What I’m Reading: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Young Adult Audiobook Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Late last year I listened to the first book in this series on audiobook, and it was fantastic! The second book did not disappoint, but I will say that there were fewer surprises.

Laini Taylor’s world of Eretz, on the other side of the portals from Earth, is full of mystical creatures and angels, and lovely, fun, lively, and sometimes hilarious, characters. Zuzana is the primary comical relief character, and like in the first book, she is my favorite with her sparkling personality. Things grow darker in the second book, and things are more difficult for Karou as the narrative pushes forward.

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My favorite thing about Laini Taylor’s books is her amazing way with language. She fills the page with surprising word pairings and description that brings the world to life. The audiobook, narrated by Khristine Hvam, is also brought to live through her wonderful reading and embellishment of character voices. I love how Hvam performs each character in a subtly different way, though, like in the first book, I don’t like the voice of Razgut, mostly because it creeps me out.

I can’t wait to listen to the third and last book of this trilogy, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, which I’ve already checked out from my local e-library. I highly recommend these ebooks, but be warned, each book clocks in at over fourteen hours of goodness, which for me means an awful lot of time at the gym.

5/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Earlier in the year I mentioned that I’d be blogging more about the books I read that aren’t Young Adult, so long as I think they are a reasonable match to the YA books I know and love. I think Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman fits this bill.

Dovekeepers is an historical fiction about the┬ápersecution of the Jewish people by the Romans. I hadn’t ever read anything about this period of time before and Hoffman did a great job at inspiring my interest in both her characters and this specific piece of history. One of my favorite pieces of the novel was the touch of magic. The magic was never written about as ‘real’ magic, but it was written as real as the people of the time would have believed. Or maybe it was real, who knows? Sometimes I think that magic are the little things that happen that are overlooked by our modern sensibilities. ┬áThere was a strong romantic element in this book, and also quite a bit of violence, as it is depicting a true and brutal time, but it is never over the top.

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This book is written in four parts instead of chapters, and it took me until the second part to get into the book, but I was glad I did. Each part features a different character. This was really refreshing to me, reading something that didn’t follow the usual novel conventions.

If you enjoy historical fiction, especially about strong women, then I recommend checking out this book.

4/5 Stars

JEH