+world-building, plot, tension, and characters.
-romance and pacing issues, and flowery writing that crossed the line into annoying purple prose
I enjoyed it despite the problems and felt the ending was satisfying. Romance:
Let’s get this out of the way first. Zuzana & Mike:
remain the couple to beat. They’re sweet, mesh, and have chemistry that isn’t forced to fruition like a blooming onion. *cough*Akiva & Karou:
Oy. I get this is supposed to be their epic romantic journey but I have a hard time with them being together. I mean it’s not fun to read their anguish being a part but they have lust, history, and nothing else.
They have a moment that was “YES! This!” when they realize they don’t
know each other. My bubble was quickly popped when they touched and nothing else mattered. Again. *sigh*
At least I can skip their paragraph(s) long eye-fucking and lusting fire-storm BS. Other:
There’s another couple or two that blooms. I like the pairings. Especially the Hero that deserves happiness and end the love triangle mess. However, that’s more about liking the characters and wanting them to be happy than buying their connection. Again, it’s all about fate and instant attraction.
I wish some fluffy shit was cut to make room for more growth and depth. As much as I love the world-building and plot, this aspect makes me nervous to read more of Lani Taylor’s work. Plot:
I liked the weaving perspectives. Not only does it make sense to have them, it builds the tension and suspense.
Eliza was a solid addition. I definitely had to know how humans were reacting to The Visitors and that was only possible through her. It also worked to throw me for a loop where her story was going and how it connected.
I liked reading the Chimera and Angels in the cave with all their drama and overcoming their history. Ziri as The Wolf is brilliant and heartbreaking. Lirazel surprised me.
I will admit to being confused and frustrated with not knowing Karou’s plan against the Angels until the showdown. It ended up being changed and working, so I have to wonder still what the plan was with the original crew.
Stelvians make an appearance and we finally get answers there. Most of the time they’re flittering around the edges and aren’t really important until the end. Pacing:
Yes, I agree pacing is an issue. Many times I was frustrated because it wasn’t going anywhere or at the speed of molasses. This with the writing makes me wonder if the editor decided Taylor was “too big to fail” or something? Why does no one remember “the bigger they are the harder they fall”?The Ending:
While I found the ending satisfying, it didn’t reveal all the answers. Like the how and why of Akiva’s power. Or the secret of tithing beyond pain being the crudest. And teeth.
At first it made sense that Karou only got and used teeth from the human world. But now that she knows
about Chimera, I wonder why they can’t use Chimera or angel teeth instead of solely from the human world.
Maybe I missed something but it seems silly to just burn the bodies immediately after getting the soul. There must be a reason why but there’s no explanation.
There’s an ace pulled out of the sleeve for The Real Big Bad but we don’t see it happen. There’s no why or how, just that it will happen and it’s meant to be.
So not everything is revealed but I still feel good about how it ended. These opens could lead to more books in the world, but I don’t know if I can get excited about it.
Part of it is being relieved this trilogy is over and seeing how quality declined as it went on. The other is not wanting another insta-love fest. We’ll see. I’m at least willing to look into it because of Daughter of Smoke and Bone
’s high point and good elements.