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?"
I bought this book knowing little about it, aside from the fact that it had HYPE- it seemed to be extremely well received by the vast majority of reader. While I truly want to be one of those people who LOVED this book, I unfortunately am not. That is not to say that it is a bad book by any means- it isn't, it is one of the most creative and dynamic books that I have ever read before (seriously, Laini totally blew me away with her world building ability), but after finishing it, I just don't find myself feeling anything (I think that I should feel satisfied after reading it, or at least something, but I don't).
I think that my largest complaint about the book were the characters. While I adored Karou (she was so gosh darn snarky and strong- traits that, in my opinion, make a successful female character), I just couldn't connect to Akiva. I am very much the sort of reader that needs in-depth character descriptions (from their appearance, to their personality, to their background and history) and I didn't get that with Akiva whatsoever (I couldn't, for the life of me, picture him in my head- cropped black hair, tiger eyes that are rimmed with black kohl, and burning wings?- nor could I picture any of the Chimeras). Furthermore, I think that in the vast majority of the book he was lacking in personality- he seemed way too perfect, to the point of being unapproachable and entirely unrealistic.
Furthermore, I found myself flying through the first half of the book, and dragging my feet in the second half of the book (the first half was much more interesting than the second half in my opinion- which is somewhat strange as most of the action occurred in the second half). I think that the flashbacks in the second half of the book really through me off- in all honesty, I didn't care about Madrigal and Akiva's story, I just wanted to know about Karou and Akiva's story.
As mentioned, this book scores high on the imaginative front, however, in the other fronts (ie. characters and pacing), it is a bit lacking, in my opinion. However, I am hoping that this book will be similar to "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver- after reading it for the first time I had very little opinion about it, but over time, I found myself thinking more and more about the book (even months after reading it), until I came to really understand it (and eventually love it).