Release Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Wow. Just wow. What can I say? I loved it. I adored it. I devoured it. This book and the fascinating story between its covers was so different and new. It really is something unique. The storyline has a lot of familiar fantasy/paranormal features but all of them have been intricately woven into a tale sprouting from the imagination of a very talented storyteller. A tale I’ve never seen or heard of before.
For a large part of the story we are kept in the dark, along with our main character Karou, about the mysteries and secrets that define her life and her existence. Her past is a bit hazy, where does she come from? Who is she? Who were her parents? Karou struggles with these questions, but the answers are anything but what she expected them to be.
When the big plot was revealed I have to admit I was a bit scared. It’s a risky path to take and taking such a turn could go wrong very easily. I was a bit disappointed for a moment because this had a great impact on the romance, that I was actually enjoying up to that point. But I have to admit, it turned out well, because the big revelation about the teeth and the hamsas was magnificent! The ending made up for a lot too, it was the perfect ending for this book, unexpected and shocking, giving you a glimpse of so much potential and new adventures in the next book.
The writing has something captivating. It’s different (I know, I’m stuck in repeat). Simple, but then again with a sort of poetic feel to it. I especially liked the snarky, sarcastic humor throughout the book. I think that’s one of the reason I liked Karou so much, her attitude reminds me a bit of myself sometimes. It also made her friendship with Zuzana a lot more interesting and maybe one of my favorite relationships in this book.
This is one of those books that are so well written, so easy to read and with such a great story that you pick it up, start to read and when you finally emerge back into reality (like, after flipping the last page, forced back to the real world, not willingly, I can assure you) you notice most of the day and night have gone by without you even noticing it. Go get this book and read it. Now.