TITLE = DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT

AUTHOR = LAINI TAYLOR

GENRE = FANTASY, ACTION, ADVENTURE, ANGELS, WAR

INTEREST LEVEL = 10+

Wow!This is a wonderful sequel to a brilliant first novel. Given that the first book left readers on a knife edge wondering about the future between Karou and her angel lover, Akiva, readers will be keen to know how this situation has been resolved.

However, readers are likely to spend much of this novel on the edge of their seats wondering whether either of the main protagonists is alive or will remain alive for much longer. Because the odds are stacked against them: both the angels and the monsters are intent upon furthering the war between them and exacting revenge upon their opponents.

Indeed, it is hard to tell one side from the other: are the monsters any more monster-like than the angels when they start mimicking their retribution upon them? And can Akiva really be blamed for his revenge that took Karou’s  family from her when she seems intent on causing even more bloodshed than he and when she appears to have aligned herself with her old enemies??

There may be paralells between the worlds of these angels and monsters and current world events when it is so easy to typecast opponents as “monsters” and overlook one’s own monster-like behaviour – and for some time it seems that only Akiva can see this.

Are Karou and Akiva destined to remain on opposite sides forever, are they destined to remain separated by past actions and current allegiances – or  are they really soulmates and can  love transcend it all??

An absolute page turner with another powerful ending… who will still be standing for book 3 which will be eagerly awaited by fans??? Don’t forget to catch all the latest news about this exciting trilogy from the author’s blog.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

A heartbreakingly beautiful romance

TITLE = DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

AUTHOR =LAINI TAYLOR

GENRE = FANTASY, ANGELS, DEMONS, ROMANCE

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 10 +

 

Intense, dramatic, romantic and compelling – this is how best to describe this new book!

There are many angel romance stories around at the minute but this one is definitely in a class of its own. Laini Taylor writes beautifully – whether it be descriptions of Prague (a beautiful character in the story) or descriptions of characters. Dialogue is sparkling and very real. So initially, the novel doesn’t feel like a fantasy story at all – in fact, it feels very grounded in the real world, except that the main character, art student Karou, works for a strange creature and slips between portals to other countries. And midway through the novel …we meet a strikingly beautiful angel, Akiva … then we learn about the ongoing war between the “monsters” and the angels… but can an angel soldier who kills be called angelic – despite his heavenly beauty?

And is the monstrous looking Brimstone, who trades in life and death, truly a monster?? More importantly, what happens if an angel and a monster fall in love?? This novel truly tugs on the heart and the mind – and the good news is – there are two more books to come!!

Read more about the author and her upcoming books on her fantastic blog.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

 

A story about dragons and storytelling and so much more …

TITLE = THE LAST DRAGON CHRONICLES SERIES

AUTHOR = CHRIS D’LACEY

GENRE = FANTASY, ADVENTURE, INTRIGUE, MYSTERY

INTEREST LEVEL =  YRS 7 -12

Watch the booktrailer below, read the review … then dip into the books for a great reading experience:

Music (“Believe” by Windsor Drive) sourced from the Animoto site. Many images from Animoto too but clay dragons and bears were homegrown. Text from booklover.

 

 

 

 

 

This is quite an unusual series. The first book reads a little like a story for young children, with its focus on saving squirrels and clay dragons that come alive. But each book after that takes the reader into new territory, both literally and imaginatively. We visit the Arctic zone to find a link between the last dragon, Gawain and polar bears. We follow our hero as he battles against beings from this world and evil beings from beyond. We are asked to ponder questions about how the Earth came into being and about the future of the planet … all amidst a central story of the battle between Good and Evil, a battle that plays out across different dimensions  and takes many guises. Even our hero, David takes many forms. Each book offers the readers something more to ponder as the plot, quite literally thickens. A series that will touch your heart and leave you with plenty to think about. The sort of series that can be read many times.

Check out Chris D’Lacey’s terrific website to find out more about the author, interviews, his other books and his inspiration.

Or go to the series website for more info.

A Highly Recommended series (dma) *****

 

An angel and a vampire … sounds doomed, doesn’t it?

TITLE = ETERNAL

AUTHOR = CYNTHIA LEITICH SMITH

GENRE = SUPERNATURAL, FANTASY, ANGELS, VAMPIRES

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9, 10

Another delicious supernatural love story told in a deliciously sardonic way by Cynthia Leitich Smith. The two lead characters take turns telling their version of events: Zachary (once Miranda’s guardian angel, now fallen angel) and Miranda (once shy, withdrawn human now vampire princess… oops, that should be, “Eternal princess”). As Zachary is partly to blame for Miranda’s conversion, he seeks to reclaim his wings and Miranda’s soul … but life is never easy when dealing with rich vampires (ummm, eternals),  werecreatures and the angel code of practice. Be sure there will be a few obstacles in the path of these young lovers…. And a bit of blood splatter as well.

Read a review of the graphic novel version here.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

 Why not check out this book trailer, too

(Note: all images in the book trailer courtesy of the Animoto site, music also provided from Animoto – Artist: Secrets in Stereo. Song: Happy. Text created by dma)

 And if you enjoy this novel, why not read Cynthia Leitich Smith’s other books set in a similar supernatural world of vamps, wereanimals and wisecracking humans: “Tantalize” (reviewed here) and its companion graphic novel, “Tantalize: Kieran’s story” (reviewed here on the Graphic Shelf blog).