend Paola that Zuzana had become super annoying in this book and I really hope she would be turned down a notch or two. I don’t know if she and Mik were supposed to be comic relief in an otherwise bleak and depressing environment, but they were not funny. They were irritating. Especially Zuzana, who came off as self-centered to me. A clashing of worlds is about to occur, your best friend’s life is going to be in danger, the entire WORLD is going to be in danger, and the only thing she seemed to care about was that she was in a dinky hotel room, away from all the action. Sigh.
I was happy with the direction of character development though. I feel Karou has grown up and matured a lot, enduring her trials and tribulations (unlike her best friend who seemed to have done the reverse of maturing), and Akiva also has gone through some serious self reflection. I like how they are not like two lovesick teenagers hell-bent on being together no matter the costs. They are level headed and realize there are greater stakes — worlds to save — and if they cannot be together because of this, then so be it, because it will be for the greater good. I do hope Karou and Akiva will resolve their issues with one another, but I feel it would be appropriate if they didn’t either. I guess either way, I will be content with their relationship.
Here’s hoping book three will be much better!